An American intern’s experience at Impact Guru.

CAM

 

Here our intern Cameron Carver shares his experiences interning with Impact Guru.

“Just two months ago, I hit submit on an online application that I thought would bring no reply. A few weeks later, to my surprise, I found myself talking to the Founder and CEO of Impact Guru, Piyush Jain.

Recollecting the conversation with him that went on for a couple of minutes I can say that I knew right away that I was looking forward to a great summer in an amazing country.

On my first day in Mumbai I was armed  with a screenshot of Google maps that I had taken and an enthusiasm I could not explain. After scanning the streets to find the office I was finally led in the right direction by a street-side vendor who fortunately spoke in English.

The large Impact Guru sign above the door was unmistakable and I quietly slipped into the waiting

area. My entrance does not go unnoticed and a few interns look at me as confused as I myself felt. Before I could say hello- or rather, before I could make myself comfortable enough to introduce myself Khushboo, the co-founder, greeted me like a long lost friend and ushered me into the next room laughing gently at my awkwardness.

A dozen heads turned and peered back at me, startled. This was the current group of interns who had devoted their summer to help build a start-up and give others the tools to impact the world around them.

 

Khushboo introduced me and soon they were all smiling, despite the fact we were crammed into a meeting area that would comfortably seat four, on an unseasonably warm summer day in Mumbai.

 

Soon this spot became “our” spot. We talked, shared experiences ate lunch and made the best of it.

This was my first time in India and my first time in Asia in fact. A nervous toe-dip, a test run. My goal for the moment was to get to know the basic operations and rhythms of a crowdfunding start-up, begin developing a sense of the staff, communication with clients and understand the  cultures and norms of Indian people that seemed dauntingly distant from my own.

To my surprise old habits began to die quicker than I expected and as days turned into weeks I suddenly found myself with wonderful friends, favorite foods, and culture and work that was surprisingly different in the most wonderful way.

Back home I lived in a culture that revolved around consuming. Every TV commercial, every store, every credit card company, every bank, every TV show or movie, every piece of clothing, car or product, every website, every restaurant, everything is tailored to fit my desires, needs or personal preference. It is a culture that is infuriated when things don’t happen exactly as we want them to. A place that implicitly says this: “We are here to serve you and meet your every whim and desire.”

But here, in our cozy and ever busy office, it wasn’t about what the world could offer us but about what we could offer the world. At Impact Guru we weren’t consumers but creators.
I cannot express enough, of my admiration for this intricate society. Work at Impact Guru continues to grow even when while my journey in India has come full circle. As I leave dozens more are following behind, all offered the same ideology that if you want a better world then it is up to you to create it.

Around the world there is still hunger. There is still ignorance. One billion of us lack even clean

water to drink. Despite the unprecedented growth of connection in our world, hatred, greed, and fear remain abundant. It can all appear massive and frightening. The odds seem against us.

Only a fool would think of taking it all on alone. But we are never alone. The good guys are assembling. Join in. If there is an issue that is pulling hard at your heart, I ask you to say “yes” even if you don’t have any idea how to begin.

 

Nelson Mandela didn’t ask for permission. Nobody hired Gandhi to lead. You start when you start, where you start, with whatever you have. If poverty alleviation feels urgent to you, then it’s urgent to you. Or take up political transparency, labor rights, hunger prevention, literacy and education, women’s rights, press freedom, or whatever make you feel most excited and passionate. Your love and your effort should soon find a way to connect. We win just by starting.

This world has great problems to solve. This world has great opportunities for happiness. I believe we have the power to change the world, and this internship at Impact Guru taught me that in time, we will! ”

 

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