Priyanka N Ram, is a Project Executive at evam’s Children’s education division, Happy Cow.
When in school, it was either chess class or swimming that I had to choose for summer camp. One month of that and one month of staying in a cousin’s place and our vacation was done. Growing up as an introvert, I looked forward to summer vacation, because two months of not reciting a poem in front of my classmates and not being called in front of the class to solve a math problem enticed me. Yes summer chess camp also required me to do that. Face a randomly selected opponent at the end of the camp in a competition, but that was a one day thing and I was glad to be done with it, pack my bags and leave the city away from the hustle and bustle of Chennai!
Then came college life and the resolution of breaking out from the introvert shell. Did I succeed? It was so hard at first, as I had no clue how to break out. Then started going out to book club meetings, where it needed everyone to speak out at some point and books being my only solace from time immemorial, it was easy talking about them forgetting that I was an introvert. This in turn gradually enabled me to speak to anyone about anything.
Why am I telling all this?
If the book club thing hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have been able to crack anything in my most important KRA in my career – the Cold Calls to schools pitching Happy Cow. True, a few schools don’t even go beyond the basic hello, thanks to the general “way too frequent” sales and bank calls they get. But when a Cold Call crosses half a minute without them hanging up, and I get a slight whiff that they might be interested in what I am going to tell, I enter, set the goal, hit it and get the first step in. Something that I have noticed in the calls that I have made. If there is a slight hesitation from my side, the person on the other side loses interest instantly and I have no choice but to let go of the call. I was able to eliminate this hesitation, by re-visualising the book club meetings and how it is quite easy to talk about something that I love.
Being an introvert or keeping to yourself also doesn’t work when you are working with kids. When I first went with John (The Dean of Happy Cow) to Canopo International last year to see how a Happy Cow workshop happens, I lost my tongue seeing a bunch of 2-3 year olds all greet John with a big burst of energy and an even bigger shout. I have seen kids who were silent at the start of the workshop, but get all pumped up and energetic midway. I have come across kids who hang on to each and every word of John and try out all the new concepts John puts out there at class without any hesitation. I can’t help but think, if I hadn’t spent my vacation staring at a 64 squared black and white board and indulged in a workshop that’s more interactive like the ones Happy Cow does, I would have broken through my shyness way earlier, rather than putting it away till college.
I believe that if one is able to manage the kids he or she is working with without getting on the bad side, they can sail through anything or anybody or any situation with flying colours. Answering a kid’s doubts and queries from the endless question bank that they have in their tiny heads, is a better way to zone into patience and perseverance that any job needs. Trust me when I am talking about a kid’s doubts, they are not easy to answer. And you can’t even escape by giving a random reply. They are more difficult to crack than an aptitude test in an interview.
This year at Happy Cow, I plan to shadow how many ever workshops I can for two reasons.
- Reason no.1: To get into being a trainer eventually.
- Reason no 2: To make up for the workshops that I should have attended when I was a kid.
Are you a parent looking for a summer workshop for your kid as well? Here’s a few workshops that Happy Cow is conducting across Chennai and Bengaluru.
-Priyanka N Ram