Bhumija Rishi, a B.A. (Hons) Sociology student from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi, who has always believed in action rather than words. She has completed 3 months internship at Connecting Dreams Foundation, achieved her goals and established herself as a doer.
Here, Bhumija is sharing her experience being a Head Coordinator at Kilkari Project, CDF. Her apprenticeship will certainly propel her ahead of the curve.
Go ahead and know what her story has to offer to aspiring youth so that you can easily find a path of self-growth. Young Influxers go ahead and upgrade yourself!!!
How did you come to know about the internship?
I learnt it through the internship portal Internshala.
What was the location?
Kilkari Pathshala, CDF
What were your responsibilities as an intern?
Project Kilkari was a social welfare project that focused on education on underprivileged kids. They visited Kilkari Pathshalas (after school). These pathshalas were closed spaces spotted and used by Kilkari volunteers who came from different colleges. Each college involved with Kilkari has its own chapter. These volunteers are allocated a pathshala near their college by the Kilkari team of Delhi University. I was the Head Coordinator of the project.
During my tenure, I coordinated between several departments of Kilkari project like research team, documentation team, social media team, Head of the Kilkari chapters in various colleges and local keeper of the pathshalas. I was also imperative in getting the MoU ( Memorandum of Understanding) between the Principal of the colleges wherein we were to initiate Kilkari chapters and CDF Kilkari itself. In total, I handled the work of around 13 Delhi University Colleges in this manner.
How much time did you contribute on a daily basis?
Share your proudest achievements and how were you able to realise them.
My proudest achievement was that by my time we initiated 30 fully functional Kilkari projects. It took us a lot of time and effort to convince colleges that association with Kilkari CDF is a worthwhile cause. It’s a worthwhile initiative and would also do wonders to their CV as it would add them both a volunteering /social responsibility opportunity and a Position of Responsibility (POR) (for the heads of the Kilkari chapters). The exceptional performers would also be given a Letter of Recommendation (LOR ).
Those will also be a great exposure in case someone wants to make their career in the development sector. I was very proud of the fact that we bagged a contract with the Delhi Government to expand our project. My immediate bosses also got a lot of acknowledgement from civil society. Of course, the smile on the faces of innocent kids was the ultimate reward. I feel very proud of my association with Kilkari. I made my own contacts in the social sector and life long bond with my team who I remain in touch with for both career and personal contexts even today.
What are the top learnings, skills and values that you acquired here?
I think the greatest skill I really learnt was negotiating. Negotiating my point politely but firmly and getting various stakeholders to agree on common ground while absorbing their apprehensions and perspective. I also learnt professional networking through diplomacy and absorbed several qualities like commitment and strict adherence to guidelines. I realized how important virtual and real marketing is in this day and age. How important it is to make your product /service visible in the public domain to attract the potential target audience. It was great to make contacts across verticals and different parts of Delhi. I made contacts with people my age, pass outs doing amazing things in the social sector, founder of various NGOs, local owners and employees of spaces we converted to pathshalas. Furthermore, I learnt event organization and management and the related logistics and hospitality. This was especially relevant since we were organising an opening and closing of the project too.
Do you feel this experience is a stepping stone towards success in life? Illustrate how the experience gained will help you going forward in your career.
Yes of course! Due to the wonderful contacts I made at Kilkari, I became a part of a lot of professional groups that have given me fabulous professional guidance with regard to the development sector, jobs and internship opportunities. I also am very happy as one contact led to another and now I also have access to media and publication opportunities. I think after this experience I am much more confident, better exposed and more professional. In the next opportunity that I have given as a credit of my hard work in the Kilkari Project, I have been offered to design a strategy for fieldwork and also do social media marketing for another project. The Intersectionality of communication, coordination, strategizing that I learnt in Kilkari has empowered me in several skills and fields and I think it wouldn’t be very difficult for me to excel in social welfare, communication and public relations. In the next five years, I see myself becoming a social entrepreneur after accumulating enough savings and start an initiative against gendered violence.
What is your advice to those, who are aspiring the same or a similar internship?
I think you should recognize your aptitude and network a lot virtually and in real-time to get the appropriate type of work you’re looking for. Make an account on all major professional sites like Internshala, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster etc. Network actively on them. Take advice from your faculty and alumni on what and how should you approach a particular opportunity. Also remain on good professional terms with your placement cell and it’s associates, they would give you sound advice! Also attended seminars and talks of industry experts you’re targeting so that you get a fair idea of what you’re in for. In particular with the development sector, try and choose your area of interest, spot opportunities in that and then network with people in your team and beyond. This is where entry-level jobs especially aren’t well paid so it’s very important to choose the correct area of specialisation, NGO /CSR and location. It’s important to keep 2 or 3 backup handles too.
How can we (Friends, Family, YI Fraternity) encourage young students such as yourself to involve themselves in different opportunities?
I think separate online mediums should be initiated for several sectors (public, private, development etc) according to time and space. Specialisation within these sectors should be highlighted separately within the larger context. Friends, family and YI should initiate a healthy exchange of material and intellectual resources amongst them. Apart from hard work, I think we need to inculcate a spirit of mutual help and flexibility within us as all of us are here to try, fail, succeed and most importantly learn. Superiority complex should be strongly condemned in professional circles just as sexism and casteism. Only when we think of each other as equal human beings can we actually foster healthy professional and personal relationships. The people dear to us should encourage our dreams but also be realistic as possible so that failure doesn’t make us go insane and success doesn’t make us haughty. Furthermore, several diverse works in your student journey make for a really impressive CV and is considered apt by recruiters especially amongst freshers.
Anything else would you like to say to the YI learners who’ll be reading your experience?
Be positive. You will get that right internship and /or job. Just tirelessly keep networking on and off social media. Always keep your CV updated and adopt a more professional demeanour. Success is a mix of hard work and required aptitude. Work hard to believe in yourself and make it happen 😊. Also don’t compare yourself to what your friends are doing as everyone has their own unique journey.
And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore the platform with an open mind. Help yourself gain most out of the experiences and opportunities listed here. And before you bid us adieu, we would like you to know that you can read more such student stories here.