Intern for a cause - Artoo & The Valley School Initiative

March 07, 2016Internship

When Sameer’s internship idea at Ujjivan turned into a company we realized the importance an internship plays in a person’s career. Young minds are known to create breakthroughs, and the right exposure during formative years goes a long way. At Artoo, we encourage students to experience first-hand working at a social enterprise and creating an impact. Hence, when the Valley School approached us, we were excited to partner. This is our way of ensuring India’s best minds are working towards solving real problems.

Priyanshu and Prithvi of the Valley School interned with us, and we couldn’t be happier to have them on board! They were intrigued by the impact of technology on those at the base of the pyramid. Here’s their account of their seven-day stint at Artoo, where they discuss how working with technology for empowering the poor has been a sheer moving experience for them.

Priyanshu: Artoo — My thoughts and experience

“The final examinations of eleventh grade! I don’t feel like going to school. I don’t want to write exams. It’s too boring!” These were the tho­­ughts in my mind. The only thought that diverted my mind from the boring days during the examinations was Artoo! I knew that the week after my last exam, I would be going for work experience. The day I got a call from Chetana , I was excited to start the work experience. The sheer fact that the people at the base of the pyramid were being benefited intrigued me. On the other hand, I was a little worried when I realized that it has something, actually everything, to do with technology. I consider myself technologically challenged and I couldn’t imagine sitting in front of computers for a whole week!

Luckily, the experience in Artoo was smooth and it was actually fun. I got a great opportunity to learn how a Financial Technology works. I also learnt basic photography and graphic design, which I never thought was something I could do.

The field visit to Ujjivan and meeting a few customers, gave me great insights on the livelihood of urban poor families. The chat with the field and loan officers was not only educational but also touching. All these employees who have themselves endured hardships were working hard to resolve the problems of others. I was really happy to know that Artoo has simplified their work processes, and I was proud to represent Artoo. I witnessed the whole customer verification process involved in loan origination and approval. It allowed me to understand complete process of loan origination and management using the Artoo product.

When the people we met during the field visit were saying really nice things about Artoo, it felt like I too was a part of the Artoo family, even though I was a member only for a few days. This sense of belonging was just because of the informal and intimate environment created in Artoo. I will surely miss lunch time and interactions with the people here. I am extremely happy that my school and teachers have organized something called work experience. I thank everyone in Artoo, for the opportunity, exposure, and the comfortable environment they created for us.”

Prithvi: My experience at Artoo

“Our school had organized a one-week internship program for all eleventh grade students. I was lucky enough to get to come to Artoo. I learnt new things, participated in activities that forced me out of my shell, and met interesting people with whom I had some exciting conversations about the world, their work, and random things such as pop culture, music, tv, and movies.

The work environment at Artoo really intrigued me. Everyone is so helpful! They are all friendly to each other and welcoming to new members. I felt right at home from the first day. I was also lucky enough to design a sticker and logo, which I had a lot of fun doing.

On the fourth day of our internship, we got to go for a field visit to really see how the process of lending occurs, and the influence of the product that Artoo has developed. Their product was an immense aid in the process because it cuts down the overall process duration in half, if not more, and has helped increase the productivity of loan officers at work, and decreased the room for error drastically. We went to a potential borrower’s house, who wanted a loan to renovate their bakery. We got to see how the loan officers interacted with their clients. The officers were incredibly helpful and considerate. They informed the borrowers about everything they wanted to know, and reassured them that they were with them every step along the way. The relationship between the customer and borrowers is truly amazing: it’s more than a formal relationship, where the officers try to meet their borrowers in the place they are the most comfortable. They are really a friendly lot. I appreciate everything the officers did for them. Moreover, I appreciate the fact that this whole trip was organized on short notice just so we could experience this.

My one week was far too short. I wish I could have spent some more time and learnt more. This is an experience that I will never forget. I had a lot of fun, mixed with a little seriousness. All in all I had a great time here at Artoo. I am a person who does not like studying but likes learning, and this experience was just that. I will try to put what I learnt here into practical purposes when I get the chance.”

The internship program at Artoo is a part of our efforts to ignite and drive young minds for a social cause. This week has been equally enchanting for us having you two here. We expect great things from you!

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