Have you messed up on the very first day of your internship? Sadly, I already have. Even after everyone departed, I recall sitting down to restore the database I had inadvertently erased. The tense atmosphere shattered my self-assurance and made me edgy for the rest of the day. When I joined the Chennai Photo Biennale as a data management intern, I was enthusiastic about meeting the team, but I didn’t realize I would immediately make a blunder. Even though I could successfully retrieve the deleted data, I realized how overwhelming it could become to deal with sensitive data. Lamenting my ineptitude did not favor me; instead, learning from my mistakes resulted in a rewarding experience. CPB has an environment that allows one space to acquire the skills they need, despite the additional time and energy required, which made it possible for me to take time to hone my abilities. For instance, one of our team’s educators organized an exciting photography workshop since, as a biennale, the organizers felt it was essential for every team member to be aware of and understand the fundamentals of photography. From Shooting Modes to Exposure Triangle, I learned the basic terminologies of photography, which I can now apply to my everyday life.
A majority of my role at CPB involved learning the ins and outs of data management and design tools such as Salesforce, Google Sheets, Mailchimp, and Canva to manage existing data, create infographics, and help run email campaigns. Being a part of this foundation has allowed me to upskill my research and data presentation skills. Working on a post-workshop report allowed me to explore the best ways to represent data for donors. The project solidified my knowledge and taught me the significance of utilizing pertinent graphs and maintaining consistency throughout a report for effective communication.
I relish CPB’s enforcement of a genuine camaraderie among the team members, which is an essential facet of a workplace for me. Interacting with every member in the office allowed me to learn from the tremendous amount of knowledge they possess. Every team member exudes a sense of serenity and prolificacy, which influenced my own caliber. Considering how daunting it can be to work in a new place with new people, CPB provides a friendly and welcoming environment for interns to settle in. Don’t get too comfortable, though! As an intern, I had to complete a range of tasks, including the ones I hadn’t done before, like creating a landing page on Mailchimp when I wasn’t familiar with the platform, which was challenging and intimidating at first but was ultimately fruitful. My experience at CPB has been incredible, and I can’t wait to apply the skills I have acquired here to other fields.