We wrapped up cohort 2 of our WIT program this week and the feedback coming in has been great validation.
This time, we attempted to get the learners to start thinking about their goals — long term and short term. This exercise was going by the idea that if you have a goal and write it down, then your chances of getting there are higher.
The initial feedback we got was that it was super difficult for some of them to even think through what they wish to pursue and that it was quite confusing. To get them to a point of acknowledging that this was a shitty first draft, that these goals may (and even will) change over time, was a task.
Interestingly, we saw that some students very easily put together their goals. They were quite clear and had huge aspirations.
Some of them were playing it safe also because that is all they knew. They’re seen their cousin or senior get in to a certain company and then they aspire to get in there too.
Some of them saw their long term goal quite clearly but did not know what to do in the short term to get to the long term goal. For instance, one of the girls wanted to get into Civil service in the long term, but in the short term wanted to get into Business Development. These two have much little correlation.
And then some of them put in placeholders for their goals because they were still figuring it out.
We felt that goal setting was too big an activity for our students to pursue. In the earlier cohort, when the premise was limited to just scholarships, we saw that they comfortably picked scholarships they wished to pursue.
We were of the impression that this whole activity wasn’t quite rewarding but the feedback looks otherwise. Students who had at least a vague direction sense seem to have benefitted most from the exercise. Because then, they got to locate people who have been there and done that and interview them. While gave them more clarity around pursuing the opportunities in their interest areas. Take the case of Gowri — interested in cyber security and got acquainted to professionals in the space. Or Megha, interested in Space and interviewed and ISRO Scientist.
To the rest of them, the idea that you should at least start thinking about these things seems to have been good learning.
Another interesting angle that came about is the learners realising that they have been spending a chunk of their time in college doing things that are not aligned to their goals. Once they penned down where they wanted to get to and juxtaposed it with their campus activities and routines, they saw a disconnect. Learners now started doing fewer activities that weren’t aligned and instead started figuring out projects/activities more aligned to their goals. Prioritising what they should really be doing has been an outcome.