Summer internships are a great way for our senior students to step out of their comfort zones and expose themselves to the industry of their interest. With the Work Exposure Programme (WEP), children from Grade X to Grade XII of Ekya Schools and sister institutions, CMR National Public School and CMR National PU College got this opportunity this summer break. Here is Ms. Malayeeka Kulsum sharing her account from her time with Udhyam Learning Foundation:
How did you find the application process at the start? Why did you pick Udhyam?
I remember being nervous during the process. I had applied to Udhyam Learning Foundation and FonePaisa. I was really looking forward to the internship programme because as the name suggests, I was seeking exposure in a professional setting, to get some work experience during the summer – an experience that would help me in my future in terms of decision-making and problem-solving.
Since I am a Biology student, I opted for organizations whose internship did not revolve around coding. My interest peaked when I found Udhyam on the list of organizations to apply for, as it was based on teaching and learning, an opportunity to hone my teaching skills and to help impact people’s lives.
It was a humbling experience, as I got to learn so much on the job, aside from understanding what it takes to be human. I was interning for the Udhyam Shiksha Program, which is an entrepreneurship program that teaches children from private schools to do business. Children are exposed to real business scenarios, based on their interests and strengths and are guided on how to run it over three to five weeks of the program.
Give us a brief of your time at Udhyam? How did your internship programme unfold across the month?
I was assisting the facilitators at their summer program that was being organized across 40 schools in Bangalore. The first week was uneventful as our field work was scheduled to start with the program. We used this time to do our homework and understand the program’s objective, how it works and how it is implemented. We were introduced to the definition of learners-context, after which we were asked to submit our understandings and observations.
In our second week, we got to visit a school in Neelasandra. I remember the commute to the place was difficult. Once there, I was happy to be greeted by a bunch of enthusiastic children. It was touching to learn about their dreams, every single one of them spoke about their family and their background. I was impressed by their interest and energy put towards running their business, with so many ideas and suggestions shared with us.
Interning with Udhyam gave me the opportunity to visit different schools. I began to realize that situations make people. Having met so many children over the week, I realized that they came from unfortunate backgrounds, not because of their parents, but because a situation got them here. I was glad that they were coming to school, taking their opportunity to get educated seriously.
I got to interact with children from the program, understanding their dreams, fears, aspirations and the backgrounds they came from. Seeing them take an active interest in learning about how businesses run was inspiring and left a mark on how I look at the world.
What did you learn from your internship experience? Tell us what was your key learning?
I have so many to list! The internship taught me to respect every occupation even if it is a job of selling vegetables. After interviewing the children I met, I realized that you cannot run away from your problems, a better alternative is to take those head first and face them. I understood that problems are long-lasting if you avoid facing them.
‘Don’t let a bad day make a bad life’, someone once said and I now truly agree with them.
With this, I also got to learn how to work in a company, how to talk to strangers, and break out of our comfort zone and do something new. I got to meet and bond with some really inspiring individuals, which I don’t get to, on a daily basis.
The kids and their circumstances made me realize the importance of not giving up. People are going to put you down, by discouraging you and passing comments. It is important to not get affected by these and keep our hope up, to do something even if there seems to be no way.
Can you highlight two best points and two pain points during the internship?
The best bit from the internship was the kids and the chance to work with the other Udhyam interns. I also started enjoying the travel as the weeks progressed, as I was excited to meet all the new faces at every school I visited.
I wasn’t a fan of all the walking that came from interning, especially in this hot summer. Maybe that would count as a pain point? Also, some of the children were a little rude at the start, as they weren’t making any conversation and were making fun of me.
Did you have someone from the foundation mentoring you? How did that work out? Do you have any memorable moment you’d like to share?
I was mentored by Mr. Shubham who was kind and supportive throughout my time with Udhyam. He understood us from day one and guided us if we needed any help. I was half expecting to be holed in an office space, but interning at Udhyam Learning Foundation was a different experience, that I will cherish.
There was a kid from the RT Nagar batch, named Yakoob. He was very protective of all us interns. He took great care of us and even dropped us to the bus stop, not leaving the place until we got into one. It was such a kind and warm gesture from someone we had just met.
Read more stories from our Work Exposure Programme
- Sripriya from Grade 10 sums up her time with Key Education Foundation, who work towards ensuring quality early education for children from low-economic communities.
- Working with actors and learning Playback theatre at a workshop, teaching rhymes to underprivileged children at Diya Ghar and assisting children with disability at the Spastic Society with their skit practice – Rajkaushik from Grade 11 had an eventful summer internship at The Actors Collective
- Dharun Sankar, from Grade 10 talks about his exciting internship experience at PhotoMojo, a leading photo and videography production house in the city.