My Experience at Outline India – Renu Susan Jacob

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Renu was a Social Media and Outreach Intern with Outline India for the month of August 2016.  She is pursuing M.A English from St. Stephens College, Delhi University. She is passionate about Research that brings awareness amongst people and consequently makes the world a better place. She is always looking for opportunities to learn, reflect and contribute.

My first visit to No.2630, Block C, Sushant Lok Phase I was on the day Gurgaon decided to take a break from its happening life due to heavy rains. The office was easy to locate because of the crisp directions that were provided by Samayita. However it had flooded the previous day and I walked into a building that was silently bidding goodbye to the receding waters. I was welcomed by a smiling Raju bhaiyya and an apologetic Prerna who began musing over how to hold a formal interview in a flooded office. Given the situation I expected a rescheduling of my appointment but the rains were no sort of letdown to Prerna and her team.

I had applied for the internship because of my interest in research and academics and to understand ground-level development initiatives. However, I started my work on 2nd August, 2016 looking more toward meeting the whole team of Outline India and hoping to experience the sense of perseverance and optimism with which they have shaped the company in the last three and a half years. Each day at Outline India was a different learning experience. I was met with a different responsibility every day. As I came to the company with very minimal interning experience, the confidence with which the team gave me responsibilities made me really happy and at the same time anxious to prove myself.

Whenever I strayed or made a mistake, I was immediately drawn back into the fold by the firm grasp of the entire team that was there to guide me. Anusha was always there, even on weekends, to help me out with the social media updates. Aashay’s, Nishmeet’s and Samayita’s jokes and pranks at each other could turn any dull day into a fun one. And they were there to calm me down whenever I committed a mistake. Towards the end of my internship, Mahima joined the team and she became my go-to person for all sorts of career guidance. And then there was Prerna. She is a true mentor to those who are willing to learn and a leader par excellence. She was my guide, my teacher and my friend. “Whatever small thing you do, Renu, do it with utter perfection”, she always said. The importance of this sentence underlies everything that gets done at Outline India. Ground-level research and data collection belongs to the bottom of the development pyramid. Outline India understands that the base has to be the strongest and huge in terms of the scale it covers for any change to occur effectively form the top. Therefore the effort that the company puts into research work determines success of implementation.

As the social media and research intern at Outline India I was able to learn a lot about the processes involved in efficient ground-level research in terms of data collection, managing the field work and carrying out follow-up impact assessments as well as about the important nitty-gritties of networking for a startup making a mark in the development sector. I was given ample opportunity to learn and deliver, along with the freedom to approach anyone when in doubt.

Looking back, I see the opportunity to intern at Outline India as one of the most significant experiences of my life wherein I also learnt a few important lessons that will remain with me forever. While writing this article, the only thing that comes to my mind is the hope that having me as an intern was equally beneficial to the company. I wish Outline India the very best wishes for all their future endeavors. I am sure that the company is meant for great heights. Just a month with them proved to me the immense capability they possess along with the will to make change happen.