Student Leader Interview - Ayndri Uniyal from IIM Indore

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1. Tell us more about your role & responsibilities at your college.

Being the Coordinator of the IPM Infrastructure Committee of IIM Indore makes me responsible for spearheading the student body responsible for every student's comfortable stay on campus. As a student representative, this position entails recognizing the needs of my peers and acting upon the same, regulating the mess, allocating rooms in hostels, facilitating SAC events in terms of logistical requirements, ideating new initiatives and making decisions for the welfare of the IPM Community as a part of the SAC Executive Council.

2. How did you rise to your position, and how can a student aspiring the same, approach it?

I think the key to achieving what you desire is truly devoting yourself to it. I had been a junior member in the committee since my very first year in college. I grew to love the work we did, and I cherished each moment. I would always be in complete awe of how capable and headstrong my seniors were, unperturbed and calmly efficient in the face of unpredictable complications. Together, we would always find a way to get around the most daunting problems, and in the process, I gained priceless experience. I certainly made some mistakes too, but I always acknowledged and learnt from them, taking them in my stride.

When I chose to apply for this position, I did my research well in advance and spent a significant amount of time organizing my ideas and how I envisioned the committee. My experience, adaptability and resilience were what helped me tackle the problems I had to solve through the selection process. I truly believe that there is nothing that one cannot conquer, having set one's mind to it.

3. What's it like to juggle between a leadership role and normal college life?

At times it becomes quite a task to fulfil my responsibilities as a student leader while also tackling everyday academics and not compromising on extra-curricular activities and fun. But I have always been a person who is full of energy and loves being busy. Quite honestly, having nothing to do irks me. At the end of the day, the exhaustion of a day well spent satisfies me. And being a future manager, I am quite sure that this feeling is one that will be with me for quite some time!

4. What have been some of your biggest challenges and learnings from what you do?

The global pandemic came at a time when I was just taking charge of my duties, and it brought with itself a situation that was utterly alien and unpredictable. I had to adapt to it and tackle problems that had never emerged before. I had to be resourceful, pull up my socks and think on my feet to keep up. It was quite the grind, but I learnt a valuable lesson.

Up until then, I would always depend on the trusted people around me for advice before I proceeded with taking a significant decision. I would always hesitate to work things out alone, lest I make a mistake. But at that point in time, I did not have the time for counsel, and that scared me. For a moment, I was crippled by the fear of being alone and letting everyone down.

But I realized that being a student leader meant that I needed to trust the people who had believed in me and elected me to my position. I could not let my faith in myself waiver. And the moment I decided to trust myself, I felt the familiar confidence surging through me again, and I got back up on my feet. Sometimes it's no one but yourself who is holding you back!

5. What did you do in your current role that makes you feel proud of yourself?

I am the first female coordinator that this committee has had in a while, and that made me feel quite proud of myself. While that embodies a lot of pressure, I do hope to live up to the legacy of the previous coordinators before me and pave the way for many more females to lead the committee. It is gratifying to be in a position where I can inspire so many girls, quite like myself, to unapologetically pursue their dreams, unfazed by stereotypes and norms that will inevitably try to hold them back.

6. What are your career goals, and how is what you are doing going to help you with that?

I think it is far too early to narrow down possibilities to a specific career goal. I enjoy the freedom of being able to choose, and I hope to be an excellent manager in the future, no matter what domain I choose to work in.

My responsibilities as a student leader will primarily help me hone my leadership and organizational skills, both of which are quite important for an aspiring manager. It will also prove to be a valuable experience in terms of maximizing resource utilization, polishing my communication skills, strategic planning, making quick and efficient decisions and creatively solving problems.

7. What's your message to encourage students to do internships and attend conferences?

Accumulating bookish knowledge without the experience of the practical applicability of the concepts you learn is just like eating pizza without cheese!

I feel that what you can do in a real-time environment matters more than what you know in terms of employability today. An internship is what will help you gain the experience and confidence that will give you an edge over the multitudes of similarly qualified candidates that will want the exact position as you in the future. You will get to work in a professional environment and build a priceless network of highly-skilled, inspiring individuals whose counsel will always be at your disposal.

Never be afraid of experimenting at this stage of your life and always follow your heart!

Interview by - Geetika Bali
Student Leader Interview - Ayndri Uniyal from IIM Indore Student Leader Interview - Ayndri Uniyal from IIM Indore Reviewed by Geetika Bali on June 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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