Board of Young Leaders Program Success Story: Divya Dhingra

What are you currently doing and what role does Board of Young Leaders Program have in that?

I am currently pursuing my final year of graduation in BA (Hons) English from Janki Devi Memorial College, Delhi University. Being a part of Board of Young Leaders was an incomparable and incredible experience. It helped me widen my professional and social horizon. I was in first semester of my graduation when I got the opportunity to be a part of the same and this experience made me grow into the person I am today, one who knows how to channelize her positivity to do productive work. I have been a part of the core team of my college society events and first one to co-organise and curate the TED event of JDMC. Recently, I got placed at Teach For India. Had I not been a part of EMN journey, I'd have not become a better version of myself.

What made you choose the Board of Young Leaders Program?

I was initially very sceptical about committing for a post which demanded 6-months of rigorous training and work. However, I believed when your passion and purpose are greater than fears, you'll anyhow find a way. I was passionate about making a difference in my own life, with a realisation of the intellective and thriving journey Eat My News would take me on. Moreover, knowing I was not where I saw myself, intellectually, professionally, socially and academically, was enough motivation for me to take up this opportunity.

Describe your leadership experience at Eat My News program. What skills did you pick up at Board of Young Leaders Program that is helping you achieve your goals?

Initially, a position in the leadership body was intriguing and shuddery at the same time. I was heading the Global Expansions department as Vice President with 5 Assistant Vice Presidents from different states, including Kolkata, Vizag, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Lucknow. The virtual environment was a mix of different cultures, which made it invigorating. With a group of enthusiasts, the willingness to work came from within. In Delhi we had regular weekly meetings with rigorous training sessions and interactive activities for engagement. We were taught to make Agendas and to work on Google sheets. With my team, there were regular Skype meetings to carry out the functions of Agenda. A sense of responsibility and accountability came with the submission of daily closures and results of our programs which were carried out by the team, after delegation of work.

In Strategic Planning Conference at Dehradun, we were taught virtues and values that we needed to incorporate in order to execute the challenging plans. Strategic Planning Conference (SPC) with people I had met just 20 days back then was about exploring the unexplored horizons and learning. Today, as I look back and rewind all the episodes, there's a grim realisation that attending SPC was a great decision. Unlike a regular travel, it was rather a reality check. It was about having the courage to make new friends and solidifying our bonding as different personalities. It wasn't just about the optimal fusion of work and fun, it was a journey down to my own self. It was about learning to create, collaborate and cater, to adapt to the challenging environment and learning the virtues of productiveness and articulation. It was about being honest to oneself, It was about believing in myself.

There were Recruitment Drives carried out in fest season, and we were brought out of our comfort zone. Our batch was the first one to initiate a recruitment drive which turned out to be a great success. Similarity, being the initiators of Youth Leadership Conference and getting an opportunity as session-givers was worth experiencing, considering we were amateurs in our first year of college. Taking telephonic and personal interviews of people, doing the social media marketing, managing and training an oriented global team, executing the drives every day, making new agendas and formulating them the next day summed up the hectic schedule, which however gave a feeling of satisfaction and contentment at the end of the day. Being given a chance to take interviews and conduct Group Discussions during the recruitment process exposed us to the scenario of a professional environment, where we were on the opposite side of the table, this time. The journey made me learn the art of honing my strengths, accepting criticism, punctuality and time management. It taught me the significance of team work and how the right culture fosters optimal productivity. The practical experiences of leadership I got here bolstered me to innovate and create. Some significant professional contacts were also made during this journey which have helped me in present oeuvre. Therefore, Eat My News indeed offered me platform which complemented my personal growth in combination with the organisational growth.

How was your experience at the Youth Leadership Conference?

As for me, the decision to go for the Youth Leadership Conference that seemed too baffling at first comprised of excitement and anxiety. A sense of reassurance and that it'll be a new experience for me gave a sense of conformity.

With a group of 30 people, as leaders, we were novice to groom and manage them. Being given an opportunity to deliver a session with presentations and ice-breaker games provided me with immense exposure and built a certain level of public-speaking confidence. Taking into consideration that we were training people of the same age as us, it was an enlightening experience. Some other speakers at the conference illuminated our minds with their wide spectrum of knowledge. The conference worked on different levels, for our social space was also widened. Never had I imagined to develop such strong bonds with people I met for the first time in a span of 3 days. There were intense sessions in the morning with group activities and learning classes and gala nights for engagement during the night. Having let go off the reticence with hours of intellection, there was a sense of resistance to return home. A part of me still lives in those lawns and conference rooms with the people I met. Overwhelmed with the memories we had together and wanting to relive it again, I remember someone who rightly said, "You don't have memories...memories have you."

Are you in touch with your friends that you made in Board of Young Leaders Program?

Yes. One of the advantages of being a part of the Global Expansions team is getting to know different cultures and ethnicity of people belonging to various states and backgrounds. With a team so cohesive and people so intriguing, the bond we developed over a period of 6 months is still unbreakable. Though there aren't constant rant sessions and regular updates as before, but we manage to stay in touch. In a providential digital world of social media, distance does not keep us apart, for we do converse from time-to-time, reminiscing stories of past and helping each other grow, in any way we can.

Want to become a leader and develop your skillset? Here is an opportunity to join the Board of Young Leaders Program by Eat My News. Click here to know more: 
Board of Young Leaders Program Success Story: Divya Dhingra Board of Young Leaders Program Success Story: Divya Dhingra Reviewed by EMN on February 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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* The views expressed in the above article are of the writer and not Eat My News.
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