‘After our meeting, I want another half an hour to talk about something personal’, said Damayanti on the call. Damayanti told me of her sister-in-law, Anandi, a stay-at-home mom for 18 years. ‘Take a look at the CV. I really want her to meet you. She is depressed. My husband and I want her to get out of the house and do something’. Anandi’s CV showed that she was a creative person. In her short professional career of 3 years she had worked as graphic artist and assistant designer.
Anandi quit after her son was born. She enjoyed being in her little world – house proud, interested in crafts, reading and working out regularly at the gym. She took an advanced diploma in business administration. The little cracks in her marriage had turned into huge clefts over the years and she was at a point of no return. Getting back to work was important and Damayanti wanted Anandi to sign-up for a ‘Back to Work’ internship.
At Lumiere we provide a platform to empower women professionals to get back to work by leveraging the organisation culture and people, process and technology
The Back to Work internship requires full-time attendance, 5 days a week at our Nerul office and working on site on projects as required.
Testing: Anandi took the verbal, analytical and the FIRO-B and the Gallup StrengthsFinder. Her Empathy, Relator, Responsibility, Restorative and Learner talents told us that Anandi would be sincere, committed and a team player.
How it works: In the 3 months, Anandi is expected to learn and polish technical skills and get basic domain knowledge in marketing research. We gave her a first class pass from home to work. She received a small stipend to take care of her local travel.She will receive coaching and mentoring and scheduled weekly feedback.
Coaching and Mentoring: We coached Anandi on learning to use her talents to get positive outcomes. She got mentored on building personal mastery. She was taught to ‘name, claim and aim’ her talents. We used the classical coaching approach to get her to come to terms with her shifts and counselled her on managing her new role and life-stage.
Skilling: Anandi underwent class room training including a Masterclass in Moderator skills. A natural conversationalist and a good listener, Anandi was adept at conducting one-on-one interviews. She showed high levels of ownership. In her three months at Lumiere, Anandi had a buddy in Lumiere who guided her with process. Anandi had two people in the Lumiere team she traveled with.
Flexibility: During the internship Anandi had applied for a months leave to be around her daughter’s board exams. After being around for her daughter all these years, it was only understandable that she would want to be there for her daughter.
Challenges: Software and technology was a bug bear and Anandi often got impatient with herself as she took longer than her colleagues in preparing documents. She made high quality working documents which were rich and detailed. She learned to analyse and was assigned to senior team members as part of the analysis team. She did not like analysis and presentation making. ‘I am too slow and I keep forgetting the keys’ she would lament. She was skilled in making non-threatening conversation and showed great potential to develop into a good moderator.
Closure: Anandi completed her 3 month stint and received a certificate and recommendation letter. She has an interview in a multinational company in a customer relations role.
My Lumiere experience: ‘My experience with Lumiere has been a relearning of sorts and an enriching one. Getting back to work after a long break of 18 years was challenging, and it was Lumiere that gave me the much needed opportunity. Coming from a creative field, research was new to me. Being here got me to think of capabilities, strengths and skill sets. With a lot of learning in terms of work as well as insight into the working of the industry, the Lumiere team has been very supportive and encouraging all along. Thank you for everything and you will continue to be family to me’, writes Anandi. An internship to learn to ropes to get back to work and life.