Oct 18, 2015

Weekly update 1: Couchsurfing, meetups, trying to be more organized

It feels like a month has passed by since last Monday. Its been exciting, tiring, amazing.

Earlier this week, Sharon and Prof Teo, directors of the program I'm on, came to Tel Aviv to check on us. We had a few meetings in which everyone presented on all that they've been learning on their internships. I learnt a lot from listening to the others talk about their internship experiences. One of my friends talked about his role as a community manager in the startup he's working at, which really got me thinking about ways I can enhance the community element among eRated's (the company I'm interning at in Israel) users. I still haven't found a perfect answer yet so if anyone has suggestions ping me (payal@erated.co). Another thing that came up was how important it is to do something that makes you uncomfortable everyday. While this is something I try to live by, I think I needed a reminder. So I signed up for a few meetups on meetup.com. While I like meeting new people a lot, it does make me a bit uncomfortable still.



I went to two meetups this week. One was something on content marketing. In the first three months of my internship, a large part of my role was producing content (like blog posts) that engaged our users and helped us get new ones. So I thought it might be interesting to learn ways to do it better. My two takeaways from that meetup were documenting content strategy (I hate documenting-I rarely do it) and thinking through the purpose of the post more clearly before writing and publishing it. Is it to create awareness? or to get customers to buy your product? All of that really affects the tone of your content and I realised I should be more conscious about it. The other meetup I went to was something called She Codes. It's a weekly event organized at the Google Campus in Tel Aviv, where women go and learn to code or work on your own projects. I'd been wanting to play around with the user data my startup project's app has been getting, so I went there to work on that. It was SO nice to be surrounded by women who were learning to code. I usually don't like to go for gender specific events, but this one was really great. When I go to hackathons, I'm one of the few girls there and I feel judged for not being a genius coder. Here, I felt ok knowing however much I did and the mentality of people was more towards the growth mindset.

video
She Codes at Google Campus Tel Aviv

I hosted one couchsurfer this week. She's a student from China starting her masters at Tel Aviv University soon. She was super cool and so independent. We didn't get to hang out much, but I loved whatever little time I got with her. I spent the weekend couchsurfing with my flat mate and friend Aileen in a nearby city called Rehovot. Carmel, who we met through couchsurfing invited us over to her parent's house in Rehovot for the weekend and we got to spend time with her siblings, parents, grandparents and aunts! It was really amazing to meet so many warm people at once and spend Shabbat (Jewish weekends) with them.

Our host Carmel with Aileen and me at the end of an amazing weekend

I tried to be more organized and in the moment this week. I've been told I'm quite messy and unstructured by a lot of people. Also, I tend to get distracted easily. My Singaporean friends here are the opposite, so I figured that it's a good opportunity to learn from them. So I tried documenting more stuff, like meeting agendas, conversations with users for my own startup project (this one:smoocer.com), to do lists, strategies I was using to reach out to my startup project's users. My brain still feels quite messy as it did before. I often come up with new ideas and then get distracted by them. So I have to force myself to not get distracted and just keep doing what I'm doing. Doing one thing at a time has been really great though. It's much easier and less tiring than getting excited by 5 different things and trying to do them simultaneously. It's also nice when I manage to force myself to really listen to my friends when they are talking. Sometimes, when they talk too long or about things I'm not interested in, I zone out and then the conversation pretty much ends. But that's a terrible habit to have, so I forced myself to listen to everything people said to me this week, even if it was boring. It was quite nice actually. I had better conversations with people.

1 comment:

Gavel Club said...

Loved reading this one. Will look forward to your weekly updates