An inspiring experience with young students

Alex Laffan

Head of Tesco Service Model, Tesco Bengaluru CEO Dept

 When I was growing up I always wanted to  be a teacher. But having long ago let that  ambition fade, to find myself standing in front  of two 11th and 12th standard grade classes  at Hoodi PU College in Bengaluru was a new  and slightly scary experience.

 I was joining Priyanka Singhvi and a small  group of new graduates at Tesco to talk to  these young men and women about how to  prepare for their upcoming exams. In  particular we wanted to share tips on ways to  succeed and also to underline the importance that these exams can have on your future – unfortunately you don’t get much choice about when the cycle of school exams, university applications and job-seeking confronts you!

I’d been told before the day that many of the children wouldn’t be too motivated about their school work or exams. But what I saw was the wonderful, lively mix of school kids that I remembered from my own (increasingly distant) school days – some who were incredibly focused on their work, others who were more interested in sports and hobbies, and those with the sharp wit and ability to make everyone laugh. And most importantly, everyone I saw had that youthful passion for life that suggested they woke up to try and enjoy every day regardless. It struck me that despite the difficult circumstances many of these students came from, this was not a distraction from focusing on their education.

Hopefully some of the tips we gave – about revision techniques, the importance of relaxation as well as work, and the power of thinking about future goals as a source of motivation – will have helped some of the class. But I left in no doubt that these were great kids who had the spirit and determination to take whatever path they choose in life. It was an inspiring experience to spend a few hours amongst their enthusiasm, laughter and diversity.

Of course after we spoke I was mobbed with requests for the obligatory selfies with the freakishly tall white visitor. It’s something I’ve become accustomed to in India! I look forward to going back to the college in a couple of months and seeing how everyone is getting along.