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Giving back to alma mater makes you Awesome

26 May 2012 View Comments »

Lessons Learned
My Learnings
Last one year has been the most exciting phase of my life (or a quarter life. It's only 25 years since I am born). I did many things and got some very good recognition. I met few awesome people and made some good friends. My personal clout increased and I learnt some important lessons in life and career during this period. There were some nice opportunities that came along. And, before you ask, yes all these happened in the last one year or so.
The central point of this phase lies around my role as VP at BITS Spark Mentors. For the uninitiated, BITS Spark is an initiative by BITSian alumni that is setup with a very ambitious vision of making my alma mater BITS Pilani a top 3 Institute for entrepreneurship in Asia. Shivaraaj and I serve as VPs to one of the three pillars of the program - BITS Spark Mentors. More about BITS Spark in an another post.
When I came on board, BITS Spark was in a very nascent stage. Abhinav Khushraj and Vijay Sharma (The God Fathers behind the initiative) gave me a brief about the program and trusted me for Spark Mentors. This was the first time I had taken up a leadership role (if you exclude the entrepreneurial experience). I had no expectations on the role. I just love BITS Pilani and Startups :D When I get such an awesome opportunity to work for something that is a great mix of both, I just couldn't resist. I thought I am going to help a few awesome BITSian startups during their growth phases. But moving forward, I could see that not only that I was able to involve in the growth of young BITSian startups, but I was also able to benefit myself in the process.
During this short period, I was able to meet and work with amazing people like Raju Reddy, Chandra Bhople, Satish Gupta etc. My network has grown to a great level. One of the most important lessons I learned was that everyone wants to help. We only need to ask for it. We hear the maxim "Ask and it will be given to you;" very often. I thought that is just a cliche until I experienced it first hand at BITS Spark. When we were looking for building the initial pool of mentors for the Spark Mentors, all we needed to do was ask. We got hold of email Ids of few of the vast BITSian alumni base and sent them a mail asking for help. Most of them immediately came forward for help. Few even helped us in connecting to few more alumni.
I was able to connect with many BITSians through my position. Surprisingly, I observed that senior BITSians are much more easily approachable than young guns. I never expected them to be such a sport. My communication skills were/are very bad. This was a perfect platform for me to hone my skills.
The most important benefit I got out of working with my alumni was my selection into the prestigious IIM (Indian Institute of Management), Calcutta. I used the experience I gained at my leadership position at BITSAA to get through the GD&PI process. More than half of my interview process involved me speaking and relating my experience at BITSAA. I am sure that I wouldn't have got through the process if not for my position at BITSAA and previous entrepreneurial experience.
Why Volunteer
What you Get :)
Since everyone loves lists, here is a list of 10 reasons to contribute to your alma mater :
  • Lots of fun
  • Meet awesome people
  • Make some very good friends
  • Grow your network
  • Enhance your CV
  • Work on stuff that you love. Do things that you love to do but not allowed at work
  • Give back to your alma mater
  • Learn some great lessons in life and career
  • Hone your leadership qualities
  • Be involved
Note to BITSians:
BITSAA is recruiting new batch of BITSAA Leaders.
Apply to be a BITSAA Leader over here – BITSAA Leadership Program 2012
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