Our very first C:F intern

by C:F Team on 23rd September, 2010 at 8:16 PM CEST

Sayanee Basu attended the C:F Summit 2010 in Bled this year as the youth speaker on Open Communities - The Future of Connecting. She stayed on to do an internship with us in C:F Office in Ljubljana during summer 2010. She's our very first intern and we thought of asking her for some reflections on her internship.

1. How and why did you first decide to intern in C:F?

Ever since the beginning of this year a backpacking trip around Europe was being planned. I wanted to travel around during my 2 months school holidays, immerse myself in the history and food of Europe and more importantly, I wanted to meet and engage with the locals. I went to Europe for 3 months a couple of years back, and from then on I do not think I can ever travel on packaged tours, visit the conventional touristy places and live in big hotels. "Vacation with purpose" became my motto and I think that will be for lifetime.

Hence, with the C:F Summit upcoming (I wasn't chosen as a Summit participant yet), I emailed Ms. Andreja Kodrin, the founder of C:F for any opportunities to intern in the C:F office. She was very open to this idea, even though C:F never had any intern. I told her i just needed an accommodation and I was willing to do just anything as long as I was help the cause of C:F in anyway. But I knew deep inside me that I would be meeting many wonderful people behind C:F that I was already communicating with through the web platform and emails. I was elated with her reply!

I was very lucky that my paper on Open Communities was chosen and I was eventually also invited for the summit. So everything fell into place. My exams ended and instead of going home, I boarded the plane for Venice to attend the C:F Summit, embarked on a unique C:F Internship and to end it off - travelled around Europe. It was my best summer as yet!!

2. Could you share your experience with a couple of episodes from your internship that would give us a glimpse of what happens around in C:F office?

Oh yes! C:F office has a very casual and flexible culture. To be "global" is not just something we say, but it is very much ingrained. I remember how we would always eat Indian food during our lunches. Some of these food were more familiar with Metka and Maggie than they were with me. I know they loved eating those Naans and Shahi Paneer. My mother noticed that and she made a remark, "Are you in Ludhiana instead of Ljubljana?" Ludhiana is a city in the state of Punjab in India.

Some other times I would remember bursting into laughters. Like there was once when an envelope came to the office, and everyone started hugging and jumping. The funny thing was I didn't know why and I tried to ask, but everyone just joined in jumping and jubilation. In a few moments, I too forgot to ask and I joined in. The rule in C:F office seems to be: Celebrate first, Know the reason later!

It gave me a deeper perspective to happiness: Do we ever really need a reason to be happy? Happiness should just be!

With the C:F Staff in Ljubljana office

3. While most of the C:F community engages online, what were your offline experiences with Challenge:Future that makes you proud of being a C:F community member?

Firstly, I would say that I got a first hand glimpse on many features that eventually get implemented. Being part of the several brainstorming and strategy discussions with the C:F team, you can be assured that each and every Quick Challenge, Weekly Hot Topic, Competition structure gets debated, discussed, opposed, sketched and even drafted through several versions. I sometimes act as the devil's advocate and get on debates with Damjan and Dan. But I would say that every single time, different opinions are encouraged - to be able to express oneself freely was something that I truly valued. And what was more important that everyone takes it objectively, zealously adding to the bubbling ideas and finally it all gets added to the ultimate goal of C:F - connect global youths to enable future innovations.

Secondly, I would say that I got to learn a lot about humbleness and patience from my colleagues such as Maggie and Damjan. To nurture caring and innovating online community like that of C:F indeed takes time and I could clearly see the reason why C:F grew so much within just a year - it's because of the staff behind the community. We do not believe in mass produced automatic messages and the staff are continuously encouraging and connecting with the community and we love doing it! Even today before hitting the send button in my emails or any online publications, I still remember the "quick Maggie check" that I used to do. A little kindness and patience goes a long way!

4. What advice would you have for future C:F interns?

2 advise: Connect back with the community and get your hands dirty!

The immediate thing that I noticed right from the first day of my internship is that you will get an inevitable exposure to a person from a different culture, education and place. And even more what I noticed is that you will also get a chance to speak to many mentors and experts first hand! Like I once remembered having a skype chat with Rick Benzel, the copy editor of Future Book, while the Future Book was still in the draft stage. Even though I had never done editorials, that one short skype chat with him made me learn so much about design, grammar and how to connect writing with the vision of C:F!

And one final advice would be to "get your hands dirty". Because C:F is a small team you will have a chance to tinker in many fields! So never restrict yourself to say just "writing" or "social media". Look around, and surely there will be plenty. I remembered playing around with strategy documents, to editing videos and photos, to chatting with C:F members online - anything goes and it all somehow adds on to give me a bigger and better picture to what Challenge:Future truly means.

Oh and if I may add just one more: Buzz the C:F Staff to take you around Ljubljana and Slovenia! It's a beautiful place and lovely hosts like the ones in the C:F team surely means it's a must-do!

Trekking with Metka and visiting the Postonja Castle with Damjan



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Damjan Obal

Damjan Obal

"There goes my hero..." :) Having Sayanee in Slovenia was really an amazing experience for the whole C:F team. Of course we stay in constant touch online, but... darn in person is still way better. So, girl, do come over for some chestnuts. "The" chair is waiting, so are the sheep :)

23rd September, 2010 @ 10:03 PM CEST

Krste Kostoski

Krste Kostoski | CF Chapters

Miss you girl...:(

23rd September, 2010 @ 11:03 PM CEST

Zhikica Pagovski

Zhikica Pagovski | Action team | CF Chapters

you are the best sayanee! i hope to see you soon!!!!

24th September, 2010 @ 2:08 AM CEST

Jatin Kataria

Jatin Kataria | Action team | CF Chapters

I will keep this in mind always: Celebrate first, Know the reason later! :) ...

Absolutely right dear about this: C:F grew so much within just a year - it's because of the staff behind the community.

Sayanee is just Sayanee.. !! - treasure of talent..

24th September, 2010 @ 5:34 AM CEST

Metka Ule Novak (Management)

Metka Ule Novak (Management) | C:F staff

Sayanee, I still remember your question when we were trekking - 'Can we step on the grass?' - and there were large fields of grass around us :) For us in Slovenia, that is funny question, but I am totally aware how it is in Singapore. Diversity is great thing, it teaches us a lot!

24th September, 2010 @ 9:35 AM CEST

Maggie Peng

Maggie Peng

Sayanee! Lunch? LOL

24th September, 2010 @ 10:53 AM CEST

Tanja Mozetic

Tanja Mozetic

me too! :)

24th September, 2010 @ 10:58 AM CEST

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