Approach internships not from like ‘two-minute Maggi' perspective, but a 'dum biryani': Teenovators in B'luru

Ian Correa, CEO and Founder, HOPE Foundation shared this perspective at an event which was organised in Bengaluru
Glimpse from the event
Glimpse from the event(Pic: Sourced)

Teenovators 2024 unraveled with captivating narratives from five remarkable high school interns, in a dynamic convergence of youthful intellect and real-world problem-solving. 

Teenovators gives young brains a stage to present their creative answers to pressing problems in the real world, with the goal of bridging the gap between academia and business.

This year's event, held on June 30, 2024, at Starbucks (Vittal Mallya Road), was buzzing with excitement as colleagues and spectators came to see how these young innovators were transforming society. 

The initiative of Teeninterns is a subsidiary of ILM (I love Mondays) by Mala Mary Martina who has been helping an umpteen number of people to choose the career they love. 

So, is it possible to do what you love and make money?

The event kicked off with Nevika Kumar, addressing the Sunday afternoon crowd including eager teenagers, industrial professionals and family, emphasising the importance of nurturing creativity and practical skills together. 

The focus then shifted to the major event where the teenage interns who had been working with different organisations spoke about how they faced substantial problems and gained an understanding of the industry's overall perspective.

There were four industrialists on the panel, they were affiliated with Teeninterns and had a lot to say about the youth of this generation.

Meet Rachel

Rachel Ed Gratina is a brilliant 18-year-old from St Clarence High School. Rachel started interning in 2023, she has explored the fields of psychology, digital marketing and media. She believes that Teeninterns helped her get a glimpse of the real world, outside of the school bubble. It has also helped her prepare for higher studies, build confidence and taught her a number of life-skills that would enrich her values. 

Rachel faced the challenge of not being able to say no, but being in a professional world, she learnt time management, leadership skills, effective communication and most-importantly, work-life balance.

Rachel’s most recent work has been in the field of oncology, she worked in Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and engaged in learning how to empathise with patients and also worked with building a community by performing a skit to showcase the reality of cancer. 

Amidst the community building, Rachel has also managed to take the lead at the Corporate Lingo Unveiled podcast and thrived at The Teen Times and Remote Engine. Rachel has gained knowledge and helped the society in ways we can only imagine. She shared a quote with EdexLive which would serve well for many students — “Better an oops than a what if”.

Rachel emphasises on learning from mistakes and exploring your creative capabilities while also not being afraid of failure because we learn something new about ourselves every time we encounter failure.

Let's meet Srinidhi

Next up, we caught up with R Srinidhi, 16-year-old from Delhi Public School. Srinidhi has been a part of Anay Group where she was working as an internship manager, she had to make sure that all the interns carry out their tasks. 

Srinidhi also used to manage the travel and lifestyle column in The Teen Times, a publication run by the teenagers, for the teenagers, where she used to write columns about her travel experiences.

The enhancement of academic portfolio and the connections she made were not the only two things that she gained. She learnt necessary life skills to survive in the professional world, such as, communication,  confidence and accepting feedback. 

Srinidhi mentions how the skills to survive are not taught in school. Srinidhi learned to identify her strengths and build on it further. She shared, “Failure shouldn’t define you, instead, it should shape you”.

Each intern not only presented their projects but also shared insights into the challenges they faced, the lessons learned, and their aspirations for the future.

Their enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference left a lasting impression on the audience, comprising mentors, industry professionals, and fellow students.

Let's catch up with industrialists

Ian Correa, CEO and Founder, HOPE Foundation, who was also present during the event, believes that there is no fixed model for volunteering or a fixed structured way for teenagers to work towards holistic development. There’s a wide range of ways to serve the community, playing a sport, planting samplings or doing a skit to raise awareness. 

“We, as people, need to identify our core strength, the  need of the organisation we are working for and find a way to marry them both. It’s an interdependent world, there is no such thing as a self-made man or a woman, a self-made man/woman walks on the roads someone else built,” he said.

He emphasises on how the youth should form their own opinions based on personal experiences. He mentioned ‘global volunteerism’ which about working and volunteering all around the world, to see the world and listen to the world’s diverse stories. “The world needs more people who can listen and tell other people’s stories,” he said.

When asked about one advice he would give teen interns, Ian said, “Approach your internship not from a ‘two-minute Maggi' perspective, but a 'dum biryani' perspective”, and explained that you must invest your time and put your trust in the process that will lead to character transformation.

Saving the best for the last, we spoke to Mala Mary Martina, the woman who has changed lives and given purpose to a generation of youth globally. 

She founded I Love Mondays to make people realise that students can choose to do what they love and make money out of it. 

All these initiatives are curated for the purpose of teenagers learning, failing, making mistakes and gaining a better understanding of their set goal in reality, so that they have clarity on how it looks in real-life professionally and not only on paper.

In essence, Teenovators 2024 was not just a showcase of innovation but a testament to the power of youth in driving positive change and bridging the gap between education and industry, at the same time, working together and collaborating with people professionally among all age-groups where everybody learns from each other. 

It served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for educators, parents, and students alike, reaffirming that with the right support and opportunities, young people can indeed change the world. 

After all, you can never stop learning, you can never stop growing.

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