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15th December 2015: Sitting in Ladakh, where communication is highly unpredictable and volatile, I was preparing my resume and Curriculum Vitae to be sent out to various companies and start-ups for my summer internship. That’s when I came to know about Outline India, a startup working at the confluence of human resource, technology and data, creating an impact in the social sector, through a distant relative. Being a Business Economics student, the kind of work that Outline India did really excited me and I sent out my CV right away not really expecting to be called back. However, unlike most of the other organizations, I got a reply the very next day scheduling a telephonic interview. The interview went well and as soon as I reached Delhi, I went to their office for a face-to-face interview. The workplace was very cool and so were the people. Everyone was very sweet and warm to me and I instantly knew this was where I wanted to do my first internship.

I still remember my first day at the office, after struggling with the Auto Rickshaw guy to find my way to the office (the location’s a very tough find for first timers), I finally found it. Exasperated yet excited I went in and was greeted with so much enthusiasm, that all my tiredness vanished. I remember asking my senior what work had to be done (I was under the impression that like other internships which my friends were pursuing, I would have to “find” work here), she smiled wickedly and said “lots”. And then, there was no looking back. The first few days of it, I was so overwhelmed by the work given to me, that I just couldn’t manage anything properly. I used to reach home after a 2-hour long journey and just collapse on my bed. Being the lazy bone that I was, I found it very tough to cope. But gradually things started to fall in place, I started learning how to manage things, how to go about doing work systematically and to my surprise, I started working hard. I still remember the happiness I got from marking things off my Trello (OH IT WAS BLISS). The best part about the internship was that they made me do everything, from database handling to field work (which I loved the most) to looking for coffee machines and social media management and sending emails, handling newsletters, creating picture stories, creating story maps to contacting people and getting work done. Everything was new to me and a beautiful learning experience. I used to make a lot of mistakes and was corrected each time patiently. I still remember once I had to write some really important notes to be sent out to very senior people and I messed it up. I was so scared thinking everyone would get paranoid and they had every right to be, but they didn’t shout at me even once and all that Prerna said was “It’s okay Mini. Happens. Thank God, we didn’t send them out”. Instances like these and many more, made me realize that the people I was working with were amazing and that I was lucky to have this as my first internship experience.

My friends used to continuously ask me what was keeping me so busy during summers; they really wanted to know about this internship and I used to proudly tell them all about Outline India and the opportunities it was providing me. It taught me a lot of important things like punctuality, time management and most importantly, to figure things out on my own, something which I feel is extremely important to be able to do anything in life. Not mentioning my fellow interns, the founder Prerna, Raju Bhaiya and all the other people I got to learn from would not be fair. Oh, and the happiness the job letter and my first paycheck gave me is inexplicable. These six weeks were enriching for me, I learnt from my mistakes, I made some lovely memories, I met and worked with some really good people, but most importantly, I grew as an individual. I’ll forever be grateful to Outline India for providing me with this opportunity.

Padmini was an Intern with Outline India for the Summer of 2016.  She is pursuing a Bachelor in Business Economics from Gargi College, Delhi University. She has a keen interest in debating and public speaking since her school days and has also won the national debate organized by the Army Welfare Education Society which saw participation from more than 135 Army schools in the country.