Is it worth attending the Young India Challenge 2016 at IIT Delhi? by Aman Verma
Answer by Aman Verma:
Well, I'll abstain myself from answering this question objectively with a Yes/No because “worthiness” is a very subjective term. What's worthy for me might not be worthy for you and vice-versa.
I was one of the delegates at YIC Mumbai 2016. I'll share my experience about this event to help you decide it's worthiness for yourself.
Background info: I was clear with what I want from my life and was already doing what I love. The reason I wanted to attend YIC was “corporate networking”. I'm a final year student at IIT-B, spearheading an international organization, parallelly working in corporate world for a little more than 2 years.
I had this misconception that a lot of YIC attendees will be corporate professionals or entrepreneurs, however it turned out that about 90% were students.
My life learning suggests that happiness follows only when you allow yourself to be happy. I opened up myself to enjoy this event although I knew that I was not going to see many corporate professionals/entrepreneurs.
- YIC began with pretty cool ice-breaking activities. I could see happy faces all around, which in itself is a good experience to have. The organizing team ensured great vibes, cheerful roars, enthusiastic high-fives and a sense of happiness in the air. I honestly loved interacting with every individual I met, everyone was open to having a conversation and carried a comforting smile on their face. The organizing team created an extremely conducive environment. Kudos!!
- Then comes the teaching-learning part. The initial lectures were very interactive, Kamal and Wioleta(Co-founders, YIC) are incredibly impressive at whatever they do. However, I didn't learn anything new, partially because I already had a sorted life and partially because I was learning and practicing similar stuff for years. If you are not already learning and PRACTICING Self-help for a long time, then these sessions are really helpful and will save you a lot of time, money and energy. Based on my interaction with other attendees, almost everyone knew a few things beforehand and got to know a few new things afterwards. Overall people were contended with the session.
- The second half of the day wasn't as good as the first half. A few entrepreneurs were sharing their life journey, passions and reasons. Some of them were good, but some of the lectures were long and boring. Moreover, since Kamal and Wioleta had already set a benchmark of energy and enthusiasm, these speakers seemed to be a little dull in comparison. The day ends with introduction of teams for next day's competition and a small dance party on Rang De Basanti songs. Twas pretty cool 😛
- Second day starts again with similar cheerfulness and enthusiasm all around. We played an interesting game (this was probably for team bonding and interaction). It actually opens you up to everyone else. They then continue from where they paused last day with new entrepreneurs coming up with their journeys. It was much better this day. Later these entrepreneurs become your mentors for the competition. And you get really good suggestions from them. They help you look into the bigger picture and share their perspective. (For me, this mentorship duration was my time for professional networking)
- In the second half of the day, you complete your solution and present your idea to the jury. This was overall a good experience for most of the attendees as they shared learning and laughing, along with a lot of other good activities. What was good here is that a few people were facing/overcoming their fear of public speaking. What was bad is that the jury didn't give any feedback. You don't get to know what was right/wrong or how can you improve or why did you win/lose.
- The event ends with a few selected fellow delegates sharing their life stories (this was good and inspiring, I got goosebumps). They announce a few opportunities for YIC delegates and eventually the competition winners are declared.
For me, the best part of the entire YIC was meeting good happy people and the informal activities and events. I'm still in regular touch with a lot of delegates (now friends) :P. I might attend YIC again just to see so many happy faces at one place.