ANUSMITA BASU – “Step out of your comfort zone and tap into your passion”
I am Anu, a writer & researcher at Rice&Partners. I was raised in three different countries- India, Uganda and Singapore and I believe that travelling is vital in shaping our personality and nurturing our creativity. While filming the wildlife of Maasai Mara and Serengeti, I discovered my innate love and understanding of film art. Soon after, I decided to study filmmaking in Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore where I majored in screenwriting and directing.
Throughout my filmmaking course I tried to grab every internship opportunity I could get my hands on, whether it’s assisting directors, re-writing drafts with writers, assembling files for editors, hunting for props with art directors or merely holding the boom for a shoot. The more you intern, the more you learn and the less clueless you appear on set. Before I graduated I was freelancing in Singapore, where I mostly worked to build my resume. Meanwhile, I applied to several production houses and media companies in various countries including Vietnam. Soon after graduating I went to India to work in a film production house.
It was 9:00 am on a Monday morning, as I was scrolling through my emails, I received a reply regarding my application from the Executive Producer of Rice&Partners, I read the email thrice just to make sure if I was reading it right. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, travel places and challenge my creativity. Filmmaking is not only about shooting scenes with a cool camera, it is about conceptualizing, visualizing, writing and breathing stories. On being offered the position of a writer and researcher, I was immediately excited to relocate to Ho Chi Minh city to work with the company. Things moved pretty fast after that, I got a wonderful offer letter and VISA invitation. I just had to bid goodbye to my friends, pack two suitcases and I was ready to go!
The moment I landed in Ho Chi Minh city, I instantly knew that I had made the right decision. I reached Rice&Partners in the afternoon and was given a detailed tour of the whole office and then introduced to the staff, everyone was warm, friendly and skilled in their respective departments. I started work on the same day and then went to a fancy event in the evening. I decided to embrace each opportunity that was given to me. On moving to a new country, the most important thing is to remember the names of your colleagues and pronounce them right. Then next, is to study the environment and learn the office norms. Asking for feedback helps you acclimate to a new work environment, knowing what’s working and what’s not, will help you improve yourself for future opportunities.
Some of the reasons why it’s more enjoyable to work in Rice&Partners is because the office gives out a positive vibe. Everybody, irrespective of whichever department they belong to, is willing to help out. We all eat lunch together and play board games over the weekend which is a great way to bond and strengthen team spirit. All of us trust and respect each others ideas.
I have been in this city for 21 days now, but I have already been enamored with the Saigonese way of life. When you decide to work in a new country, thousands of miles away from home, it is very important to be aware of your passion. I am lucky to have found a role in a company culture that taps into my passion.