And, know what? For a change, it was last benches, black boards, uniforms, plaited hairs, loudest noises, school bells, and strict teachers this weekend. Not just for me, but for MAD Hyderabad Placement Team and for Oracle!
Oracle had invited MAD to their guest speaker series at Andhra Yuvati Mandal girls high school on Oct 31, 2009. Their corporate social responsibility team wanted to create the importance of an education and career after school. The ‘all girls’ school has students from a poor background and most of them end up getting married after their X class and continue leading a dependant life. MAD will agree that it’s important for a woman to be independent and self-employed! There is no need to emphasize this fact more!
The placements team rubbed their heads and quickly thought of a plan to fill our one hour slot. Get three speakers who were married early and didn’t have an opportunity to pursue their career in full fledge, but still chose a path for themselves! And this turned out to be a tricky affair. No, not because there aren’t women like that :P, but because not all of them are Kola ;)… (for those of you who don’t know Kola: They were all really shy of speaking, while Kola is blind to the word ‘shy’ :P). Come Thursday, two days before the event, we have just one lady ready to share her experience with the kids :( , we have pretty much exhausted all our resources and the project looks like going into the dumps :(… In comes Sruti!!! With two speakers all set and ready to speak. Yay!!! From having just one, we now had three women – a beautician (Mrs. Vani Sree), a saree embroiderer & seller (Mrs. Usha Sree) and an interior designer (Mrs. Praveena). Mrs. Praveena was brought in by our own VP Placements, Mr. Uncle Grover (Shucks! Ankesh Grover!) All three of them experts in balancing their personal life and their career. We couldn’t have asked for better.
Swetha Kola, our own VP Public Relations, started off with an excellent talk! I’d proudly say that MAD was the highlight of the day in Oracle’s workshop. Know why? Most of Oracle’s speakers didn’t know Telugu and stuck to English, and so did their PPTs. But, MAD made sure that we bring Telugu speakers to connect with them better. And, it worked! On a personal note, I could see the kids shift from sober answers of ‘yes’es and ‘no’s to Oracle’s English speakers, to vibrant and loud screams to Kola’s engaging talks. Yes, we made the school behave like ‘a school.’ :P You must see the handshakes and appreciation we received from the top management of Oracle that just came in at the right moment! Way to go MAD!
Kola stressed on three important things –
1. Never think that marriage is the end of your life.
2. Don’t look down at any job or profession. All kind of professions are vital to keep the world going.
3. Discover your passion and follow it! Don’t be the sheep that follows the herd and the shepherd!
These are very valid and strong points that she gave off in the simplest way possible.
The guest speakers then came one by one and shared stories about how they balance their marriage and career. Real time information about how they started their career, what kind of investment to make, how much time to allocate for work, what kind of short-term courses are available, what are the kind of opportunities thereafter, and how to get creative cannot have been more useful. It really helps if the expert is right there to talk about it than us narrating someone else’s story.
We know we impressed the school and Oracle. Oracle’s CSR team said MAD would top their list for any such future projects. (Yay!!!) We also spoke to the Principal about the school kids visiting our centers someday to get exposed to the other side of life. MAD made a mark, really “Made A Difference” – according to Oracle! :)
All was well, and MAD got a trophy from Oracle for being part of the lovely day! MAD Hyderabad Placement Team’s first project, Placement Team’s first Trophy… Talk about being on a roll :P
I don’t know who benefited – the children or us MADsters!??! Because, more than anything we were just excited to get back to school! :)
Kudos to the MAD Placements team,
To each and every volunteer who dug into all their resources and tried to get them in,
To Uncle for getting us Mrs. Praveena
To Sruti for so swiftly answering the SOS call and
To Kola for making, what would otherwise have been a very ordinary event, an extraordinarily (am not sure if its even a word :P ) awesome one… What would MAD do without you ! ::bows::
Oh, and this is what the Oracle in-charge sent in a mail:
Hi Ankesh ,
A big Thank you to all of you ,for making our event Career Opportunities counseling for the School Children@AYM a great success. :-D
Without your Great Effort this would have never been possible .
There were few difficult situations ,but great character of our team kept us Rolling .
It has been a great privileged to be part of such a great and wonderful Team ,my sincere thanks to one and all :-D
Thanks a lot once again to all of you for making it for the event and contributing in event success .
Special Thanks to Shweta kolla ,you were just amazing .:)
I hope and believe that this association with all you will stays for long long time . :-)
Placements team, MAD Hyderabad