2018 Events

December, 2018
Interview Skills by R.Kalpana

Kalpana conducted a very engaging and informative session on ” How to handle a job interview ‘ for all those who are currently in their final year of graduation.

The session involved the students to do some introspection. She urged the girls that as part of the preparation for the interview they should do a self-assessment. They should have a list of their individual strengths, the areas of improvement and think about what their career goals are. Kalpana demonstrated in a very interactive manner that once one is aware of one’s strengths , it is possible to convince the interviewer why one is suitable for the particular job .

The students were made to practice how they would talk about their strengths in a professional manner. And how they would touch upon the areas of improvement. Simple tips on how to dress for an interview, how to sit and behave during the course of the interview, body language etc was demonstrated with several examples.

The Do and Don’ts for the age old question ” Tell me something about yourself ” and ” Can you talk about your project ” was also discussed at length.

All in all, an interactive and thought provoking session. I am sure the girls will now face the interviews with a much greater degree of confidence and we look forward to hearing from them how they used these tips successfully at job interviews.

October, 2018
Workshop on visualising one’s goals: Narsi

“Yat bhawam Tat bhawathi” was the theme of Narsi’ s session titled “Thoughts become things” on the 14th of October.

In a highly interactive and energetic session, Narsi demonstrated that the mind is a powerful magnet. It attracts whatever it focuses on. And so, a winning attitude attracts victory. It is important to visualise achieving one’s goal – and amazingly that goal is achieved. Sharing several personal stories he showed the scholars how creating a blueprint in one’s mind makes it possible to actualise one’s goals. His stories encouraged some of the girls to come forward with their own stories on how positive thinking converted Thought into Reality.

The video accompanying this post shows an incredible exercise that brought this concept to life. One of the girls was seated on a chair. Four others volunteered to pick her up – each one using just two fingers to do so. It was an amazing sight as the four girls achieved this feat with seemingly minimal effort.

Narsi ended the session urging the Pudumai Penn to *Picture it, Own it, Watch for Evidence and Receive it*

At the end of the session one could see that every PudumaiPenn scholar felt that she was in charge of shaping her own destiny .

It is a great feeling of empowerment!



October 7th, 2018
Stress management workshop by Padmini

Stress is inevitable, but managing stress is in our control: that was the theme of the workshop Padmini conducted for our scholars.

The first thing people feel when they’re stressed or depressed is that they are all alone: but this is not true. All of us belong to a community, and their support is often essential.

Padmini gave the girls practical advice on finding help to manage stress. She also taught the girls a number of simply DIY techniques like yogic breathing, Grounding and Emotional Freedom Technique.

It was interesting to watch the large group of close to 70 girls go through these breathing exercises and express that they felt calmer and even stronger.

Thank you Padmini for the practical and very do-able techniques you shared: useful not only during college but throughout one’s life.


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September, 2018
Workshop on Setting Goals by Vidya Raghu

On Saturday, 23rd September, we had an excellent session on “Setting Goals” conducted by Vidya Raghu.

24 girls attended the workshop and it was heartening to see how all of them respected each other’s time by being punctual.

Vidya began the session by drawing a distinction between a Goal and a Wish: the idea being that a Goal can take you places while a Wish may just remain an unfulfilled dream.

Having set the stage, the participants were asked to visualize where they wished to be 10 years from today. Each participant had her own personal dream. Vidya then explained how it was possible to achieve that dream through positive thinking , having a plan that was timebound and was realistic. Using several examples including that of Abdul Kalam and her own personal experiences she helped the girls visualize that it was possible to overcome all disadvantages and achieve that goal. All that is needed are Focus and Action. “What you are now and what you become in the future is a journey and requires action ” was a consistent theme. The concept that Goals have to be SMART was discussed and explained in detail.

A simple activity that demonstrated that decisive action was needed to make aspirations a reality was when Vidya held up a 100/- rupee note and asked if they felt the note had value and if they wanted it. After a couple of minutes two of the girls walked up to her and took the note from her hand. It was a simple but effective way of learning that often what holds us back is our inaction and fear of what others will say! It stops us from grabbing every opportunity that we get.

The session ended on a high energy note as shouts of “I will act today and everyday”, “Kick and grab” and “Today is great. Tomorrow will be even better” rent the air. The participants have been asked to reflect and write down their personal goals before the next session.

Thank you Vidya for highly interactive and meaningful session!

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9th September, 2018
Workshop on Interpersonal Skills by Mr. Chandrashekar

On Sunday 9th September, we launched our programme of workshops for the 2018 batch of Pudumaipenn scholars with a meticulously-prepared session on interpersonal skills by Chandrashekar, or Chandru as he is fondly known.

Chandru began by discussing what interpersonal skills really mean, followed by a simple ‘greeting’ activity that demonstrated the importance of energy in maintaining and improving relationships.

Chandru then went on to use lectures, videos and participative activities to teach girls the types of people, behaviours, attitudes and emotions that can make or break relationships, using the IBP Intention-Perception-Behaviour model.

Chandru had a lesson even from the tea break! In mock seriousness he asked them why they had gone off for tea and one of the girls said ‘we thought ma’am had said we could have tea’. He pounced on the comment and pointed out how the first instinct was to find someone to blame. Instead if she could have said ‘Oh coffee was there and the biscuit tempted me and so I had it’ Don’t look to blame someone else for the smallest things we do.


September, 2018
Improving English proficiency with support from The Hindu

We’ve kickstarted our 2018-19 STEP Program for English Language. Out of our latest cohort of 31 students, 28 have begun the training programme with enthusiasm and impressive commitment! We expect great things from this batch of girls. Thank you to Gitanjali from the Hindu and Prathima Rajan for helping show the girls the ropes of the programme.

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19th August, 2018
Workshop on Self Awareness and Creating a Rise Above Mindset by Ravi

Ravi kicked off our 2018-19 workshops with a session on “Self awareness and creating a rise above mindset ” for our second-years.

Through a series of short video clips and activities Ravi demonstrated the importance of understanding oneself and using that knowledge to improve and become a better person .

Through a simple activity the girls were able to understand how each of us has a self perception , but that may not be the impression others have of us. So while context drives behaviour, it is important to be consistent in one’s behaviour and play to our strengths to develop one’s personality.

The girls were involved in a activity which demonstrated to them that creativity, overcoming self imposed constraints and working in a team leads to success.

All the girls were energetic and showed a high level of involvement. A good start to the year!

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May, 2018
Expert Talk on Employability skills by Shyam C Raman, Murugappa Group

On Sunday May 13, Pudumai Penn scholars from all batches participated in a 2 hour session on ‘How to handle interviews and Develop and improve Employability skills’ by Shyam C Raman, Head HR from Murugappa group.

With relatable examples from his own career and life, Shyam gave the girls pointers on what to do before an interview and what to expect in an interview, what to say and how to react to specific questions.

He went on to guide them on how to conduct themselves in a work environment and how to impress people at work with their heads, hands and hearts.

March, 2018
Workshop on Rising Above Mindset by Jacinta Jayachandran

On Sunday 25th March, 66 scholars across batches participated in a fun and thought provoking session conducted by Jacintha Jayachandran, on ‘Rising Above Mindset’. The girls learnt the importance of breaking free from their prejudices and adopting a ‘Growth Mindset’ to bring out the best in whatever they do.

With simple and relatable examples, Jacintha brought home the point that no dream/passion is unachievable as long as one conquers her fears and rises above a fixed mindset. The girls learnt that the best way to overcome their fears was to acknowledge and recognise them, seek help when needed and develop a routine to break these fears. Another important factor is to accept and process feedback rationally. These points were made clearer with fun filled activities which the girls participated in with great enthusiasm. They were particularly useful as an ice-breaker for some of the newest batches who tend to be a little more reserved in these sessions!

The session ended with an insight into ‘learning agility’ and why it is essential to adapt to an ever changing world.

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March, 2018
Workshop on Interview Skills by Kalpana

On March 18th the girls had the privilege of participating in a wonderful session on “Interview Skills” by Kalpana. She brought to bear all her vast experience in HR and provided insightful observations on how candidates behave.

A list of interview questions which are normally asked to freshers, provided a practical framework for our scholars to prepare. What to do, what not to do, how to dress, body language, eye contact, that first hand shake — every detail, however slight, was discussed with handy, down to earth tips and humour.

Our scholars participated with keen attention and judging by the notes taken, took all her tips to heart!

March, 2018
Workshop on Giving Back by Sarah Kachwalla

The only way to create a sustainable movement is by creating the drive to pass it on. March 4th saw a fabulous Pudumaipenn workshop on “Giving Back” by Sarah Kachwalla. In her own special style, Sarah managed to deliver this very powerful message through few simple activities and role play.

It was very evident during the summary session that the concept was absorbed and the girls sensitised to the need to help others in their turn.

It was another lively, interactive session enriched by the presence of other volunteers like Vidya, Annadurai and Kalpana Sundaram shared their thoughts and experiences. We are truly blessed to have the support of such generous volunteers, always willing to share their time and knowledge with enthusiasm and a cheerful smile.

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February, 2018
Interview skills workshop led by Unni Nair

On Sunday, Pudumaipenn scholars in their final year attended an interactive workshop on interview skills under the guidance of Unni Nair. Including small-group breakouts, competitions, a MENSA test, mock interviews and singing(!), the session brought out the energy, confidence and enthusiasm of the girls. Proud to see how far our scholars have come since first entering college as nervous, shy girls.