Name of the intern: – Priyadarshini
Institute: – Stella Maris College
Organization interned with: – Hand in Hand India
I did the Global Leaders’ Internship Programme conducted by Hand in Hand India from the 23rd of July to the 17th of August. It was an experience that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life for many reasons. It was with some misgivings that I had applied for the programme because:
- I had never done an internship before and
- It required me to stay at HiH’s Kancheepuram office without any stipend.
All my anxiety was, however, put to rest when I met my project coordinator and my co-interns on the first day. There were three other interns (all from different parts of Sweden) and one of them was to work with me on the same project — Assessment of HiH’s Village Uplift Programme. The project we were working on required us to visit many of the villages that HiH was working in. Being a city-bred girl who had never had the opportunity to explore the country much, this was a fabulous introduction into our famed country-hospitality. I am already missing the guileless smiles and the effortless warmth of the people I met in these villages.
Since we were left to our own devices on weekends, we took the opportunity to do some “touristing”. The four of us set of to Mamallapuram and Puducherry on these weekends where I was initiated into swimming and wine tasting by my fellow interns (although I have to confess that I’m not a good swimmer and I find red wine disgusting). Being the only Indian in the group of four, I was always bombarded with questions about our country which made made me think about many of our traditions and cultures. Those never-ending questions made me understand India better.
After 3 weeks of back-to-back field visits and two weekend trips, we got down to writing our report. I and my partner worked almost 10 hours each day for the first three days trying to just consolidate the data that we had collected during our field visits. Two very opinionated girls from different countries and different educational backgrounds spending hours together naturally led to a lot of discussions and debates in subjects as varied as humanitarian assistance and Bolivian Mother Earth law to investment banking and Harry Potter. After a week of hard work and a lots of caffeine we were finally done with our report (which we fondly refer to as “our baby”) and were ready for our presentation.
The presentation was attended by almost 25 point persons of the organisation and it went pretty well. It was a proud moment for us when our mentor called us “the best interns so far”. The other three interns came to Chennai right after the internship and stayed with me for a couple of days before leaving for Sweden. This internship was not just instrumental in widening my professional aspirations, but has also helped me forge very good friendships. It was a month of back-breaking work, soul searching debates and joyous fun that I will never forget.
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