Last week we had two bright young fifth graders from the Riverside School interning with us. The main objective of the internship was for them to brush up their photography skills, to learn how to operate within a professional environment and gain some grassroots experience by visiting the communities MAM works with.
Aryan and Samveg’s applications set the tone for what we could expect, they were crisply drafted letters complete with an attached CV, quite a bit coming from 10 year olds!
Their conduct on the day they arrived followed suit, politely greeting us good morning and putting their shoes in place before they entered the workspace. Very soon we were all on our toes, explaining the project they were to work on, helping them understand their cameras and attempting to satisfy the unending curiosity that is characteristic of young minds.
They were to contribute to a film project that MAM is currently working on, which involved stepping out and clicking pictures of people sharing their commitment to change. We ran them through the project and its facebook page, briefly explained what was expected of them, and then everyone proceeded to the morning prayer. It was interesting to note how the boys sat patiently although one could tell they got restless towards the end.
The next few days were spent in making visits to the nearby community centre, and the school, interacting with people there and clicking their pictures, getting back to office and editing them.
There was much for us to learn from these two bright sparks, the energy they brought into the office, and the promptness with which they uploaded their blog everyday when they got back from field visits. The schedule we had planned seemed to be easily doable for them, there were a few occasions where they had completed the task assigned to them and we really had to think of what work to assign them till the next task began! They were eager to learn new software to edit their pictures and make them into a movie. We also tried to gently teach them how to be patient, while we attended to other work. Our punctuality was also put to test, since they arrived exactly at the time they were asked to, while we were late a few times, which was a lesson for us to be realistic while committing a time.
They were quick to respond to feedback and all the corrections we pointed out in the first round of pictures were taken care of in the next few rounds. We were glad to see they were enjoying their work and doing a good job too.
The week flew by and before we knew it, it was Saturday. There was so much to be done, a few last pictures to be clicked, others to be sorted and a presentation to be made. A number of things did not go as planned, as often happens but at the end everything got done before 6 pm. The boys showed us their presentations that were cohesive and impressive. But what impressed us more was their spirit, to constantly learn new things and make sure people keep up to their promises. They made us a very sweet card and insisted on getting a picture with us before the day ended, leaving the office with a fresh energy, and us, with a smile on our faces.