This post was shared by Hope, from China. Hope was an intern with the microfinance program of Saath in 2009.
A place to have a real internship
In China, the interpretation of internship is to do some simple work or even just cleaning at the workplace. However, to me, SAATH is the place where an intern has the opportunity for a serious internship and can really do something.
I was first impressed by the high working efficiency of SAATH. It only took two days from my interview to when I was informed of the result. Along with me, there were three more Chinese interns working at SAATH. Initially, I thought that we would be delegated just some simple work or even no work in order to have time to get to know about SAATH. But I was wrong. From doing research, resorting information to writing report and reporting to immediate boss, the interns were fully occupied from day one. As to me, I worked for the micro-finance division (MFI) and my working content was mainly about studying on two government organizations and the MFI performance of the NGOs throughout India, collecting related information and writing a report to offer some advice to the application proposal for the external financial assistance. I was really pleased with that but I need to absorb as much information as possible to get the work done. Besides the Internet resource, there were shelves of books in the SAATH office that was open to the staffs and interns. I still remember that every day after work, I took a pile of year books back to have further study and just getting to know how different models are applied in micro-finance took me 3 whole days. But that was worthwhile. One day after I report to my immediate boss, Divyang, he told me that he appreciated my work and to me that was really a great encouragement to inspire me to work even harder. Though what I can contribute to SAATH in my internship is limited, but I have really learnt a lot, at least about micro-finance, from the days working at SAATH, which is such a great organization and wonderful place to have some real internship.
A box of chocolates & a mix of cookies
My first impression about SAATH was that every one in the office was busy with his or her work and every staff performed so professional that no one seemed to be an easy cookie. But it proves that life in SAATH is a box of chocolate and people here are a mix of cookies. Working for SAATH was not all about sitting in the office and facing the computer. Actually you are allowed to have flexible working hours and also can home office. As an intern, I got the chance to visit two local branches of SAATH’s MFI project and attend their monthly branch manager meeting. Though I couldn’t understand what they said at the meeting, but I could tell that these people who worked at the fist front for SAATH are really nice. When we had lunch together, considering that I was not that skilled in eating directly with my hands, they specially gave me a spoon to use. That really touched me. If they care so much when dealing with an intern, no mention how much attention they will pay when they deal with their colleagues and their work.
At the SAATH office, there were also sweet people that made me feel at home. Keren, who I respect a lot, introduced us to SAATH and would always be there whenever I need some help. Divyang, my immediate boss, always gave me encouragement and guidance on my work. Purvi, my dear colleague, always took the trouble to offer me her help. Nitesh, the system manager, was very humorous. He told me to work happily, “if you smile to the computer, it will smile at you!” His enthusiasm and optimistic attitude towards life and work is so impressive. Once,when I got sick, Purvi rode me to a medicine shop, bought me some medicine and sent me home. The other colleagues sent me messages to make sure that I was fine. Though I was sick at that time, but I didn’t feel homesick for that SAATH was just like my home.
I was told by Keren at the first interview that SAATH means together in Gujarati.
SAATH believes and advocates cooperation. So do we Chinese in our Confucian philosophy.
No matter where you are from, who you are, here, in SAATH, we stand for the same thing, work for the same goal.
Together, we make more changes possible.
SAATH, brings us more hopes for tomorrow.
Dedicated to all the SAATHis