If somebody came up to me and asked me what my thoughts on starting college are, I’d call it an exciting, life-altering experience that can truly help a person grow. However, if somebody who has just finished her first few weeks asked me the same question, I’d tell her that college is as good as what you make of it in those years.
It was exciting to migrate to arts from a science background. It was fun to bid goodbye to subjects that never felt relevant to what I wanted to do. There I was, looking forward to a course where language, my true love, was to be my subject of study for the next three years. This honeymoon phase lasted no more than two weeks or so, and I was back to twiddling my thumbs looking for something more. Where are all the challenges, I’d ask myself? As much fun as it was learning editing techniques and analysing literary works, my mind was constantly looking to learn and do something practical with it.
That, along with my love for travelling on my own boosted the need to look for an internship. Find I did, and to work I went. From aviation reporting to interning for a national news channel, they were all experiences that opened me to the vastness of the world and its opportunities. College, I learnt from experience, was a space to ready a student. The making of a person actually happens when you work, commit mistakes and learn from them.
A little over a year passed and I’d done multiple internships. I began to look for something stable that I could do along with college. A mutual friend and professor put me in touch with Padmaja Narsipur, the CEO of a startup called Clearly Blue. The meeting was set and as I walked into the building, I was filled with more apprehension than ever. The office was tiny, one among many others, reminding me that Bangalore was booming with startups. A few minutes into the meeting I knew, unlike most startups, she did not have a mere idea. She had a vision, the required experience and a plan to start slow, but never freeze growing. For someone still in college, this came as an excellent relief.
My notion of doing a job with nothing but writing alone disappeared quite early on. I worked on varied projects and learnt with fervour. I was editing, speaking to professionals, learning market research and getting something new to do on a regular basis. Of course, this meant learning to understand industry lingo, think like professionals and always keep deadlines.
Be it exams, projects or my travels, Clearly Blue is a team that has believed in supporting them simply because they are important to me. It is usually a process of informing beforehand, scheduling work accordingly and a kudos from the entire team to take pictures and bring souvenirs. In a time where internships are mere tags to push work no one wants to do on college students, imparting no knowledge in the process, this feels inexplicably great. The ease in balancing college and work has set in so well that friends constantly ask if they can join too. I can also say intern communication is great at this company, what from knowing each other outside work and all.
Finishing a year of interning here, the team has grown, as has my affinity to the company. Even a typical workday is never just work. It is friendly banter, gossip, brainstorming sessions and planning exquisite potpourris with home cooked meals. With my upcoming move to Manipal for my Masters, I can happily state that I have their complete and unblinking support to continue working, and never stop learning.