As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Durgha Ramji, Project Manager at Inme, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to pursue opportunities abroad. For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, search #SMEProfile.
Durgha Ramji (25) is Inme’s very own ambitious young person from the UK. Durgha spent her first year at UCL before transferring to the University of London Institute in Paris. Durgha has interned at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Sharekh Youth Forum in the Palestinian Territories and the Next Billion Online project powered by Google in Bangalore, India. She now heads Inme’s engagement with the outward student mobility strategy of UK HE Institutions.
Go International with UCL
I remember my time at UCL as being an opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. My friends circle had never been so diverse. There were also lots of opportunities to learn about projects which can support a student gain international experiences through volunteering or placements. These experiences are critical in todays globalised world as employers are looking for graduates with the ability to work in multiple cultural contexts.
While at UCL I applied to The British Council’s Study India Programme (SIP) and after graduating I spent a year in Bangalore as part of Google’s Next Billion Online project (NBO). These experiences really inspired me to pursue opportunities in India. When it came to deciding whether I accept my offer of a graduate job in London or continue exploring career development opportunities in India – having had the SIP and NBO experience made the decision easy for me – it was always going to be India.
From my previous exposure to the cultural, economic and youth led start up environment I knew the responsibility, initiative and skills I would develop by leaving the UK would be invaluable and attractive to employers back at home once I returned.
Returning to a world of opportunities in India
Selected as delegate for the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, I knew I would also visit friends in India and so bought along my business plan for a student leadership programme I had submitted to the Lloyds Bank Start Up Fund. I’d got through the application round and had my phone interview in a tent on the banks of the River Ganga while working as a facilitator on an Inme rafting programme in Rishikesh.
Unfortunately I didn’t pass this stage of the Llyod’s application but I’d also shared the business plan with Inme who took up the offer and decided to explore the opportunity to internationalise their offering of leadership programmes to international students.
And so I decided not to take my flight home and I’ve been working in India since.
Global Entrepreneurial Minds at Inme Learning Pvt Ltd
As part of my role, I am heading the entire project cycle of designing, selling, implementing, evaluating and improving an international product. I am responsible for ensuring the success of the project, anticipating and following through on opportunities and working with different departments to ensure my objectives are met.
I have found inspiring mentors in the senior Inme team who themselves come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience in pioneering visionary ideas and products in India. The senior team are experts in using adventure based learning, behavioural science and attitudinal and mindset training to build leadership skills.
With Inme – I believe I have discovered the most conducive environment to build my own leadership capabilities!
Through working with the senior Inme team my steepest learning curves has been in the following key areas:
Adaptive challenges – As a start up project making mistakes enable us to gain insights, understand our target group and adapt the product to what works best for them. I know that having the bigger picture and an overall plan is necessary but I must be ready to adapt to the context and situation.
Anticipating opportunities – When attending my first SOAS Alumni event in New Delhi I took along my programme brochure in anticipation of sharing it with fellow alumni. In a chance meeting with a representative of the British Council we discovered a potential collaboration opportunity. Investing my time, energy, creativity, relationship building efforts and trust in multiple options and opportunities is important – I know some will fail, but some will pan out extraordinarily!
Taking risks – Taking risks with a combination of trusting my intuition and reasoning (add to this a dash of serendipity!) will leading to rewarding results for myself and Inme.
Appreciating diversity – There are many different ways, processes and methods of achieving the desired result.
Living the Generaton UK – India experience
Today, I find myself living the Generation UK – India experience – and with the project I am heading – The Global Leader Inme – I really want to inspire fellow UCL students to take the same leap I have of being at the vanguard of ambitious young people ready to work with India and innovative and exciting Indian Companies to build ties between the UK and India which go beyond simple economics.
Inme are UCL Skills4Work supporters and are delivering a workshop with Deloitte on Career Drive and Motivation on Monday 16th November 2015 at 5pm.