Vignesh Karunakaren – Professional Benefits of goIT to Volunteers
Volunteering doesn’t always have to be a one-way exchange – there’s chance that you get back something as well, just like how I got something back from volunteering with goIT. For me, being a goIT mentor has been hugely important deal in my professional career.
Growing up in India, I was put into a very good school, which helped me learn and speak English very well. However, when I came to the US as an IT consultant, I quickly figured out speaking the language and communicating are two different things. One area I figured I wasn’t doing great was with my presentations. It was either too long, lacking confidence, or missing “the hook.” All that changed after my volunteering experience with goIT.
In 2016, I got an opportunity to be a volunteer for a goIT program in San Antonio, TX. It was the final day where the kids had to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and they had only few hours to prepare. I honestly had low expectations, but little did I know how serious these students took their projects. Every group was huddled in one corner writing their content, practicing what each team member would present, updating the sequence of the presentation, and even did a mock pitch to me to get my feedback.
Until that day, I had never put in even a fraction of this effort preparing for my most important presentations. Watching these kids prepare was an eye-opener and since then, I have never gone to a single meeting unprepared or without practicing. These days, I actually get call backs from customers appreciating how good my presentation was and I am truly thankful to goIT for giving me that wonderful learning opportunity.