Vijayta Wadhwa – Tata Motors Ltd.
To start with, I always seek opportunities on how to leverage volunteer work for professional as well as personal growth. It was only when I came across ‘Tata Engage’ that I realized it was the perfect time to start sharing my Excel expertise on a bigger platform.
Since this is a weekend program, initially I was not ready to sign up. However, I was still interested because I was passionate about the social cause of the organization. I strongly believe that by sharing knowledge one can play a pivotal role in another’s bright future. Moreover, if you are passionate about a particular subject and have a lot of experience, then it is your responsibility to share your knowledge for everyone’s benefit. Another reason for signing up for was that I had no experience in teaching, which is another interest area for me.
Let me give you a brief about my experience & journey up until now.
One fine day, an email popped in my inbox congratulating me for my selection on “Teaching Basic to Advanced Excel” Project. Yes, I had made it! (Big Smile!).
After my selection, I was to start volunteering at the Lila Poonawalla Foundation – an Educational Trust, in India, with a vision to contribute to the empowerment of Indian women by supporting academically outstanding and financially deserving girls through a scholarship to pursue higher education.
Me and my co-volunteer Prashant Pathak contacted our project coordinator at the NGO and arranged a meeting to understand their processes, background of the girls and their qualifications. After this meeting, I was very excited to start my first ever teaching journey. I started working on a syllabus and gathered data. Believe me, this was one of the toughest tasks I had to do, as I had to capture every minute detail in the basic portion. After some hard work, I was ready with my entire data/syllabus a day before my first workshop.
I was nervous as well as excited to teach. I reached the NGO and was given a warm welcome by the staff and the girls. We kicked off the workshop with a small introduction. Another tough task was to connect with the students. The challenge was to understand their level of knowledge and ability to grasp concepts. However, after I covered a few topics, I was quite comfortable with the students and started feeling even more confident. At the end of day 1, I felt that a small connection had developed between us.
Day 2 went with some heavier topics and many of them were finding it difficult to understand. I made sure that each student understood the topic by repeating and explaining it to each one of them separately. The day ended with a Q&A session, general interaction, making friends, conducting fun activities and a group photo.
I would also like to share something with you all here. There was this one girl in my workshop she walked up to me to have a casual discussion at the end of Day 2. And guess what she told me? “Ma’am, I was always keen to learn MS Excel but I never got any opportunity & a mentor to teach me. I am so glad I got to attend your workshop & I have learnt so many things today. I am very thankful to you for being such an amazing tutor”. I was very touched by her gratitude. It was a feeling I can’t express in words here. I promised her that in anytime in future if she needs any guidance on Excel, I would be very happy to help.
Overall, my workshops proceeded smoothly and it was indeed a great learning for me as well. This has boosted my confidence for other workshops in the future. Until now, I have conducted 2 workshops (4 sessions) and believe me each one of them has been a great experience for me. Also, I appreciate the NGO coordinators for being so helpful and cooperative. They took care of all the small, but important, things while we were conducting the workshops.
Lastly and most importantly, I am very grateful to the ProEngage team for giving me this opportunity and a platform to leverage my skills. I am looking forward to conducting more workshops and sharing more of my experiences with all those who love to volunteer their time and skills.
For those who wish to know more about the NGO, please visit www.lilapoonawallafoundation.com.