Alternative View: Doing an "Impact Internship" During the Summer
This internship experience was supported by the INSEAD Hoffmann Institute Impact Internship Stipend.
I joined INSEAD with 8+ years of corporate experience in the design, lifestyle, and fashion industries with a goal to pivot into consulting. I also had a long-standing commitment to an old friend to help her in at least one of her social impact endeavors. However, due to my professional obligations initially and later due to COVID, I couldn't devote time for nearly two years.
So, I wanted to complete that before starting a fast-paced and hectic consulting life after INSEAD.
In P2, when I heard about the "INSEAD Hoffmann Institute Impact Internship Stipend", it made the decision much simpler for me as the Hoffman Institute offered healthy financial support to students interested in doing impact projects instead of a corporate internship.
I decided to follow my heart and didn't apply for corporate summer internships and instead reached out to my friend who was now working for "Teach for India".
Teach For India is an initiative to eliminate educational inequity by offering quality education to students in government-run schools. Their teachers are graduates from some of the leading educational institutions in India who use their passion and creativity to provide a world-class learning environment to students in government schools.
I decided to do an eight-week project. The main focus of my project was to improve the participation and attendance of kids in school, as after COVID there was a significant drop in the attendance of students, especially amongst children from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds. Also, even amongst those who returned to school, the in-class participation was significantly lower than pre-COVID levels.
So, together with the Teach for India team, I developed a few new programmes and activities to make the existing curriculum more engaging for the students and improve their class participation. I also designed a new vocational curriculum around basic finance and entrepreneurship so that parents feel motivated to send their children to school to learn these hands-on skills.
I can confidently say that this was one of the most fulfilling projects and a life-changing experience as I firsthand experienced the constraints and hardships faced by a big chunk of people in society and was able to help resolve some of those challenges.
The project gave me a new perspective and made me personally aware, socially conscious, and professionally obligated to look for impact opportunities in whatever I do post-INSEAD.
I feel incredibly grateful to be studying at INSEAD and to have the power to bring some real change in the world and society to make it a better place for future generations. Also, without sounding preachy, I would encourage anyone reading this blog to include social impact as an essential element of their life's professional and personal goals.
Finally, I want to thank INSEAD's Hoffmann Institute for allowing students like me to devote their time to such impactful initiatives through the impact internship stipend programme.