Aalok is a BS-MS Department of Physical Sciences student of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal who has been continuously involved in beyond the classroom activities.
Here, Aalok is sharing his experience being a Head of Operations of Entrepreneurship Cell IISER Kolkata. His hard work has the potential to propel him ahead of the curve.
Go ahead and know what his story has to offer so that you can easily find a path of self-growth.
What was your role? Briefly list the responsibilities associated with it.
I was Head of operations of Entrepreneurship Cell IISER Kolkata. My job was to operate the E-Cell. I was organising talks, seminars, webinars, workshops, competition etc. among the student community. I was learning and promoting entrepreneurship within the college and outside the college. I was leading a team of 10 people consisting of Media Designers, Web Developers, Sponsorship management and Financial Managers.
We conducted many events in our college under E-cell. It was a great learning opportunity for me and my team. E-Cell invited many entrepreneurs, CEOs and founders to give a talk in the college. We educated students on various aspects of entrepreneurship and it’s a journey through our E-Cell.
What’s it like to juggle between leadership roles and academics? Pen down the challenges you faced.
Since high school, I always juggled between various extracurricular activities and academics. So, I didn’t face a lot of challenges as it was routine for me but once I started in leadership. There has always been a point where I had to decide between the two tasks or what to do first. Sometimes I had to skip my classes because E-Cell was conducting some activity and I had to be there at any cost. But I always tried to balance my leadership roles and academics. I also participated in sports frequently to keep my mood lighten up. I couldn’t be late for any meeting or any event, I had to keep the team intact, I had to listen to everyone’s opinion and their point of view and then reach a certain conclusion or decision.
Did you also get a chance to connect with any other activity while working on this post?
While working with E-Cell, I also worked as Head of Arena Management for our annual college fest “Inquivesta”. I also was part of the Institutions Innovation Council which was part of MHRD’s Innovation Cell. I also participated in the Hult Prize competition which is a year-long competition that crowd-sources ideas from college students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy, and education.
What are the top learnings, skills and values that you acquired here?
I’ve learned a lot in my one year tenure. Now I’m more punctual, dedicated and more respectful to the community. I’m able to complete tasks before the deadline. I realised that sometimes listening is more important than speaking in leadership. I’m more patient with my team and in general with the people. E-Cell taught me how the world actually works and how to cope with the fast-moving world and keep your hopes always up but not too up.
Do you feel your current role fills you with pride and gratitude? Illustrate how the experience gained will help you going forward.
Yes, I do. Working with someone or for someone gives you a sense of pride. I always wanted to do something for the college student. Working in E-Cell helped me to do so. I always feel like I did something good, I educated people and I had some impact on the lives of students.
I founded the Official Merchandise Store of my college which helped students to buy and sell products within college easily without much hassle. I did some good work for the students of my college and I really feel proud about that and more importantly, I enjoyed what I was doing throughout my tenure and that gives me immense satisfaction.
As when we talk about leadership we have a whole team with us. How do you persuade others to accept your ideas/ways?
Working with the team is sometimes very easy and sometimes very hard, it totally depends upon you and your team. In E-Cell the primary aim of each team member was the same. I used to listen carefully during the meetings and discussions. We used to discuss each and every idea that was brought on the table and then reach a conclusion that was best for the E-Cell.
What is your message to students, aspiring the same or a similar role to do?
If you want to do something and you’re confident enough that you can do it then let’s do it. The worst thing that will happen is that you will fail and failures are the biggest learning opportunity. So don’t think twice, follow your guts and instincts and do it. Leadership is not about talking, it’s more about listening to what others have to say. Always raise your voice if you feel something is wrong.
How can we (Friends, Family, YI Fraternity) encourage young students such as yourself to engage with co-curricular or extra-curricular activities?
Give them the chance to pursue their dreams, appreciate their success and celebrate their failures. Let them increase their set of skills. Let them participate. Never refrain from doing anything creative.
We at Young Influx would take this opportunity to thank Aalok for taking a leap of faith and sharing his impeccable story. We are humbled and grateful, your efforts mean a lot for the youth seeking growth and development.
And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore the platform with an open mind. Help yourself gain most out of the experiences and opportunities listed here. And before you bid us adieu, we would like you to know that you can read more such student stories here.