by Sahir Avik D’Souza. Adhyayan Intern.
Working at Adhyayan as an intern was very interesting – it was my first internship and I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew a little about what Adhyayan did, but I had no real idea how it actually functioned. Experiencing the working of an organisation first-hand was enriching. I had come prepared to take on work of any kind. I did not, however, know what the work would entail.
I started with work on the coming to judgement database, where I had to come up with the guidelines for ‘what good looks like’ for each statement that I was working on and for each grade. It made me think from the perspective of a school and how their services might be improved and what kinds of services would be considered optimal.
I did a little proofreading – I really enjoy ferreting out grammatical errors, I must confess – and then I began work on creating supporting documents for the handbooks of the parent committees of the Bombay International School (BIS). Here, I had to skim through the handbook, find mentions of supporting documents and then ensure that those were created in accordance with a set template. I had to pay close attention to make sure that the documents were committee-specific, especially when I was reusing a document from an earlier committee.
Meanwhile, I was required to represent Adhyayan at the student leadership workshops being conducted at various schools across Bombay. I was assigned to the three-day workshop at the Don Bosco School, Borivali. I had to take photographs and videos, record student feedback and submit my observations of the workshop as a whole. Sadly, due to inclement weather, two of the three days had to be cancelled. However, working on that first day was a learning experience. I had never handled a video camera and tripod before and having to learn the ropes of that while also capturing moments was a little difficult. I was able to record one student’s experience at the day’s workshop and also take videos of group work. As I had never attended a student leadership workshop as part of the supervisory team (I’ve done one or two as a student in Shishuvan), it was interesting to see how it all worked at the other end.
After I finished work on the BIS handbooks, I finished the internship with a three-day proofreading of the recommendations database that is provided to schools after the SSRE and the SERE are conducted. I had to pay close attention and weed out any mistakes that might have been overlooked by past proofreaders. Mine was apparently the last proofreading to be done on the database: it will now be fed into a particular kind of software so that schools can access the information pertaining to their services directly, without having to go through the entire spreadsheet. To ensure a smooth process, the language used in the database had to be clear and correct.
What I might have liked to experience is actually being part of a team that is conducting or providing the results of an AQS or an ASIST workshop, just to see how the practical part of Adhyayan services works. I feel that I would have enjoyed doing that.
Being at Adhyayan was a learning experience for me – it taught me work rigour. Even on days when I was unable to come to the office, I was expected to complete a little work at home. This is important: when one takes on a task, one must complete it. Adhyayan taught me how to take on any task that is put to me, whether I care for it or not, because that is how an end is achieved – everyone contributes to the process and that makes it all the better.