Reflections from an Intern

by Sahir Avik D’Souza. Adhyayan Intern.

Sahir Avik D’souza is a former student of Shishuvan school. He is now in his first year of junior college. He loves to read and has two cats. You can keep up with him at his blog,

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.