169 Hours in by Sahil Gazi

25 Apr

I had heard about 1 Degree Initiative a long time ago, but never really knew what it was. At the beginning of February, when they started recruiting new Interns into their different sectors, I stumbled onto one of their recruitment campaign banners and just fell in love with it. I’m not that good at art, but I admire designing a lot and well among other things, the banner itself attracted my attention unlike ever before.

I was called in for the interviews and when I got there, the first word to grace my mind was: Amazing! My first glance into the ground floor courtyard: the place is unexpectedly large, and as we sat right at the edge of the courtyard boundary, there were rather amusingly colored carpets on the floor. I say amusing because when all of us interviewees got to talk, most of us could relate to the fact that the whole environment vaguely reminded us of Google HQ, as most of us had seen the movie “The Internship” not too long ago.

 

At first we were given 1 topic in Bangla and English each and we wrote for a good 40 minutes and I was personally quite sad, because I honestly didn’t write that well, at a point near the end I even gave up but the next segment was introductions and discussions so I thought I would have some luck there and finished up writing whatever I could muster. When the Introductions started, the girl on the far end of the circle started off and she gave quite an impressive description of herself. The pressure was building up and I could see the nervousness on everyone’s faces. Funny thing about Introductions? People can actually forget about themselves and just stare back like they have been asked to speak in a different language. The case here was no different but by the time my turn came I was mentally ready, and off I went with a gamble, everyone else was saying how they had done all these impressive activities, I decided to go with my strength; after telling them the important stuff I raised my voice and with a smiling face said “I haven’t done anything before, but my objective is to learn what I can”. From that point onward I felt very confident and just in time too. So, after the long, enthusiastic but equally exhausting group debate, we were given a break until the private interviews were to begin. And as if almost immediately the very people we all were arguing against all felt a sense of comradery and circled up to chat, obviously almost 3 hours into the program we were all hungry as well so we randomly ranted about being hungry and being nervous about the rest of the interview to come.

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Photo credit: Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

The entire next day I kept checking my email for any news, and then the very next day I got the call to come into work, I was psyched!. I was still new to travelling by bus and well, the journey was less than pleasant but it was worth it, walking into the office I was greeted by my bosses and that girl from back at the interviews. We actually became good friends by then so it was a really pleasant sight to see her there as well. And so with a few jokes leading into a more serious note, I started working. Day 1; hour 1. Sometime along that very week I had the chance to visit Dhaka University’s TSC, which is a rather different kind of place than what I am used to, but it was buzzing with student culture and enthusiasm. We met many interesting people who were eager to help us out with our videos and photoshoots for an upcoming project. From kids to elderlies, everyone was enthusiastic to provide their inputs, from there we visited the Boi Mela and later at Chobir Haat, we had a great desi style lunch at a local restaurant and made many fond memories that day in all our traveling. Working and chatting, and overall my first fieldwork will be in my best memories. Meeting Stark has been the highlight of many of my days at work, he’s the ever energetic and often a bit bitey, white furred dog that lives in our office. We all love him and cherish his presence but he can also be a bit annoying when we are zoned into our work, but nonetheless, he’s a furry white cannon ball as I call him, and I can’t imagine a day at work without Stark. During my first few weeks I have grown attached to the balcony at our office, we often take our breaks there and its a very open place with a lot of vegetation and sunlight; All our brainstorming sessions usually takes place there and I personally think that I can provide more output because of being in such an open space.

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Photo credit: Ata Khan Mojlish Bidhu 

These days I’m working on a range of content from blogs to designing to organizing workload and extensively focusing on social media, and even though I live miles away from InHouse, I can’t wait to come to work every morning and just hangout with my colleagues, learn from their experiences and sometimes just chilling out.

My experiences in 1dI has been far too much to just write down at one go, there is a long way ahead and I am ready to take every step at a time and enjoy every bit of it as I go, because at the end of the day the best output in work comes out when you actually enjoy doing it, and so far I have no complaints or regrets, I love it here.

My gratitude to 1dI for giving me this opportunity.

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