This programme attempts to upskill young individuals to maximise their potential as future employees. Here's why you should check it out

Ananthu Vasudev lets in on his vision to create the ideal programme that trains individuals to be capable professionals
The team at intern-preneur
The team at intern-preneur

We often read stories about how students fail to land big jobs despite the college degrees they possess. There is a significant gap between graduating and being considered employable, and this is something Ananthu Vasudev realised. With the idea to upskill youngsters to achieve their professional goals, Ananthu with his Kottayam-based organisation, The Evolvers Project, started Intern-preneur in. We got in touch with him to discuss the whats and hows of it all. Excerpts from an intriguing conversation:

1. How did Intern-preneur come to be?

Intern-preneur was launched in May this year and was the brainchild of The Evolvers Project. It was started by me after my stint as a part of the recruitment team at my previous workplace. I noticed that a lot of people who came applying for jobs lack in a several areas that employers consider desirable. That is how I came up with the idea for Intern-preneur. We had a lot of students involved with us previously and they were keen on an internship-style programme that could address their issues. That is  why I planned it as an internship design of a programme that dealt with an experiential mode of learning for the participants.

2. What are the broad areas that you work with at Intern-preneur?

There are a lot of events taking place in this upskilling programme. They will be doing a lot of brainstorming activities on pertinent general issues like mental health. Secondly, there is the part of making them employable. So they will be tasked with gaining employability skills that would help them in the future. Thirdly, they will be developing entrepreneurship ideas.

3. What are some of the skills that you work to sharpen among the participants?

At the moment, our work involves sending a ton of emails to check their professional nature and whether they've got the necessary communication skills to help them at a workplace. We are also getting them to prepare the minutes of a meeting on Google Docs. This way, they learn essential cloud computing skills as well. We are also enabling them to learn the basics of graphic designing through the app and web-based graphic design platform Canva. They are training to work as employees and, at the same time, are asked to come up with a business plan. We will evaluate them and there are performance appraisals just like corporate companies. Basically, we are simulating the entire professional environment to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

4. Tell us about some of the activities you are conducting.

Currently, they have been tasked with coming up with an educational project that involves disseminating knowledge regarding aspects that are not taught in schools and colleges, such as income tax and how to file taxes. They must brainstorm and come up with their own viewpoints on important life lessons, like personal finance mangement, medical insurance, mental health and sex education. We are not directly training them but rather encouraging them to learn it by themselves. Towards the end of the programme, we will arrange for experts to take some sessions that will lead to identifying areas that the participants need to focus on. 

5. What happens after the programme has ended?

Even after the completion of the programme, we will continue to assist them. We will be conducting expert sessions and meet-ups so that they can discuss their entrepreneurial ideas with the community here at Intern-preneur.

6. How do you ensure that even the younger participants, like tenth graders, benefit from the programme?

These tenth graders are getting the opportunity of practical exposure from their batchmates. Even if you look into the background of the college students, the placement cell at their institute is quite weak. They are not being trained in the necessary skills to get a job. Another factor to consider is that a lot of the students change their stream after Class XII. This programme is especially beneficial for them as they get expert opinions on how to go about making the switch. 

7. What is the ultimate outcome that you desire for the students?

The end goal is to train them like they are already employees. They learn necessary attributes like preparing a good résumé and learning how to use LinkedIn professionally and as a communicative tool. They also learn to develop their own business idea and see if it is feasible or not. They are also asked to conduct social media campaigns on social issues, like the ill-effects of dowry and mental health, and so, they also get to experience social volunteering.

8. What are the challenges that you have faced so far and how have you overcome them?

The one real challenge that we face is communicating the programme to the greater audience out there. But despite this, a lot of people have joined our sessions based on referrals from the previous cohort. We have not yet started marketing our programme formally. 

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