I had not anticipated that I’d be taking a gap year; my optimistic “hope for the best, without preparing for the worst” attitude counted on being accepted to the highly selective colleges I had applied to, even though I had put minimal amount of effort in my college applications. Well, that has always been me; studying for exams at the last minute, working on assignments in the eleventh hour. So, as the gap year loomed near, I knew that I could not stay home and study for my SATs when it was more than 3 months away (last minute habit alert!) like my father wanted me to nor could I go out with my friends regularly with my steeply depleting savings account. I wanted to do something worthwhile that would help me grow and explore new paths and if possible, earn some cash. When I explained my situation to my uncle, who leads the Kathmandu Living Labs project, he referred me to Biruwa hoping it would be a perfect fit for me considering my interest in Business and Economics. I secured the job after an interview session.
What impressed me most, and that impression came early on my days at Biruwa, was the cohesive and inclusive learning environment that enhanced worker motivation significantly. Motivational techniques like team working, matrix organizational structure and job rotation were mere chapters in my Business Studies book; at Biruwa, however, I experienced these theories coming to practice. For example; a high school graduate without any experience or expertise in interviewing candidates for internships or jobs is made to sit in an interview session, so that I could learn the drill and possibly participate as an interviewer the next time. Does that happen anywhere else? Similarly, when aspiring entrepreneurs come in for brainstorming sessions (a free service that Biruwa provides to help in evolving entrepreneur’s ideas into successful ventures), I am free to partake in the meeting; again, so that I could learn the art of consulting and hear about the new business ideas. I was astounded by the money one could make through affiliate marketing in websites when a college student came in to share his successful past in the online industry and the problems he was currently facing due to the spam trend in the internet. There are numerous other examples as well; from getting to meet the head of the organization everyday to the infamous Friday “social events”, that make me look forward to go to work.
Moreover, most of my task list comprises of things that I love to do. I have three books that I have to read and present, and although fiction is what I prefer, I do enjoy reading anything that sparks my interest. I had showed some degree of enthusiasm in writing also, after a successful General Paper course, and one of my tasks is to update the Biruwa blog regularly and update the content in our website. And although the admin tasks are not actually my forte, I have learnt so much from them. From managing inventory and office supplies to calling up the high in demand carpenter to finish up the work, I have garnered invaluable experience from all of these tasks. I now know the tricks behind bandwidth usage tracking and am able to tinker around with the wireless router; a skill, albeit not that difficult to master, will certainly help me in my future endeavors. I actually get to practice what they teach in the management courses people pay to attend; that too at such an early age.
My colleagues here are fantastic; they are very supportive, friendly and want me to bring out my best. I could not ask for a better work environment where I have to get things done, but at my own pace and schedule. And of course, being placed at the front desk of the office makes me “the face” of Biruwa which forces the “untidy demeanored me” to actually dress up a bit, regardless of the dress code flexibilities offered by the organization..
Sometimes, when I attend workshops done by one of our many clients or meet inspirational people at meetings and brainstorming sessions, I wonder whether I should be paying Biruwa instead. I have learnt and grown so much in the past two months that I must be thankful to my uncle who introduced me to this vibrant and wonderful company run by people who want to make a positive change in the country.
Looking forward to the good times ahead. Cheers!
PS: For more info on Pratap Jung Khadka, visit his linkedin or facebook page: