Why did you join Milaana?
I strive to find opportunities which are fulfilling to me (on personal and professional level) and help the wider community in some way. I believe that anyone and everyone has the ability to make a difference and inspire impact. The essence of Milaana ticked all those boxes.
What inspires you to engage with your community?
Community engagement provides me with genuine fulfilment, inspiration and appreciation. I am in an incredible position where I have the ability to make an impact and no matter how large or small this may be, I believe that every action, gesture and exchange is significant. As social beings we are inherently connected to our communities and such active involvement ignites this relationship.
What did you hope to achieve during your internship with Milaana?
I was hoping to further develop my skills and expand my knowledge and understanding of the community sector and my professional field. I also wanted to be inspired by local passionate students and expand my professional network.
What were your highlights during your internship and what were the challenges?
The highlights of my experience include the tremendous sense of fulfilment my position provided me on a professional and personal level. I was able to clearly see how my professional skills and knowledge was being utilised in a real-world environment and the many incredible and unique individuals I had the chance to work with provided unconditional support and inspiration. It was these genuine relationships, the opportunities the position provided me and Milaana’s underlying purpose to inspire people to “do well AND do good” that allowed me to find my inner bliss.
The biggest challenge of my experience was overcoming notions of self-doubt and learning what leadership styles and techniques worked best in different situations. While coordinating teams both in-person and virtually was certainly something I did not have previous experience in, it was the implicit and explicit guidance, support and recognition which helped me gain confidence and understanding.
What did you learn from your peers during your time at Milaana?
The inherent value which diversity has upon team outcomes, ideas and perspectives. My peers taught me to think outside the box, unleash the creativity I have in me (somewhere) and value emotional intelligence.
What did you learn about Social Enterprise/ not for profits at your time at Milaana?
Given that my position provided me with extensive opportunities to learn about social enterprise from professionals, mentors and peers, I learnt how simple yet important this notion is. Such exposure to successful local social enterprises and my personal involvement in one, highlighted to me that this business model can significantly inspire change and create impact on a micro and macro level.
What did you learn from your experience at Milaana and what skills did you develop?
I don’t even know where to start… I learnt about business strategy, planning and people management. I developed an extensive understanding of the unique position which start-ups have and the powerful role of social enterprise. I gained a renewed appreciation for emotional intelligence, time management and organisation. I learnt the importance of balance and living a fulfilled and dynamic life.
What does it take to be a social changer?
While I think that social changers are inspired by each individual’s unique traits, skills and passions, I believe that it is important to have a genuine interest in community impact and undertaking actions which challenge the status quo.
As Arianna Huffington says: “live fuller, more complete lives, aligned with what matters: A life that isn’t defined by our salaries and résumés.”
Advice you give yourself and other university students?
No matter how cliché it sounds, believe in yourself and the significance of your actions! Seek out opportunities and put yourself in environments which you aren’t used to. Follow your interests, values and beliefs but at the same time realise that these things are not set in stone, it is OK to be challenged and not everything has to go to plan.
Favourite ted talk?