Workplace Readiness by Lauren Farwell

Workplace readiness is one of the areas where Anudip and iMerit really excel.  In week 7, I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot for the Workplace Readiness curriculum that Clinton Fellow Hallie Noble and Anudip employee Tania Biswas are developing. The curriculum is meant to be interactive and to teach visually. It follows the story of a make-believe employee named Krishna.

Krishna is from a rural area and has decided to relocate to Kolkata to take a well-paying job. So a lot of things are new for Krishna. Including a Western toilet, workplace attire, office habits, using an elevator, interacting professionally, and having a desk and computer working space. When talking about job placement help, one thinks of resume-writing and interview skills. Anudip really goes above and beyond these basics to prepare its rural students for their new professional lives. The goal is to alleviate some of the fears hat are inevitable with such an overwhelming lifestyle change.

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Krishna (Sanjay) kicks back on his desk with CEO Dipak Basu in the background. He poses as an example of what not to do in the workplace.

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Krishna gets “workplace ready” as he puts on his professional attire

Everyone in the Anudip head quarters office and I had a great time as employee Sanjay posed as Krishna, the not-so-workplace-ready employee. Krishna shows up to work in jeans and a jersey, stands on the Western toilet seat, puts his feet up on his desk, sleeps at work, leaves his work space full of loose papers and old food, and leaves people in the office feeling very uncomfortable. Although we all shared laughs as Sanjay posed for the shoot, I’m interested to see the ways that the visuals will really be helpful to the workplace readiness curriculum.

As Phil and I interviewed Anudip M.A.S.T. graduates at their workplaces in corporate Sector 5 of Salt Lake in Kolkata, we were able to see success stories of the workplace readiness curriculum. They moved from their rural homes to take jobs in businesses like Tech Mahindra, Indian Info Line, and Aegis. The curriculum prepared them for their new jobs in high-rise offices, for a workplace setting, for city transportation, and even for their local accommodations. It’s visible that Anudip’s support does not end in the classroom. The skills students are given in their M.A.S.T. training leaves them workplace ready and confident enough to take on their new lives in the city. The support continues even after they have begun their jobs.

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