Last month we announced that our mass internships were to start on June 21st. This post is to report on the early happenings and to record early learnings.
As announced, we had the kickoff session on 21st — the session was hands-on for the students in their college lab. We then had a session on June 25th specially for their faculty who have taken it up to mentor the students in batches. Then a first batch of work was sent out on 25th itself after the session.
We had made it clear to the students that 10Xofy would not do any spoon feeding (we simply do not have that much bandwidth), and they will need to learn mainly through self exploration, guided by their faculty mentors and 10Xofy personnel. (Experience suggests that such guided self-exploration through practicals is the best way of learning.) We have shared with them the “user guide” which has detailed instructions of how to understand and build the components. For this, interaction mechanisms were set up as:
- Online: Through facebook community page http://facebook.com/Xsemble – Go and like it to follow through this exercise
- Offline: Through durbar meetings. The reason behind calling these meetings durbar is that there is no compulsion for everyone to attend — only those who have some issue show up and get their issues resolved
Likewise, we had the first durbar on June 29th.
Listed below are some early learnings — at the risk of not being accurate:
- For the students, it is a completely new lifestyle where they need to figure out things on their own. Even the software setups can be challenging the first time. This understandably causes discomfort and uncertainty. The students are being coached that it is healthy to have those and it is a necessary phase which they have to sail through.
- In the face of these challenges, the confidence can dwindle, and this is the phase where the sails have to be held together. The opportunity is that the students know in their hearts that the component work is small enough that they can manage it; but they tend to escape to the easier “someone help me” mode. At this stage, they just need a little stern push. The faculty mentoring that is happening in a positive way, is crucial in this uphill phase.
- We all have our inertia to deal with. It takes effort and time to get something rolling in motion, and it is interesting to see the familiar patterns in this case as well. Everyone has other work and only a few are disciplined enough to quickly find time for the newly started activity on their own before it is absolutely required. We expect the dust to settle down in a few days and the learning and development activity will soon become a part of the routine.
Thus, as in the initial phase of everything, there are challenges here. But those are being dealt with through understanding, collaboration and coaching. This is a good situation to be in. The internships have begun well.