Impact Stories | Civic Engagement

Let's Hear from Laksheena Doshi, our HR Intern

by
Laksheena Doshi
,
September 8, 2021

What are your thoughts on the Changemaker Talent Development Internship Overview and the Impact?

When I first read my Contract which mentioned that I would be part of the Changemakers Talent Development Program (CTDP), I laughed to myself. Few questions came to my mind, “What is this Company going to do?”. “Changemakers?”, “Will this Company really help improve newly-hired interns?”, so on and so forth. I was at first reluctant to join the CTDP Huddle as well. I did not trust the aim of the Program at all.  However, after joining the CTDP Huddle a few times, I understood the importance of it. I could see the impact this Program and Company were trying to make. When I understood the Program, I did not doubt or question anything anymore. I trusted the process. The CTDP Huddle seemed extremely fun after that.

To me, when I think of CTDP, I think of ‘Communication’. Due to the pandemic, face-to-face communication has become almost zero. There is no interaction or exchange of words as often as before. We cannot meet everyone at the office. Hence, CTDP has helped fill that gap between the interns, although we meet once a week through ZOOM. Without CTDP, I think none of us would be communicating with each other. (IF only, we are able to communicate with our seniors more) I hold a position of a Human Resource Intern, I am lucky enough to onboard all newly-hired interns (in particular) every month. Also, I have the opportunity to communicate with them due to the role I possess at this Company. In fact, I have communicated with everyone in the Company. However, not everyone is as lucky as I am. Other interns from other departments do not have those kinds of opportunities to get to know each other. Hence, CTDP is a good avenue to bridge the gap between the interns. If you were to ask me my thoughts about the whole Program and its impact, I would say that it is an excellent Program due to the reason I have mentioned above. Besides that, the interns have a chance to discuss certain topics and voice their opinions freely without being criticized and lashed upon. In other words, freedom of speech and expression are allowed here. None of us have to worry about the consequences of speaking our minds. Most importantly, we are heard. Hence, these are my thoughts on how CTDP has portrayed itself to be and the impact it has had upon interns like me.

What is the best CTDP internship experience that you have?

I recently received the opportunity to handle One-to-One Sessions with newly hired interns. The aim of this session is to understand the intern better, understand the intern’s concerns, go through a personality assessment that the intern had taken beforehand, and support the intern if he/she requires help. I had the chance to speak to three interns, respectively.

The sessions went absolutely well. From those sessions, I derived the following outcomes:

  • Every intern has his/her own personality and we must accept him/her as who he/she is.
  • We must give the intern an opportunity to raise his/her concerns.
  • We must LISTEN to what the intern says.
  • There is no such thing as a right or wrong answer during these sessions.
  • We cannot impose our thoughts and feelings on the intern.
  • We must APPRECIATE the intern sharing his/her feelings with us.
  • We must SUPPORT the intern if required.
  • We must pay full attention to the intern throughout the whole session.

To them, this was a session to help improve themselves in the future and to also understand how this Company works as well. Personally, I felt a little overwhelmed due to the emotions I received from them. There was a lot of trust and cooperation from the interns’ side. They chose me as the person they wanted to speak to as they felt comfortable speaking to me. The emotions I received from them are the best feelings and experiences for me.

What are the challenges and opportunities that you have gained with us?

The main challenges I faced were:

  • Understanding what the Company actually does.
  • Familiarizing myself with the different databases and software.
  • Communication - how does it work in this Company?
  • Understanding the tasks I was assigned to.
  • Understanding CTDP.

Now, all those challenges I mentioned above are no more challenges. I realized that I had to put in the necessary effort and hard work to overcome those challenges, if not they will forever remain as challenges. Hence, I pushed myself to read the Company website, watch Youtube videos, follow Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin pages. I made sure I also understood the purpose of each software/database, the Company’s culture, the tasks assigned (by asking questions), and of course, CTDP. The learning process somehow became very easy after that. I stopped giving excuses to and for myself. I looked forward to each day.

Thus, due to overcoming those challenges, the opportunities I gained from there were:

  • Because I understood what the Company does, I could conduct the Onboarding Session with the newly-hired interns smoothly, as I had to explain what the Company does at one point.
  • I learned to use the different databases and software and was able to help others use it. It also increased my computer literacy skills.
  • Because I communicated more and more with so many people in the Company, I was able to ask for help from more people. My work became much easier and faster. Due to my understanding regarding the Company’s culture, I was able to explain this to the newly-hired interns during the One-to-One Session.
  • I was entrusted with more work and learned new things every day.
  • I gained new knowledge and friends due to CTDP.

What are your learning experiences?

The best way for me to state my learning experiences are as follows:

1. Do not be afraid to learn something new.

  • I am a Legal Professional. The work I was assigned to were mainly drafting, client-interviewing, attending case management and hearings, and research work. Although the cases I handled varied in situations, the work was repetitive. I knew that I wanted to get into the HR field ever since secondary school but I did not have the chance to do so. However, I knew I wanted to get it started and the pandemic period was a good chance for me to do so. When I landed the internship position here, I was so excited but I was extremely nervous. I knew everything was going to be new and I would not have a clue about anything at all. The first two weeks were chaotic but later on, I settled in and got used to at least 20% of the work assigned. What kept me going was the determination to learn the new work. I did not let fear get in the way as I know fear will not take me anywhere near to successfully learn something new. Today, after 6 months I am 100% sure of how to manage my work although something new comes in my way. I am always ready to learn and deal with it head-on. If I am not sure of how to work on the new task, I will just ask for help, which comes to my next point below.

2. Always seek help when you are lost.

  • Not asking for help is a very huge mistake committed by most people. I have made the mistake of not asking for help many times before. However, when I started working here, I knew the only way for me to move forward and learn is to ask for help. My life became so much easier when people in this Organization helped and guided me. At one point, I was afraid of asking for help because I was scolded and yelled at, to the extent I asked myself “Did I do anything wrong by asking for help?”. When I started working here, I was afraid to ask for help even for the simplest thing. However, I realized this Organization is not like the ones I had worked at. Hence, I know that I could not live in the past and carry on with the “scared” attitude I had. I also know that I could not allow past experiences to haunt me. Now, I am very sure that I did nothing wrong by asking for help.

3. Practice makes perfect.

  • In short, I knew nothing when I started. Now, I perform it really well and confidently. I just kept on practicing and practicing and practicing.

Do you have any advice for your CTDP fellows/interns?

Be kind and respectful to others. Being perfect in your work is insufficient to achieve success. If you are not kind, polite, and respectful to others, what is the point of achieving success? People will remember you for your attitude and kind deeds more than anything else. If you want to make a mark in this world, make sure you know how to be kind and respectful towards others. Never look down on anyone because you never know who is going to sign your paycheck in a few years’ time. Never intimidate or embarrass anyone. Never yell or shout at anyone. Everything can be communicated nicely and discussed in a respectful manner. Think before you speak. Always apologize if you have made a mistake, no matter what position you hold in a Company/Organization, etc. Apologizing will not make you any lower. However, if you ever feel you have been wronged in any way, speak up and respect yourself first.

Laksheena Doshi

Laksheena Doshi is a Legal Professional who has experience in tasks that are mainly related to drafting, client-interviewing, attending case management and hearings, alongside research work. She has been interested in Human Resources ever since high school but was a little hesitant to take on the Human Resource role until she stumbled upon the Changemaker Talent Development Internship opportunity offered by Biji-biji initiative & Me.reka.