The programme gives field experience, provides job opportunities and even gives a chance to look at the sector closely. Know more about the Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM) and how they are giving direction to those looking at a career in the social sector.
Akhila Ramesh, an architect, wanted to use her professional skills for social change but was clueless on how to take the plunge. When she joined Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM), Bengaluru, an institute that trains people who want to create social impact, she not only found the best way to utilise her knowledge and resources but also managed to start her own initiative. Ramesh now works with affordable community-based housing and helps the marginalized design their houses through her organization, Nivasa.
Ramesh’s story is a perfect example of how the right guidance can help you take some of the hardest decisions of your life with confidence.
Just like Ramesh, how often have we wondered if we could do something more substantial and meaningful with our lives? But most often, it is the same old responsibility of paying bills and rents that makes us stick to our jobs. What stops us from taking that plunge? Is it just the comfort of a well-settled job (even if we aren’t quite satisfied with it) or a lack of knowledge about the new field we want to explore?
The social sector sure seems like a field that gives you both job satisfaction and helps you earn a living. But starting an altogether new career in this field is often not as easy as it looks. From choosing the right model to raising funds and finding the right resources, it is always better to prepare yourself for the long haul before you take that first big step.
How great would it be if you could get a hands-on experience of this field before you jump into it? The Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM) is giving exactly that to help you get prepared for the social sector.
From organizing sessions by experts to to providing hands on experience through projects in NGOs and social enterprises, CSIM is shaping intent and raw talent into action.
When P.N Devarajan retired from his long stint in engineering, he realized the need of social entrepreneurship in India and decided to start CSIM in 2001 in Chennai with the sole objective of giving direction to those who are looking at a career in the social sector.
Gradually the idea picked up and the team opened its Bengaluru chapter in 2007 led by Aruna Subramanian, who was earlier a student at CSIM.
CSIM offers unique programmes that not only help students turn into changemakers but also make them aware of the opportunities in the sector.
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“We have students from different background and age groups. The important thing is their passion for an idea and their interest in it,” says Subramanian.
CSIM’s Social Entrepreneurship Outlook Programme, a four-month part-time programme, makes the students aware of the requirements of a social enterprise and gives them an idea of how to manage their own initiative.
Another interesting program offered by CSIM is Social Audit and Accounting, which helps an organization to measure impact, account for its social performance and improve its performance.
“We have a great team of professionals who are already successful in this field as faculty and counsellors. This gives students a good idea of the challenges and what works here,” Subramanian says.
CSIM also awards some outstanding performers with an annual award “Nayananda” which provides the winner financial and technical support. CSIM has awarded 100 such prizes so far.
Thanks to CSIM’s unique model, 200 students have been successfully trained so far and have gained a close look at the industry.
“We also organise various campaigns and events to keep the discussion going and engage more people,” says Subramanian.
The institute, that runs with the help of donations, has a team of four who manage to take care of everything.
“In case you would like to start something in this sector, I would just advice you to take the plunge. Everything else follows,” says Subramanian.
If you want to utilise the resources of CSIM or contribute in any way, you can enrol for their course, become a volunteer for some of their events or just spread the word.
To know more, check out their website.