2019 Events

October 13th, 2019
Communication Improvement Workshop – a leading MNC CSR – Toastmaster Initiative – facilitated by Bharath Nagarajan and Reena G.S.


The “Recruiter’s viewpoint” session was the 4th and final session in the series of sessions facilitated by Bharathkumar Nagarajan. It was conducted by Senior HR consultant Ms Reena GS as a leading MNC CSR-Toastmaster initiative. The objective of the session was to give an awareness to the audience about the aspects that a recruiter might expect from their candidate so as to choose them as a prospective resource to their organization.


The session included areas like attitude needed by the candidate, what are the dos and don’ts before appearing for an interview, how and what to prepare, a couple of mock-interviews and some activities. The audience were able to get a complete picture of the learning program by connecting the learnings from the earlier 3 sessions and converge to this final session. They also revisited their old queries now with a new viewpoint.

October 06th, 2019
Communication Improvement Workshop – a leading MNC CSR – Toastmaster Initiative – facilitated by Bharath Nagarajan and Jayashree

The Second session in the series of workshops started with the recapping of the topics discussed on communication and with few scholars sharing the write-up “Tell me about yourself”

The first topic covered was Interpersonal communication. Bharath addressed the different types and importance of interpersonal communication viz., ease of conversing (small talk, telling facts, opinions and view points and personal feelings), negotiating, defusing verbal criticism and positively affirming one’s stand. The session was interspersed with activities and slightly touched upon human values.

The Third session in the series was on Etiquette and was led by Jayashree. She had explained the different types and importance of etiquette in the corporate world with small magic indicates “yourself is your first inspiration”. She explained about body language and gestures to be followed, mistakes in etiquette and a mindset towards etiquette. The session included different activities for the participants.

September 22nd, 2019
Communication Improvement Workshop – a leading MNC CSR – Toastmaster Initiative – facilitated by Bharath Nagarajan , and supported by Vidya Raghunathan

Workshop commenced with Vanaja addressing the students on the importance of improving their communication for leveraging employment opportunities and growth subsequently. She also stressed that mere degree certificate may give them a job but not a successful career. For that they should meticulously plan and attend all the workshops to improve their general awareness of the expectations of work environment. Expressing their thoughts well is a key requirement associated with their career growth. Vanaja also thanked Vidya and Bharath who made this workshop possible before the final years get ready to face job interviews.

Bharat Kumar Nagarajan who runs the Toast Master Club within his organisation, shared his insights on the importance of the communication with a funny video and how communication should not be.

1) First he talked about the inspiration, collaboration and time management. He quoted the below Thirukural and explained about the power of communication

சொலல்வல்லன் சோர்விலன் அஞ்சான் அவனை
இகல்வெல்லல் யார்க்கும் அரிது. (647)

Solalvallan Sorvilan Anjaan Avanai
Ikalvellal Yaarkkum Aridhu. (647)


Mighty in word, of unforgettable mind, of fearless speech,
‘Tis hard for hostile power such man to overreach.

Explanation It is impossible for any one to conquer him by intrigue who possesses power of speech, and is neither faulty nor timid.

சொல்லாற்றல் படைத்தவனாகவும், சோர்வு அறியாதவனாகவும், அஞ்சா நெஞ்சங் கொண்டவனாகவும் இருப்பவனை எதிர்த்து எவராலும் வெல்ல முடியாது.

2. He gave inputs to overcome the communication barrier

a. Prepare and practice

b. Observe others opinion or the matter of fact they convey to us.

3. He gave the following tips

a. Dress code is more important.

b. Breathe a lot of time so that your tension gets rid off.

c. Speak up with your ideas when in groups.

d. Writing improves your concentration increase the vocabulary.

e. The way of giving feedback is very important.

4. He explained the types of communication and how to communicate with hands on activities

a. Verbal communication

b. Non-verbal communication (91% of the people understand non-verbal communication)

Finally pairing program was suggested for the below activities, where two people work tandem to attain the goal

1. Have a write-up on “Tell me about yourself” in 150-200 words.

2. The 2nd person review and provide effective feedback to the first person and vice-versa.

September 01st, 2019
Interviewing Skills workshop by Kalpana

The 2019 – 2020 Skill Development Workshop commenced with Kalpana facilitating a wonderful session on “Preparing for a Placement interview” for all our final year students .

Vanaja highlighted the importance of English language skills in securing employment and career progression of the students. Also introduced Bonnie to the scholars.

The session covered various aspects like how to dress for an interview , how to enter the interview room and the initial greeting , documents to carry , body language during the course of the interview , sample of questions one can expect and the appropriate responses.

Kalpana displayed a whole list of the typical questions asked to freshers .


a) Tell me something about yourself

b) What are some of your achievements and failures

c) Why do you want this job

d) How do I know you can be trusted with responsibilities

e) Why should I hire you etc.

Using short role plays the girls were encouraged to respond to these questions and were given tips on what is appropriate to disclose at this stage and why.

Giving several simple examples from daily life Kalpana demonstrated how it was easy to convince the Interviewer that the Interviewee has traits like “Eagerness to learn”, “Flexibility” “Decision making skills” etc; all skills that are critical in a job environment !

The session wrapped up with an assignment urging each student to do a self audit and note down one’s strengths , achievements , examples to demonstrate the above and areas for improvement .

The girls were very “present” throughout the session and we were amazed how most of the girls had such varied talents and interests.

Natarajan who was also present shared some of his thoughts . Kalpana’s passion and energy was so infectious, the session ended on a high note !

August 25th, 2019
Improving English Proficiency – Hindu STEP Introduction session for 2019-20 Batch Scholars

Bonnie A Jose (The Hindu Group) , Vanaja Arvind , Madhavan from Pudumaipenn commenced the session with the students ably assisted by few of Pudumaipenn scholars from previous batch who had volunteered to assist the new batch to get familiar with the application.

Vanaja highlighted the importance of English language skills in securing employment and career progression of the students. Also introduced Bonnie to the scholars.

Bonnie briefed them on why STEP (Standardised Test of English Proficiency) is more useful to them in learning the language than from grammar books and Explained that STEP will help them to speak, write and interact with confidence.

Out of 24, 22 scholars have participated and completed the pre-test and started the 40 days course. They have been given 3 months’ time to finish the course.

This year the Hindu Group, apart from providing the foundation the licenses to use, have shared their dash board /report to monitor students’ progress weekly. This will enable the foundation to ensure that the learning journey initiated on 25th continue without interruption.

March 10th, 2019
Reach out to Excellence by Unni Nair

Sunday 10th March saw our final workshop for the academic year: “Reach out to Excellence”, conducted by the inimitable Unni Nair. It was an energetic, invigorating event where lessons on how to move from mediocrity to excellence were passed using a mix of video clips, anecdotes, activities and sing alongs.

Inspiration included an an elderly gentleman who first took up running as a sport at the age of 97; Sergey Bubka who beat his own Olympic record 14 times; Jessica Cox, who learnt to fly even though she had no arms, and more.

Using a group activity that was done in groups, the girls understood the difference between kinetic energy and potential energy and how to tap the latter to reach excellence.

An interesting activity entitled “The cup of life” demonstrated that it is possible to fill one’s life with different goals to make it more meaningful and complete.

The session ended on a high note and the girls are now focussed on their exams. All the best to them!

March 03rd, 2019 StressWorkshop on Work Ethics and giving Back by Sara Kachwalla

Sara’s session on 3rd March ’19 on “Work ethics and Giving back” was highly appreciated by the final year students. Since each of them would soon be moving into the” world of work” , she started the session stressing on how it was important to move from being an Individual to have the ability to work in a team .
To explain the concept she used KASH as a guideline.

KNOWLEDGE – Be a lifelong learner. And one can do that by cooperating with co-workers, by being adaptable, by sharing one’s own knowledge and by interacting and learning from others

ATTITUDE – Always have a positive attitude. Concentrate on what is going right . Speak up and never be afraid Express yourself and communicate what you are thinking and feeling .

HABITS – Always ensure you demonstrate and cultivate Habits that are appreciated at work Always be punctual. Listen to what others have to say. Greet others cordially. Be appreciative. Ensure good grooming . Always be Grateful.

The session was interactive and with Sara demonstrated each of the points with interesting examples. The first half of the session set the stage for the second half “Giving back” The girls were asked to do a short Gratitude exercise. They were encouraged to think what that were grateful for. Going round robin , each one present had to share something they were grateful for using a letter in the Alphabet . It was an interesting thought provoking exercise. Post the exercise every student was encouraged to share how they would “give back” , either to someone in their immediate circle or family or to society.

Sara made the session a collaborative interesting two hours and each student felt empowered to contribute and “give back”.

February 03rd, 2019 Diversity and Inclusion by Jacintha Jaychandran

Jacintha had her audience riveted yesterday at her session on “Diversity and Inclusion ”

“D and I is a mind-set issue” was the central thread of the talk . With examples solicited from the girls she proved how from childhood we are slotted into certain categories. Girls are supposed to behave in a certain way while expectations from their male counterparts is different. Statistics show that worldwide while women form 75% of the Toppers list in examinations , sadly only 1-4 % reach the top in the world of work .

This situation can change and the young women entering the workforce today for the first time, especially in India, are doing so because they seek “a purpose” to work rather than just working “to meet a financial need “.
Jacintha explained the shift in the ratio of women reaching the top can be done by keeping certain criteria in mind:

a. Women *must* ensure their personal wellbeing by not “sacrificing” on their physical fitness, nutrition and sleep

b. It is imperative that every working woman must have control over her own finances. She must ensure her physical safety as well as emotional stability.( What should I tolerate, what should I not ?)

c. It is important for women to interact and communicate with others at the workplace and show that she is as well informed as her male colleague . She should also seek opportunities to “contribute ” to those around her. Giving several live examples Jacintha demonstrated how “contributing” goes a long way in increasing one’s self esteem.

c. It is important for women to interact and communicate with others at the workplace and show that she is as well informed as her male colleague . She should also seek opportunities to “contribute ” to those around her. Giving several live examples Jacintha demonstrated how “contributing” goes a long way in increasing one’s self esteem.

Jacintha stressed that every woman was responsible to ensure she reaches to the top. She should not be cowed down by societal pressures.

The second half of the session dealt with the concept of 4Gs.

a. Gender – Sensitivity to people of different orientations and being inclusive of them leads to harmony at work

b. In today’s work world often people of 4 GENERATIONS work together. If the older generation brings experience the younger brings energy . Both should learn to be tolerant of the other.

c. GEOGRAPHY- Coworkers can hail from different geographies and therefore different cultures. . It is important to be sensitive to these differences and be respectful of them . She gave several examples to illustrate the point.

d. Generic – Differences can be physical , emotional. The important thing is to remember that tolerance and acceptance contributes to one’s personal growth and wellbeing.

The session was extremely engaging with some of the volunteers present too sharing their points of view . Thank you Jacintha! I am sure the girls had a lot to think about and implement for themselves post your session.