This is a contribution from Amrutha Sivakumar, who was the Student Editor for Issue 3 (Nov-Dec. 2011) of ParentEdge.
If tomorrow I had to go to a job interview and talk about my most profound experience, I would say one word–ParentEdge.
In the 11th grade, I found out about an internship opportunity with ParentEdge that allows teenage students to be student editor for one of its magazine issues. It was definitely something very different from anything I had done before and working with ParentEdge seemed the perfect way to use my passion for writing to stay active during the summer! What I didn’t know that working with the ParentEdge team would teach me so much more than I could have learnt otherwise.
As compared to the western countries, it seems like India has less internship opportunities available for high school students– or else these opportunities are a lot harder to find. Furthermore, acquiring these internship with little or no experience can be quite a bit of a hassle.
ParentEdge is special in that way. As an absolute beginner, I was able to try my hand at writing and editing. Unlike most other internships that I came across later, I realized that ParentEdge gave me the chance to do real work. I was given ample amounts of freedom on what and how I wanted to work on my articles and when required, I was given the guidance, allowing me to develop my writing skills.
Now, nearly two years later, I can definitely say that working with ParentEdge gave me the edge I needed. When I came to the University of Michigan I realized that the skill that western education systems stress upon most is the ability to eloquently express facts and opinions through a written platform. There’s an expectation that students be able to write on a wide variety of subject areas in a short amount of time, while making it interesting and appealing to any reader that might come across your work.
ParentEdge taught me to write on topics ranging anywhere from interpersonal relations to health, diversifying my knowledge as well as teaching me how to change my register according to who the reader would be. It taught me to go the extra mile when doing my research, and it stressed the importance of accuracy and perfection when it came to relaying facts. Parallel to that, I learnt how to manage my time between academics and ParentEdge and how to be organized and coherent with my work. There is no way that school alone could have taught me these essential skills.
When it boiled down to actually applying to colleges for further studies, or exploring other work options in other countries, ParentEdge stood out in my resume as an example of a long-term project that truly brought out the best of my abilities.
Receiving the published magazine in the mail was an incredible feeling! I felt so accomplished and for the first time, felt like I had truly done something that was bigger than myself! There are very few things have made a big difference in my high school years, and ParentEdge is one of them.