My Core Values and Outreachy

WEEK 1

Photo by Charlie Firth on Unsplash

In my previous blog I wrote about the Outreachy application process and my experience during the contribution period.
A lot has happened since then. For one; I got selected. (Yippie!)
And second; the internship has already begun. Week one completed today.

Outreachy encourages its interns to write a blog every two weeks. I plan on to write one every week. This week’s blog is going to be about me, my core values and my motivation behind applying at Outreachy.

I am Mahe, a pre final year Computer Engineering undergrad. My hobbies include dancing, reading, writing and being a nit-wit.
I believe in Sherlock Holmes. And I believe in technology.
I can code decently in C++and Python, and badly in Ruby.
When I am not being lazy, I could be found sitting on a wobbly bench in a park, re-reading ‘Gone With The Wind’ a hundredth or two-hundredth
time. I also happen to be a member of the University Dramatics Club and can do a Shakespeare or two. To seem cool, I tweet.

After going through this list of core values, I chose my most important three:
autonomy, creativity and community.

Autonomy
I think, because I happen to have a set of very controlling human beings for parents, my deep desire for freedom and autonomy is only natural.
My earliest memories are of my mother deciding what colors I wore (even when I hated her choice),what I ate, whom I befriended, what my ‘passions’ were goingto be, and how many times I went to the loo.
(okay, the last one is a lie)
When I say I want to be autonomous, I mean; I want to be able to make my decisions on my own, without unwanted interference and uninvited suggestions or advices.
And these include all kinds of decisions; big and small.
I want to choose on my own what career path I’d follow. I want to decide where I work, where I travel to, whom I travel with, in which country I settle down. And if I want to quit my job, I quit my job!
I want to decide on my own whether I’m going to live in a flat in the big city or in a house in a beautiful countryside.
I want to be an amazing autonomous adult.

Creativity
I am an artist (at least I like to think so). Dancing, writing and drama are the forms of art that are the closest to my heart. And creativity is the soul of art.
I like to live life creatively, trying to instill an element of novelty everyday.
As I work through college and my internship tasks, I always set aside time for being creative and making art. I maintain a creative blog here where I write anecdote from my life and my reflections on cinema and books.
As Neil Gaiman said, “Be bold. Be rebellious. Choose art. It matters.”

Community
I am a people’s person. Meeting, collaborating, and having fun with people; that is what I am about. A strong community of like minded people with similar interests and passions is very important to me. A sense of community and belongingness makes me feel safe and warm, and when I feel safe and warm, I grow. Therefore I always invest time and effort into my relationships. I let my friends know that I appreciate and value their presence and place in my life. Compassion and community, these two should be my legacy.

It was this attraction and longing for a strong community that gravitated me towards Outreachy.

I had seen tweets and posts and blogs from Outreachy alums describing their happy experience as an Outreachy intern. I also noticed how Outreachy alums remained active in Outreachy chats and discussions even though their internships concluded years ago. The Outreachy community is strong, I could tell and I wanted to belong here.

Another thing I noticed about Outreachy alums was how Outreachy internship had proved to be a major stepping stone in their careers. For some people Outreachy was their first industry internship experience. Their experience at Outreachy, the skills they acquired and the knowledge they gained helped them perform well in their career later.

Outreachy also gifts self-confidence to the interns. Outreachy makes sure to help the interns tackle the initial imposter syndrome by constant acknowledgement and appreciation. I chatted with a few alums and they all said the same thing; Outreachy gave them self confidence.
This was another reason why I applied at Outreachy. I lacked self confidence and wanted to change that about myself by applying and trying to succeed at a very competitive program like Outreachy.

A week has passed and I still feel imposter syndrome.
And I am also a little nervous about how things will work out in the following weeks. Outreachy organized an interns introductory chat and Sage Sharp reassured us that we (the selected interns) are every bit worthy of this internship and that we’ll be more confident and at ease as more weeks pass.

I am looking forward to more learning and confidence building during my internship period at Outreachy. I also want to make friends with other interns. I am hopeful that the Outreachy experience will be just as memorable and uplifting for me as it has been for all alums.