Exactly one month back I packed my bags and moved outside home for the first time in my life. I learned more in this one month than the previous 6 months combined. Fellowships are really helpful in shaping one as a person, and for discovering and questioning oneself. And Plaksha is (imho) the most unique and comprehensive(aka best!)fellowship because of equal focus on tech - equipping us with tools so that we can actually execute on our ideas. I’ll list down some things which I learned -
People are not their Linkedin. There is so much more to a person than their past, for eg - what they value in life, how they see things, how they work etc. During the start of the fellowship, I used to start my conversations by asking about their work experience. I have stopped caring about that anymore. People with zero work ex and 8 years work ex are just the same here.
Teamwork - Not throwing a jargon, because earlier I also used to treat ‘teamwork’ as any other word. In the past one month, I would have worked in 6-7 different teams, and according to me this has been the best part of fellowship till now. We end up learning so much from each other, having deep conversations, and challenging each other. They didn’t lecture us on leadership, but rather gave us many tasks - from solving an unsolvable puzzle for the whole night, to going out and bringing the most valuable item in exchange of a pen. Here are a couple of my favourite lessons which I learned by doing-
a) Do yourself what you want others to do. Act of doing is much more effective than words. Do before you delegate.
b) Divergent Thinking. Try to find a hack to solve the problem,or redefine the problem. It can be super fun and rewarding.
Learning from Peers- Apart from the classroom learning, I learned a lot from the other teams/fellows on how they approached the same problem given to all of us. The feeling of ‘Why I didn’t think of that’ is quite helpful in learning.
Redefining Coolness - Dr. Iqhlaq Sidhu(please google), despite all his achievements, is so humble in listening and providing his feedback. One can actually see through his thought process, and how he approaches things, he talks about his fears and hacks so openly- which ‘makes’ it look so easy to be like him. Second, Mr. Vikrant Raina, talked about his missions in life, which really inspired me to dream big. He is one of the biggest personalities I have met in my life. (PS- Both these people are from Chandigarh, so there is something inherently cool about people from there!!).
Career - We already had our initial discussion regarding what we want to do after the fellowship. The discussion was super useful. I blurbed out all things I had in mind - why I respect certain people, why I left my startup, how can someone actually solve some big problems etc. - and after 20 minutes of me just speaking, came out one single statement which accurately summarised what I want to do in my life. This statement gave me a lot of clarity, and can serve as a north star for rest of my journey. I’ll share more about it in the later blogs.
There have been numerous other learnings. It has been a great journey till now and I am sure next month I will have much more to share. Thanks for reading!