When I was applying for work exposure program, all I had in mind was to do something productive during summer vacations instead of whiling the time away. But also in the back of my mind, I wanted to understand how a workspace functions and how it taps into the potential of each individual who contributes to the work.

I chose Udhyam Learning Foundations as one of my first preferences at first, because a lot of my friends had had a wonderful experience working alongside them and knowing that made me feel less nervous about this whole ordeal. After reading a bit more about their work, I realized that the work they do is very inspiring and a few parts of their program were also in line with my passion of creating awareness and the belief they have in human potential. Going through their entire website to know more about their work, gave me enough confidence about my decision to work with them.

My expectations from the company and the internship was to help me make use of my unused creative energy towards impactful work and to help me break out of my comfort zone. When I walked in on my first day, I didn’t expect them to give me a lot of work because that’s the kind of myth that has been created towards interning in companies and I used to believe that myth.

On my first day, I was warmly greeted by everyone in the office. I gave in my project preference slip after a few hours and I was assigned a project in no time. I was introduced to the team that I had to work with and we clicked pretty quickly. We instantly bonded over bad jokes, food and funny caricatures of ourselves.

I was pretty shy at the beginning and I knew that would be a barrier in my work. But as the days unfolded, not just the interns but the entire office worked together to shatter barriers. Not only did we break societal barriers, but we also broke through our personal barriers. In just a few hours of conversation, we were comfortable around each other and in just a few days, we were helping each other grow as a person.

The key things that I learned from this internship were to believe that every idea is worth sharing, to empathize and understand my surroundings before forming pre-conceived notions and to understand the importance and the power, that having a dialogue holds. These learnings came from experiences during fieldwork, lunch, group sessions, meetings or even just small discussions with the project managers or with the team.

Everyone who works in the organization and even our senior interns were mentors to me. They have guided me through moments of doubt and have helped me feel comfortable in my bad days. They have taught me to question things, to at least try to know the depth of the situation and to never give in and call it a failure because of a single rejection. All of them have given me important lessons and words to reflect on, work on and implement in my life.

The most memorable thing about my time with Udhyam would be something called “reflection sessions.” All the interns would attend this session every Thursday and reflect on the entire week’s work (what went wrong, what went right, what did we need). Through sessions about mental health, we poured our hearts out. We laughed, we cried, we stood in solidarity with each other’s personal injustices and we empathized with each other. We created a safe space for ourselves where we could be ourselves without judgment. The safe space that was created for me, helped me be comfortable in sharing my story with them. I feared their reactions but all they did was to listen to me and understand me. Even during my mentally exhaustive days in office, they comforted me and motivated me to push harder.

Overall, this experience has strengthened my belief in human potential and the things it can do. It has made me believe in the power of community and how it can shake the society by its roots if it wants to create change. It has not only made me believe in community potential but also in my potential. In a few words, I would say that this internship brought in a sense of liberation in me.

This experience has not completely changed me as a person, but it has given me immense faith in myself towards personal change and growth. It has awakened my curiosity to know myself and my psyche, a little better. This experience has changed the way I look at teamwork and coordination. This experience, which I take back with me, is something that is unforgettable. It has made me determined enough to not throw away my plans for creating my own organization. They have encouraged me to pursue my dreams and to put in unlimited passion and love towards it.

I look forward to working with them in the future!

– Shobita.R.J

When I was offered an internship by Udhyam Learning Foundation, all I could think of was this would be a wonderful opportunity to get out into the real world and learn something new. I knew it would be a chance to extend my knowledge, meet new people and acquaintances. The experience was bound to put me out of my comfort zone and learn the best possible way to communicate effectively. And I was curious to know about how a Not-For-Profit organization would work from managing the organization from different aspects. Despite all these questions I had gathered in my mind, my experience in Udhyam was something best I could have never imagined and in the best possible way. I never expected to have such an organization in Indiranagar with amazing friendships, acquaintances and most importantly good memories I would never forget.

The first day I walked into the office. I was completely exhilarated by this place as it did not look like an office with systems and I was filled with curiosity. I met my fellow interns and there were twenty – seven in number. Then we started with an icebreaker of introducing ourselves which was a good start. My fellow interns were from different institutes of CMR Group Of Institutions

Akshay and Rahul Sirs were awesome people to have as our project managers during the course of our internship. They were ever patient with all of us and explained everything we needed to know about an Organisation. The second day we the interns were split up into two teams Udhyam Shiksha and Udhyam Vyapaar based on our skills and interest. And when I knew that I was placed in Vyapaar team I was filled with joy to experience what this team would do. The Shiksha team consisted of twelve members and Vyapaar team consisted of nine members. And I was a part of video curation team under Vyapaar. On the third day, each of us met our mentors and I met my mentor Ravail who was an amazing person to work with. She explained everything in detail about our projects in which we would be working on. Some of the interns were not happy with their team, so some interns gave up their internship and missed the wonderful experience. So at the end of the second week, there were only four of us in the Vyapaar team.

My first project was to create storyboards and script videos to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in micro-entrepreneurs. In this, I learned about the timing of each shot of the videos and preparing scripts for Vyapaari based on the topic of Hygiene.

Then the second project was to create case studies and design templates to showcase the impact of Udhyam towards income- upliftment of micro-entrepreneurs. This was very new to me, and I did not know how to use Canva to create design templates and this project taught me to use appropriate font size, colors, usage of a word and how to concise it.

And then I had three other small projects which are as follows:

  • Primary research of Scouting the tailoring institutes which improved my communication skills with the help of Pdma from ISDM.
  • A survey for the scope of the renovation of tea stalls with Shalin and pitching to a Vyapaari to work with Udhyam with Ruchi mentor were my field works
  • Conducted secondary research on potential marketing channels for Udhyam along with Vyapaar team.

The above was the things what I learned there. What impacted me the most was the Thursday’s Reflection Sessions which should be introduced even in school/colleges to know about each other and to define ourselves as to how capable we are, to explore the different perspectives of life, with some energizing activities. The entire session taught me to be more confident. It was an amazing session to overcome so many things.

The Kaleidoscope Show was a fun-filled experience to showcase our talents and working toward it with others was fun. The origami session and the saree drape was fun too. Eating Samosa and drinking Coffee in Jothi Bakery with intern friends were good after our work. These six weeks of internship made my summer of 2019 the most memorable one I have ever had, I am truly grateful to all those who extended this opportunity towards me.

These six weeks of internship made my summer of 2019 the most memorable one I have ever had, I am truly grateful to all those who extended this opportunity towards me.                                  

Posted by CMRNPUC

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