This is an article that appeared (edited) in the Commits Chronicle Blog run by my Journalism teacher Mr. Ramesh Prabhu, who is an experienced international journalist. Please note: as this was for the college blog, it tends to run a little long. To view the edited article on the CCB, CLICK HERE. The following is the original article in its entirety:
It was a bright day in February when Sai sir came to our class and announced the event that we, the MMCs were awaiting with bated breath – Globcom 2014! As soon as he left the class, we couldn’t contain our excitement anymore, and started excitedly discussing who would be signing up.
For the uninitiated, Globcom is a yearly multi-cultural global PR communications project. Which means that we would get to work with team members from across the globe, over various time zones, all on an exciting PR project for a client who was a big industry name! This year, our project was for the prestigious Carl Zeiss who wanted us to present a proposal on “Better Vision for a Better Future” – their plan to introduce $1 glasses mainly in India, but also with a global focus.
Commits has, in the past, participated in Globcom and won great accolades. In fact, twice the students had even managed to travel to Abu Dhabi to attend the conference, a luxury which subsequent batches including ours could not afford as the second semester exams invariably clashed with the dates of the international conference in Boston from May 29 to June 1. (We were all very disappointed to hear about this).
This year, 16 students signed up. Each team had a number of teammates from other countries. On final count, our team had a grand total of 45 members! As Varsha Vishwanathan Varier and I had been MMC partners for the second semester, we were in the same team here, too.
As we slowly signed up and began to find out our other team members, we found that Facebook is one of the most effective ways to communicate with so many members from different cultures. Germany, the UK, Russian, the US, Chile, Portugal, Spain and the UAE were just a few of the countries we had members from. Overall, 13 universities from 13 countries over 5 continents participated in this project.
Initially, we elected a team leader, and a deputy, who could help the team leader with other team members. Our leader would also send detailed feedback to the Globcom team mentor, Averill Gordon. As you can see, she has outlined what each person/team has contributed to the project, which kept us on our toes, and pushed us to contribute, despite the fact that we had our summer internships going on. Globcom was not just about joining the team for the sake of it.
Together, Varsha and I were most active at the start of the project, and then, as our internships began and we were unavailable, we encouraged them to email us or message us and ask us specific questions which we could reply to or data which we could analyse and get back to them. We read reports, attended client briefings, had Skype calls with our team mates, discussed local measures which our team could implement, and helped our team with realistic measures which would work in India.
Reading the extensive research reports that our team members would post was exhausting but extremely eye-opening even for us who had been residents of India throughout our lives. We learned a lot more about our country and its spending power. We also learned a lot about how to co-ordinate and communicate with helpful and unhelpful team members. One of the most important contributions from team India was regarding budgets, as we had to ensure that they had a realistic view of how much it would actually take to implement their ideas.
Apart from that, we had a lot of fun suggesting which celebrities could be Brand Ambassadors. For example, based on media reports, our team members suggested personalities who had achieved a lot, but who were not people with whom typical Indians would resonate, like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. We had to tell them that cricket and Bollywood celebrities would be a better choice given our target audience, and we finally decided on celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. We also had fun clicking some selfies with spectacles, which ended up being part of a campaign.
Hard work always has its rewards, and we were holding our breaths as we heard that we were among the top 2 finalists. Our team members who attended the symposium in Boston made the final presentation and our team achieved a well-deserved second place!
Now all of this can sound terribly exciting, and I am sure this has piqued your curiosity. So if you want to see our final presentations, don’t worry, you will all be able to view them on the Globcom website next year.
All in all, this first year at Commits has been extremely exciting and eye-opening. As I had worked for a few years prior to joining Commits, I was apprehensive that life would be slow in college and I would not be able to adjust back to work-life. Boy, was I wrong about that! Commits has not let me down, and we have gotten so many opportunities to work on world class projects such as this, as real professionals do.
So, keeping that in mind, and based on this activity-filled first year, I have some advice that I would like to share with our juniors:
- Commits is what you make of it.
As an institution, Commits will give each and every one of you a number of excellent opportunities. But it is up to you what you will do. Will you participate? Or will you shyly sit back? Will you glaze through the next two years ignoring the significance of the assignments given here? Or will you push yourself to participate in everything, no matter how pointless it may seem at the time?
From what I have seen, if you look at Commits as a credible place to learn how to be a professional, you will gain a lot out of your experience. Make sure that you take advantage of this, and grow personally.
- Stop caring about what other people think.
You have joined Commits for YOURSELF. At the end of the day, YOU will get a job. Don’t back off from competitions or opportunities because your friends aren’t taking part. Do what you have to do to showcase your own talents, and that will help you immensely.
- It’s all about teamwork.
This may sound contradictory to what I last said, but it isn’t. One thing that Commits loves to do, is push us into teams. I have learned some valuable lessons here, and I hope you will learn the same. So, learn to work in a team. Stand up for yourself, but learn to recognize good ideas and give your team mates credit. DO NOT LET YOUR EGO GET IN THE WAY. True professionals do not deny team members success because of their egos. The best achievements come out of teamwork. And this is one skill that will help you most of all, in the professional world.
I could go on, but these are, according to me, the three most important things everyone needs to keep in mind. I hope you will keep them in mind when you join Commits, and I wish you all the very best. Welcome to the Commits family!