News and Reports

Pudumai Penn events

Students from affluent families have the advantage of educated parents and a vast network of well-informed relatives and friends to mentor and guide them on education and career choices. Unfortunately, Pudumaipenn scholarship holders lack such a mentor network. They are also not exposed to structured learning interventions in the form of workshop or training programs.

To provide our scholars with a mentor network the Pudumai Penn Foundation hosts an Expert Talk session bringing in experts from a variety of fields to speak on important topics. The foundation also facilitates regular training programs and workshops which help the scholars acquire life skills as well as subject specific knowledge. These expert talks, training programs and workshops help motivate these talented young women to aim higher, expand their horizon, stay focussed and achieve their long term goal of building a successful career.

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!

Past Events

Progress reports

We publish annual reports on the progress of our courses and candidates.The Annual Progress Reports for various years are given below