In our continued effort towards inclusion, on this World Autism Awareness Day spread across a month-long program as Autism Awareness Month we had an incredible opportunity to visit Citrix Systems, Inc. and Cisco Systems, Inc.
The students of Ishanya got a first-hand experience of a work environment. It provided an opportunity to plan, organize, and engage in active learning not just within the classroom setup but practically outside in an organization. Our students got an insight into a corporate working atmosphere along with a chance to understand the dos and don’ts of industrial practice. We are so proud of our students for adapting themselves to a new environment, asking questions, and engaging in productive discussions.
Our day one started with a visit to Citrix Systems. It is an American multinational software company that provides server, application, and desktop virtualization, networking, software as a service, and cloud computing technologies.
All the students gathered at the stipulated time and Team Ishanya boarded a bus and reached their office on time. The team was ready with a visitor pass to welcome students and staff at the reception. The exciting activities planned by the talented volunteers from Citrix offered an opportunity to enhance communications skills and personality development for our students.
The students thoroughly enjoyed the Chinese whispers game with a twist. They did not whisper words or sentences but “whispered” actions. The game turned out as expected, full of fun and confusion at the same time. At the outset, although it seemed so easy for everyone, the final action was completely different from the starting one. The students subtly learnt the importance of communication and the consequence of the communication gap. The game also emphasized on keen observational skills. Overall it was a fabulous learning activity.
This was followed by a highly interactive session on Self Awareness conducted by the brilliant team of Citrix. The students enthusiastically responded and bombarded questions to the team while they patiently enlightened the importance of knowing self, strengths, weakness, likes, and dislikes. The students learnt about generalizing the active learning practices that happen in an organization and were able to relate the similar learnings that happen at Ishanya.
Finally, yummy wholesome vegetarian lunch which most of our students enjoyed, especially the dry Jamun! The thoughtful volunteers at Citrix presented t-shirts and chocolates as return gifts to all students and staff of Ishanya. The day ended with students taking selfies/ groupies with the team of Citrix. We wholeheartedly thank Yashashree, Sohini, Vipul, and the entire team of Citrix for giving us this opportunity and joining in our journey to inclusion!
Our second day was at Cisco Systems. Cisco develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products.
The students got the first-hand experience of Bengaluru traffic and spent more than couple of hours to reach the Cisco campus. Despite being late, the dynamic team at Cisco was gracious and well prepared in advance to welcome team Ishanya. The students and staff got visiting pass and took a quick walk on the campus to reach the planned venue.
The day started with a session on designing in a corporate world with a focus on factors contextual to each organization like standardized fonts, colors, logos. The patient team of Cisco responded to numerous questions bombarded by our enthusiastic students. The students were able to relate to the graphic designing vocational program offered at Ishanya. It was a significant session that helped most of the students to generalize their learning outcomes. It also reflected the efforts of Ishanya in teaching industry-standard software for the students to get them equipped to work.
Students enjoyed the delicious corporate vegetarian lunch and savored on juicy Rasgullas. It was followed by an important session on Personal Safety by the Emergency Response Team (ERT) of Cisco. The ERT team mostly with veterans demonstrated various techniques and strategies of safety in public places in case of an emergency like a fire. The students keenly participated in the sessions and actively interacted with the team. They learnt about primary essentials and the importance of the First Aid kit. They also learnt some basic First Aid treatment.
Lastly, the team was divided into two groups and preceded to two rooms to experience the immersive telepresence of Cisco. It is designed to link two physically separated rooms, so they resemble a single conference room regardless of location. The two teams came face-to-face using this technology. All the students were awestruck by this highly innovative product of Cisco. They interacted with each other and cherished each moment spent in the room.
Finally, it was time to thank the team and bid goodbye. All students received biscuits and juice to beat the summer heat. The students passionately clicked pictures, selfies, groupies, and invited the team from Cisco to visit Ishanya and called it a day.
It was a memorable day and a great opportunity and it is vital to thank Sukeerth, Nancy, Aditya, and the whole team of Cisco for joining us in our journey to inclusion!