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Volunteers Speak

Volunteers Speak

Our enthusiastic interns tell us why we are a Great Place to Work – Part 1

Interns

The Akshaya Patra Foundation was recently certified as a Great Place to Work by Great Place to Work® Institute. Apart from employees, our interns play a major role in making the place what it is. They share their experience with us.

Intern at Akshaya Patra

Q. Why did you choose to intern with The Akshaya Patra Foundation?
A. Since this is my first internship, I especially wanted the work to be meaningful. Akshaya Patra’s mission and vision resonated with me and I thought it’d be the best place to gain experience working for a nonprofit.

Q. How’s your typical day like?
A. I spend most of the day doing research in order to complete one of my projects. I actually just finished an assignment on a Global Marketing Plan and ways that Akshaya Patra can raise awareness amongst millennials both in the United States & Europe. I had the opportunity to present my ideas to four members of the department.

Q. What are the challenges you faced so far? How did you overcome them?
A. I’m a rising sophomore in college, so before interning at Akshaya Patra, I did not have a lot of experience conducting research. In order to overcome this challenge, I must admit that Google was one of my best friends. I read tons of articles and guidelines that equipped me with the tools to comfortably complete my projects.

Q. Any memorable moment you had at TAPF?
A. One of the most memorable moments is definitely my first day eating lunch in the cafeteria. I ate with my hands, as most of the employees do, and I certainly struggled with the technique.
I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to present my ideas to the Communications team. Honestly, one of my favorite things about interning here definitely has been the tea that’s available every day at 11am and 4pm.

Q. How do you think your skills have helped Akshaya Patra? Do you plan to stay connected with the organization after your internship?
A. I was definitely placed outside of my comfort zone while interning with Akshaya Patra, but I think my ability to take initiative and learn what I can has definitely translated into the work I’ve done. I always aimed to be as thorough as possible and used my experience from living in both the United States and England to give a new perspective when brainstorming ideas on ways to raise awareness abroad.

Q. Tell us something about your experience in India.
A. Since being in India, I’ve been able to travel to beautiful places like Pondicherry, Thanjavur, and Kerala. I think one of my favorite encounters has been with four young boys from Thanjavur that I met while visiting a temple. We didn’t get to have much conversation – they simply kept saying “how are you?” – but we had a lot of fun experimenting with all of the SnapChat filters!

Q. Why do you think Akshaya Patra is a ‘Great Place to Work’?
A. It’s a pretty cliché answer, but the passion for Akshaya Patra and its mission radiates from the employees. Each person puts 110% into their projects – whether big or small. Also, I’ve never been in a workplace where the employees seem more like family than friends. You can tell that everyone genuinely cares for one another.


Rahul - Intern at Akshaya Patra

Q. Why did you choose this organization?
A. I always wanted to learn how NGOs work. I looked online for the best NGOs where I could work for a short period of time. The Akshaya Patra was one of them. TAPF was certainly the best one out of all in terms of scale of operation.

Q. How’s your typical day like?
A. My typical day starts with analysing companies from a list I was provided with. I go through there CSR Page and their annual reports to figure out what areas did they focus on in terms of CSR. Also, I go through their annual report to find a point of contact within those companies. After data collection, I make a comprehensive report on each of these companies. These reports are used to schedule a meeting with them.

Q. What are the challenges you faced so far? How did you overcome them?
A. The biggest challenge I faced was when I could not find any specific web result to analyse a company. I conveyed the problem to my mentor Mr Balakumar and he showed me different methods by which we could find data when it is not readily available on the web. This is a skill which would greatly help me in my future endeavours.

Q. Any memorable moment you had at TAPF? What did you like most about interning here?
A. The most memorable moment would be hangout out with my fellow colleagues while we had lunch in the cafeteria. The food was very healthy and homelike and you meet people across all walk of life there. The thing that I liked the most about TAPF was the approachability that the employees have. They follow a flat structure which enhances learning and exposure.

Q. How do you think your skills have helped Akshaya Patra? Do you plan to stay connected with the organisation after your internship?
A. My analytic skills helped TAPF. I prepared comprehensive reports on future corporate partners. I really hope that it would save the team a lot of time and effort to research about the company and they could directly refer to my reports. I would do my best to stay connected. I will try to extend my help in whatever way I can through Call/Emails.

Q. Why do you think Akshaya Patra is a ‘Great Place to Work’?
A. What separates Akshaya Patra from most NGOs is that fact that it caters to a very niche area i.e. Hunger and the organisation remains focussed towards that goal. Everyone around you arrives in the morning in office to find a solution towards hunger. This focus is what keeps the organisation driven towards that goal of eliminating hunger.

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