By Ola Miller
Three Berea College students; Ola, Emely, and Giorgi, have just finished their second week working for Kashmir World Foundation. Here, they share their opinions and experiences as they get used to their roles and responsibilities:
According to Ola Miller, this week was very informative and eventful: “I had a chance to learn new things, use the knowledge I already have, and do things that I am passionate about. This internship offers me actual hands-on experience, which makes me feel like my work is appreciated and respected,” she says. “So far, what I appreciate about my internship the most is the amount of freedom I have to do things I am truly passionate about, such as creating flyers, brochures, etc. However, at the same time, I am not limited to only specific areas of marketing, because I am also engaged in direct and digital marketing,” she adds.
According to Emely Zavala, the internship offers great experience, because she has a chance to learn a lot from past interns at Kashmir World Foundation. “This week I worked on the repo that Qinlong (the remote intern from China) and Huijun (an intern that just finished her internship with Kashmir World Foundation) created when they started working on the app. Since Huijun will no longer work with us, Aliyah introduced us by email and asked Huijun to help me with the questions I may have since I will be working on what she has been doing. I am very grateful because my supervisor, Aliyah, has decided to make the transition smooth for me by introducing me to Huijun,” she explains.
Additionally, Emely appreciates the fact that the internship gives her an opportunity to learn more about the organization and Aliyah herself: “I loved how the last days of this week allowed me to learn more about others in Kashmir World Foundation. First, my supervisor invited me and the other two Berea College interns to her house for dinner this past Friday because she wanted to know more about us and she wanted us to get to know her family and her story, too,” she says.
According to Giorgi Lomia, this week was important for him, because he is learning many new things on his own. “This week I tried to clone and train the Darkflow model in the Google Colab. It involved a lot of directory management, and it was something I had never done before. I learned a lot about directory commands how to move them around, create them, and remove them, as well as many other things. At first, I felt frustrated by the constant movement and wrong turns in the directory folders; however, eventually I was able to figure it out. This experience is also completely different from what I did in school, because in classes we never had to move massive data sets around using command lines,” he explains.
Ultimately, the highlight of the week was Saturday’s event, Technovation Competition, held at Virginia Tech College. The main goal of Saturday’s event was to honor the hard work of a group of girls who had been working on mobile apps for a few months. Technovation Event was organized to promote girls’ interest in technological development and possible career paths in the field of STEM. Aliyah was a speaker at the event, and gave an inspirational talk. She also provided the prizes for two winning teams. Girls who won in their age categories were granted a chance to fly their drones with Kashmir World Foundation.
According to Emely, the event was very inspiring: “Seeing these girls reminded me of my high school days and how it never occurred to me that I could do a career in technology. However, I realize that when I am done with school I want to change how things are done in El Salvador because I want to encourage girls to pursue their dreams at a young age,” she explains.
For Ola, it was also an exciting experience. “Participating in the Superhero Drone Girls event was very inspiring for me. I got the chance to listen to 21 teams speak about their apps and the problems it might solve. Additionally, I had a chance to talk about Kashmir World Foundation, make connections, and attract talented girls to participate in workshops and internships. It was an interesting experience because I realized that I have an impact on the organization, and I can make an impact by simply promoting the organization to others,” she says.
Ola, Giorgi and Emely are taking advantage of every opportunity that Kashmir World Foundation has to offer. All of them are very excited for the next few weeks, because they feel like they can achieve a lot and make a really difference.