Alfaaz: Monsoon Musings – Season 3, held on September 17, 2020, was a poetry event which aimed to appreciate the beauty of literature in different languages (English, Hindi, Gujarati and even Urdu). Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused many limitations, Alfaaz was a successful virtual event wherein participants could share their love for literature with others. It provided them with an opportunity to not only voice their emotions but also to listen to other fantastic renditions. We had nearly 30 amazing pieces, which made us laugh, made us sigh and made us think. Our audience included teachers, students, and parents, who watched the event via live streaming.
As the Project Manager for Alfaaz, my major role was to ensure that everyone was doing their tasks on time. This was done by having a main sheet, wherein everyone was assigned tasks with a set deadline. We also kept each other accountable for the tasks through several meetings before major deadlines. I also managed the communication aspect of this project, and contacted participants, teachers and other stakeholders in order to inform them about the details of the event. Communication primarily occurred via emails and short meetings with teachers and supervisors.
LO 1: Identify their own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.
For this project, I identified my strengths and weaknesses in the aspects of organising and communication. My strengths included the fact that I am organised and possess leadership skills, due to my experience in student-led activities and taking charge in group activities. However, my weaknesses were that I was not aware of how to reach out to people and did not have a lot of marketing skills. By analysing my weaknesses prior to the actual event planning, I was able to set goals for myself and it made me more mindful about my skills. By identifying and working on the challenges I faced while organising the event, I was able to grow as a person and learn valuable skills like leading, communicating effectively and marketing. These skills will definitely help me in my professional and personal life.
LO 2: Demonstrate that they have undertaken challenges, developing new skills in the process.
I found several aspects of this experience a little challenging; from gaining knowledge, to managing everyone’s tasks progress and communicating with higher authorities. One of the major challenges that I faced was to effectively communicate with the participants, since I struggled with enforcing deadlines, managing schedules and even in getting their pieces. This primarily happened because we are unable to enforce deadlines due to the online scenario and effective communication was a bit of a problem. Another problem here was that a large number of participants were teachers, and some of them could not share their pieces on time due to their busy schedules. However, we required those pieces beforehand so we could proofread them and create a script. This led to a few challenges, but we handled the situation by enforcing a strict final deadline, after which the participants would not be allowed to present their work, and using time management skills, we managed to complete the tasks on time.
Although all of us worked together, I often found myself responsible for communication between the team and teachers, and keeping the entire process smooth. There was a clear division of work and together we did a good job. However, at times, it was difficult to communicate effectively because of the minimal amount of face-to-face interaction we had. This was mostly due to the fact that there were problems in finding common free time with our schedules. We tried our best to communicate through Google Hangouts, and attempted to have weekly meetings in order to keep work smooth.
Moreover, I did not have a lot of prior knowledge about marketing. I learned a lot from my fellow organisers who had a lot of experience using social media. Though I was not an active part of the marketing process, I did gain knowledge about how to market an event using social media stories and posts. The biggest challenge was holding the event virtually. I did not have much experience with Zoom, but over time, with assistance from the Media Team, I gained technical understanding of the platform and could use it with ease.
LO4: Show commitment and perseverance in their CAS experience
I demonstrated commitment and perseverance in this project because I dedicated a lot of time and effort for this project. We had frequent internal meetings to discuss our plan of action and completed tasks. We also had meetings with supervisors and other teachers in order to review our progress and discuss other technicalities. I completed all of my tasks prior to the deadline so that any edits or revision could be done as required.
LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
We showcased collaboration skills during the project. Although the five of us had different roles, we tried to equally divide all the tasks in order to complete them in a timely manner. All of us had different strengths, which we took advantage of. For example, Heily and Reet had experience with social media marketing, and they created all the advertisements. Simran had been part of various open mics and could give valuable inputs into planning the process. Saniya had knowledge about how to host, and created a wonderful script in a short period of time.
I have demonstrated several learner profiles:
- Thinker – I used my critical thinking skills for problem solving and last minute changes. I used my creative thinking skills while marketing and creating invitations.
- Reflective – I assessed and evaluated my strengths and weaknesses regularly during the course to try to improve on my self-management skills, thinking skills and marketing skills.
- Communicator – I effectively communicated with different stakeholders like participants, teachers, supervisors, coordinators, through different forms of communication.
- Risk Taker – I approached this unfamiliar situation with forethought and explored new roles, ideas and opportunities.