The last day of my internship at Shahi was overwhelming in the best way. The OD team we had been interning with, along with other OD members from other factories in India, surprised us at the end of our final presentations with a farewell celebration. They decorated the room we were in with balloons, cards, posters, and black forest cake (my favorite)! What was truly amusing was that we had also coincidentally brought two cakes as a thank you to the OD team, so we ended up having a total of three cakes at our farewell celebration! The kindness of the OD team and the effort they put in to making us feel appreciated on our last day was absolutely heartwarming, and it is a moment I will cherish for a very long time.
As I reflect on my time in Bangalore, I find this summer has been a time of immense personal growth for me. Some of the lessons and things I have learned along the way about myself include:
- I thrive in a fast-paced work environment more than I thought I did. The work flow at Shahi varied quite often: on certain days, the pace was slower but on other days, there was much more work to complete within the span of a few hours. I found that on the days where I had more work to complete during the day, I enjoyed feeling more productive and checking things off my to-do list.
- Working at Shahi allowed me to practice taking initiative more often for my projects. At the beginning of this summer, I felt self-conscious about bothering other people in the workplace for information that was relevant to my project. However, now I can say that I have become much more comfortable with the idea of being forward and unafraid to approach individuals for help regarding my work. The Shahi OD team was also extremely helpful whenever I approached them for information or assistance, which I am very grateful for.
- I developed my ability to be more direct when I communicated. Especially during my final presentation to the top management at Shahi, I used the presentation as an opportunity to be very specific about the action required of the people in that room in order to bring change at Shahi. I was proud of myself of not holding anything back and being bold about my recommendations.
Apart from work, I also felt more connected to India than I thought I would. As someone with Indian parents that immigrated to the US, I grew up in a household that kept Indian culture alive with our cuisine and customs. However, I had only actually visited India in person two or three times that I can remember. Prior to this internship, a small part of me was worried that when I returned to India this summer, I could be judged for not being truly Indian by living in the US my whole life. Having a dual identity as an Indian-American has at time made balancing cultures difficult in America, but I am glad that I never once felt judged by the people in Bangalore for being someone of Indian origin born and raised in another country.
I will miss so many aspects of my time in Bangalore – the delicious food, amazing hospitality, compassionate people, and the beautiful weather are just a few things I will always remember (among other things!). I would like to everyone at Shahi and CASI who made my trip so special. This was the experience of a lifetime, and I would not have been able to access an opportunity like this without the immense support. The journey was frustrating and difficult at times, but the experience of developing more as a person made all the hard moments worth it.