Published: 05th September 2019
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In their first workshop, 40 UG students were present; in their second, 500 school students from classes VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X and in their third, 130 participants were in attendance
As a student, the most significant crossroad that each and every one arrives at is that moment when one has to decide what they want to take up next academically so that professionally, they are sorted. Now parents, teachers, friends and well-wishers are always by our side when it comes to making tough decisions like these, but imagine a mentor seeing you through by informing you about all that there is when it comes to a particular profession. Such is the model of Out of Box Communities (OoB Communities) founded by Manvi Kansal and Aman Sharma. They want to introduce mentors into the lives of students through workshops that are far away from the format of monologues. "We understand that the attention span of students is on the decline, so the workshop is divided into two parts. In the first part, the mentor shares their life story, what they experienced when they pursued their choice of profession, how they managed everything and so on. This is followed by activities that all students are welcome to participate in," says Manvi Kansal. These workshops are carried out in colleges and schools — for colleges it's one session, for schools, it's done over a series of sessions. They have completed six such events so far and introduced aspirants to the fields of dance, defence services and more, and though these events are conducted at educational institutions, all are open to the public.
Two together: Aman Sharma and Manvi Kansal, Founders of OoB Communities | (Pic: OoB Communities)
"Career options and opportunities are not limited to Medicine, Engineering or CA as they were back in the day. Students ought to know about all the fields that have opened up," asserts the 22-year-old. Take for example dance, for which artist Harsha Maheshwari was invited. Not only did she deliver a session which fascinated students, but the cypher (where participants form a circle and, one by one, come to the centre to dance freestyle) and other activities that followed really opened the students' minds to the field. "Though dance and public speaking are two different things, both are about expressing oneself. So everything helps in more than just one way," the alumna of Bhavan's Vivekananda College explains. This particular workshop was such a hit that students ended up staying back till 6.30 pm while the session was scheduled to end at 3 pm.
Aman Sharma is from Banaras, a travel photographer who has worked with National Geographic Magazine. He has also worked with Dr Kalam in the field of agriculture practices
OoB Communities is looking forward to launching internship programmes and intends to work with gated communities and other associations and take their workshops to them as well. "Our aim for the students is that they should experiment, explore and experience," concludes Manvi.
Scenes from the workshops:
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Now that you know what OoB Communities is all about, let's get to know the Co-Founder Manvi too:
- Her project WE was about spreading awareness about those things that often go unspoken in the society. In the span of three years, 80,000 people were impacted
- She has worked with nine start-ups and a few corporates like Uber Technologies Inc
- Speaker at the Google TechMaster at the Indian Women Summit at IIIT-Hyderabad
- She received the Navratna Award from Bhavan's Vivekananda College
For more on them, check out oobcommunities.com