Manzil is a non-profit, youth-led learning center providing a supportive community and resources for students from low-income backgrounds to empower themselves and one another through learning, teaching, creativity and encouraging each other to see the world in new ways. Manzil offers young people a safe after-school space where they get exposure to a wide range of teaching environments, opportunities to look at education in new and meaningful ways.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Learning, Leadership and Livelihood: Manzil Internship
Manzil has been a space of learning for every student over many years. Every individual has learnt different things that have impacted his/her life positively. Through Classes, Events, Programs, Workshop, Conversations - one way or another, Manzil’s deep intention has been to create learning spaces that add value to everyone’s life and living.
Manzil has created one such opportunity from March 2021 for all Manzillions again through an Internship Program. Manzil’s vision through this project is to provide opportunities to young people for 3 ‘Ls’ - Learning, Leadership and Livelihood. This project prepares our students for the real world of work and our core team members to develop leadership skills. The team members develop leadership skills by managing interns' learning and expand their capacities to do more. The Internship is a great learning-by-doing opportunity for 18+year-olds.
1st Interns' Batch
In the month of March 2021 when Manzil rolled out the form, 23 students applied for this internship. There were some selection process rounds. We designed general tasks for the 1st round. By these tasks we deciphered students’ commitment, values and general knowledge. In the 2nd round, we conducted JD related tasks. These JD specific tasks were related to core team members’ work. This was the way core team members got to know whether a candidate was suitable for their work. By doing such tasks candidates also got to do many new things like google tools and also some designing software to make posters. After 1st and 2nd round tasks, 10 students managed to reach the final round of interview. We organized a panel interview through zoom for the final selection. After the interview, Only 5 students got selected but 1 candidate backed out due to another opportunity so 4 candidates remained.They started to assist core members in April. By giving them work, core mentors also learnt to delegate their work. In 3 months, the interns learnt many new things and also explored their potential.
One of the interns, Krupali, successfully became a CoreX member after completing 6 months of internship. Krupali belongs to a small village near Jamnagar, Gujarat. She comes from a humble background, where her father has studied only till class 12th and runs a small shop while her mother is a home-maker. In March 2020, when all Manzil classes moved online due to Covid, Krupali became a virtual student in Manzil's Reasoning Class.
When we asked her about her journey, this is what she shared:
“After going through all the selection rounds, when I got the notification of my selection on my phone, I was so happy. On the very first day of internship when my mentor Tulsi didi explained her work to me and gave me some tasks, I thought that the tasks were for the next day. I asked Tulsi didi whether the tasks were for the next day. She said, “No. You have to work on this right now”. I was very nervous. I did that task in 3 hours which was an hour's work. And I made many mistakes. She explained my mistakes and corrected me. Every day I was learning and experiencing new things. In the beginning I was not friendly with google tools but with time, I became a pro in google tools. I realized that by taking a lot of initiatives and working on the feedback given by my mentor, I became more confident and responsible. Tulsi didi manages many projects in Manzil, hence I got a chance to interact a lot with students. This helped me in understanding students’ needs and how to help them. Gradually, during the internship, I learned how to do documentation, presentation and how to communicate better.
I was also involved with Manzil's Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) Center. I worked with its teachers, and listened to their challenges. This helped me develop my critical thinking skills as I started to give solutions to their problems. I worked on many new things with them.
In the second week of July, I got the news that my internship round has been renewed. In the next 3 months, I experienced a new aspect of Manzil. I joined the math team and learnt new things there. I was able to reflect on the results and learn something new every day. Moreover, I worked with the newsletter team too. I learnt how to use google form, how to blog, and doodle poll. Now, I am able to teach these things too. My learning journey has been enriching.
At the end of my internship period, I got to know that I had been made a CoreX member and that I would be working with Manzil Core team members. It was so exciting to join the Manzil team. After joining the Manzil team, I feel that Manzillions are more like family than colleagues. My learnings after joining the manzil team are many. I’ve learnt how the team makes decisions after considering the suggestions and points of view of students, teachers, and team. I learnt how I can delegate my work to a volunteer. I realized that I am responsible for others' learning. I also learnt to create work for myself and how to work with a team.
Due to the success of Project Internship, we launched the program again in December. We hired eight paid-interns out of 60+ student-applicants after a rigorous 3-tier selection process.
2nd Interns' Batch
Our selection process began in October and it took almost 1.5 months to select eight interns who so farhave been trained in various technical skills like using Google Collaborative Tools, writing emails, taking minutes of meetings to manage their every-day Manzil work etc.
Presently these interns are learning through Manzil’s core team members and through various learning opportunities at Manzil. We will see if any of them will become CoreX. We will be writing about their journeys in our next edition.