Our visit to Citrix and Cisco – Autism Awareness Month
In our continued effort towards inclusion, on this World Autism Awareness Day spread across a month-long program as Autism Awareness Month we had an incredible opportunity to visit Citrix Systems, Inc. and Cisco Systems, Inc.
The students of Ishanya got a first-hand experience of a work environment. It provided an opportunity to plan, organize, and engage in active learning not just within the classroom setup but practically outside in an organization. Our students got insight into a corporate working atmosphere along with a chance to understand the do’s and don’ts of the industrial practice. We are so proud of our students for adapting themselves to a new environment, asking questions and engaging in productive discussions.
The most exciting session on both days were the presentation by our Students. Some of the students prepared for about more than two weeks to make a brief presentation. Based on learnings of computer skills class, each student made presentations by adding new slides, providing aesthetics, inserting clip arts & images, enhancing presentation by adding animations and transitions. The presentation included an introduction about each student, their family. It was followed by their likes ranging from food, sports, to entertainment and other hobbies. They sincerely made an attempt to identify their dislikes. They made a list of programs they are enrolled at Ishanya. They also highlighted what program they like and why they like coming to Ishanya. Overall, all the presentations were an outstanding efforts by students.
Our day one started with a visit to Citrix Systems. It is an American multinational software company that provides server, application and desktop virtualization, networking, software as a service, and cloud computing technologies.
All the students gathered at stipulated time and Team Ishanya boarded a bus and reached their office on time. The team was ready with visitor pass to welcome students and staff at the reception. The exciting activities planned by the talented volunteers from Citrix offered an opportunity to enhance communications skills and personality development for our students.
The students thoroughly enjoyed Chinese whispers game with a twist. They did not whisper words or sentences but “whispered” actions. The game turned out as expected, full of fun and confusion at the same time. At the outset although it seemed so easy for everyone, the final action was completely different from the starting one. The students subtly learnt the importance of communication and the consequence of communication gap. The game also emphasized on keen observational skills. Overall it was a fabulous learning activity.
It was followed by a highly interactive session on Self Awareness conducted by the brilliant team of Citrix. The students enthusiastically responded and bombarded questions to the team while they patiently enlightened the importance of knowing self, strengths, weakness, likes and dislikes. The students learnt about generalizing the active learning practices that happens in an organization and was able to relate the similar learnings that happens at Ishanya.
The next session was the most awaiting session of the day, presentations from the students. All the students impressed the crowd by making best effort to present their work. Appreciation must be put on record for the honest efforts by the students for making the presentation and staff for preparing them.
This was followed by the yummy wholesome vegetarian lunch which most of our students enjoyed, especially the dry jamun! The thoughtful volunteers at Citrix presented t-shirts and chocolates as return gifts to all students and staff of Ishanya. The day ended with students taking selfies/ groupfies with team of Citrix. We wholeheartedly thank Yashashree, Sohini, Vipul and the entire team of Citrix for giving us this opportunity and joining in our journey to inclusion!
Our second day was at Cisco Systems. Cisco develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products.
The students got first-hand experience of Bengaluru traffic and spent more than couple of hours to reach Cisco campus. Despite being late, the dynamic team at Cisco were gracious and well prepared in advance to welcome team Ishanya. The students and staff got visiting pass and took a quick walk on the campus to reach the planned venue.
The day started with a session on designing in a corporate world with a focus on factors contextual to each organization like standardized fonts, colors, logos. The patient team of Cisco responded to numerous questions bombarded by our enthusiastic students. The students were able to relate to the graphic designing vocational program offered at Ishanya. It was a significant session that helped most of the students to generalize their learning outcomes. It also reflected the efforts of Ishanya in teaching industry standard software for the students to get them equipped to work.
Students enjoyed the delicious corporate vegetarian lunch and savoured on juicy rasgullas. It was followed by an important session on Personal Safety by the Emergency Response Team (ERT) of Cisco. The ERT team mostly with veterans demonstrated various techniques and strategies of safety in public places in case of an emergency like a fire. The students keenly participated in the sessions and actively interacted with the team. They learnt about primary essentials and importance of First Aid kit. They also learnt some basic First Aid treatment.
Following it was presentation by students, similar to the one previously. Students made a presentation about their likes/dislikes, learning in Ishanya. They surprised the audience by making the presentation with confidence. It was a noteworthy event.
Lastly the team was divided in two groups and preceded to two rooms to experience the immersive telepresence of Cisco. It is designed to link two physically separated rooms, so they resemble a single conference room regardless of location. The two teams came face-to-face using this technology. All the students were awestruck by this highly innovative product of Cisco. They interacted with each other and cherished each moment spent in the room.
Finally, it was time to thank the team and bid good bye. All students received biscuits and juice to beat the summer heat. The students passionately clicked pictures, selfies, groupfies, invited team of Cisco to visit Ishanya and called it a day. It was a memorable day and a great opportunity, it is vital to thank Sukeerth, Nancy, Aditya and the whole team of Cisco for joining us in our journey to inclusion!