ATMA | 03 February 2022
Meet Harinee, a biotechnology graduate turned recruitment director. She speaks to us about her wide range of experience in the social sector and how volunteering at Atma has helped her along her journey.
Harinee, tell us a little about your background and work history so far?
I studied biotechnology and was working as a research associate. I then joined the Young India fellowship because I wanted to move into the social impact space. This was a good opportunity to study as well as pivot my career in a different direction to science.
I was with Young India for a year and then joined Teach for India as a recruitment manager. Within a year, I was a recruitment lead for East and West India and international recruitment.
I’m currently transitioning out of Teach for India and will soon be taking over the role of director for recruitment for Teach for Bangalore, which I’m really excited about.
How did you find out about Atma and what made you want to apply to join the organisation as a volunteer?
"The current Chief Programme Officer of Atma, Abhijat Bedekar, was my manager when I joined Teach for India. When he joined Atma, I began following the organisation closely. In particular, I was always interested in consulting but had no experience in the sector. Atma had the right mix of consulting opportunities and meaningful work in the social impact space, that’s why I reached out as a volunteer.
What really got me interested in Atma was the work that was happening. I followed the organisation’s Instagram page, Facebook and website. I could see the organisations that Atma had already worked with and the impact being created. Education is something very important to my heart. I felt like it was a reliable organisation because I already knew the person leading the organisation. I trust him, so I thought, this definitely has to be a good place to get involved!"
Tell us about the skills that you have gained volunteering for Atma?
"Previously, my skillset was very particular. I had worked as a researcher earlier, but being a biotechnology graduate, this was in the laboratory. When I got involved in Atma, the projects required a lot of research, but I was now gaining exposure to literature reviews and presenting information to clients. I had the opportunity to shadow high profile meetings and learnt how to get better at participating in these.
In terms of hard skills, by working on a project from start to end, I’ve learned the best way of figuring out the next step while simultaneously working on the current step while on a project."
Finally, what have you enjoyed about volunteering here?
"I think the people, it’s how close-knit the organisation is. The kind of meetings which are held, they are very friendly, there is a call to action with what happens next but it doesn’t only feel like work, it’s more like two people just talking.
I used to find the team meetings quite exciting. It’s been awesome working with my mentor, I’ve been in awe of her work! "
Do you want to gain exposure and experience in the education sector? Are you looking to make meaningful relationships, both personally and professionally?