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In the Shoes of a Mentor: Why Guidance at Every Step of the Learning Journey is Crucial

Team StoryWeavers|February 18, 2021|

Neha Kambli calls herself a ‘people manager’ rather than a ‘process manager’

When Neha Kambli joined BYJU’S in December 2015, little did she know that five years down the line she would become an integral part of one of the most crucial arms of the organisation: User Experience. This wing of BYJU’S is responsible for providing support to our students, interacting with them on a regular basis, ensuring their concerns and questions are addressed and that they are well-engaged with BYJU’S – The Learning App. 

As the User Experience Manager, Neha’s job is naturally multi-faceted. From making sure that mentors are always there to support and encourage the children to people management, it falls on the shoulders of this dynamic team leader to ensure a seamless learning experience for the students. 

In the process, this BYJUite – who calls herself a ‘people manager’ rather than a ‘process manager’ – is also taking home some valuable lessons. 

Find out more about Neha and how her volunteering experience with the youth and underprivileged children aligns with her larger purpose and role at BYJU’S in this edition of People Who Make BYJU’S. 

Also Read: A Chartered Accountant’s Road To BYJU’S And Why It’s The Best Risk He Has Taken

What inspired you to choose a career in Edtech and, in turn, in BYJU’S? 

Neha Kambili: Since a young age, I have wanted to make a difference in whatever I’m doing. Be it through my job, my personal life, or anything else that I am doing. And honestly, the role at BYJU’S happened to me by chance. This was my first interview and when I started the job, I realised that it’s actually making an impact on so many people. 

When I was in school, we used to go for multiple tuitions and follow the whole rote learning method. But children nowadays have a completely different, concept-based approach to learning – something I would have enjoyed during my school days. If somebody had given me the BYJU’S app, I would have been delighted to study. I personally feel that our learning programmes are deeply impacting the way students learn.

Being a part of the BYJU’S family since 2015, tell us how the organisation has grown and evolved over the years.

NK: Right now, you say BYJU’S and the whole world knows about it. Back in 2015, when our app had just launched, it was something new for students and parents, online learning itself was at a nascent phase. So it was a bit of a hit-and-trial method for us. We were just starting to figure out the training modules and the way we could make learning fun for children. You can say that we learnt right from the scratch, and I am glad about it because now I know the company in-and-out. 

 

How has your role evolved at BYJU’S through these years?

NK: I started out as a Business Development Associate back in December 2015 and worked in this profile for close to a year. In 2016, I was promoted as a Sales Manager. For a year, I handled the sales team, following which I moved on to the training profile where I trained new recruits, helped them understand the process, and more importantly, “why” they are doing it. Getting through the process is simple if you instil the “why” in the process. 

After 6-7 months with the training team, I switched to mentoring at BYJU’S. Undoubtedly, this was a unique opportunity for me, the role allowed me to interact directly with our learners and create impact. Now, I’m a User Experience Manager and I handle support for the North region. The kind of work the team does, it is truly amazing. 

What is the role of a Mentor in BYJU’S?

NK: Believe it or not, but our mentors have some of the most heartwarming stories. And it is because of the bond they share with the students. A mentor is like a child’s best friend, helping and guiding them through each step of the learning journey. Throughout this journey, mentors engage and interact with students to understand their learning needs and their issues and concerns. They also strive to understand how children are using the BYJU’S app and what they expect from our learning products. 

Our students often end up sharing their stories of exploring some new topic or subject with their mentors. It’s a feel-good factor – knowing that you are genuinely impacting a student’s life. 

Also Read: From a Small Town in Kerala, This BYJUite Traced His Way to Success

How would you describe your style of leadership? 

NK: I am someone who is always open to new ideas. As a User Experience Manager, I believe my role is not only to ensure that the process is going well but also to ensure that people in the team are growing individually. In the future, these folks might start leading a team and take on more responsibilities. Therefore, it’s integral that we inculcate these skills in the people right from the scratch. 

I believe that I also bring in a more personal, human touch to team management. By providing a space for people to open up and share their problems, we can help them both professionally as well as personally.

You are also an Art of Living instructor, right? Shed some light on the workshops you have conducted and how it has helped you at BYJU’S. 

NK: I have conducted workshops for underprivileged children and for service providers like house helps and security guards. Through these workshops, I try to help people manage their emotions better, teach them how to concentrate and increase their productivity. In my classes, I teach a very powerful breathing technique called, ‘Sudarshan Kriya’. With this, whatever stress is caught up in the mind and the body, it gets released very effortlessly. 

These sessions are a mix of activities – a bit of yoga and a bit of meditation. And they are immensely useful when it comes to dealing with work-related stress, channelling your emotions in a positive way. 

I deal with a lot of youngsters in the age group of 21-26. More or less the average age of the people working in our company. So, I understand what kind of problems they go through. It is easier for me to deal with people. I believe I am a better “people’s manager” than a “process manager”. Process, anybody can set it right. But if your relationship with people is not good, then you will not go a long way. That is what I have learnt from these workshops – how to handle people, how to handle critical situations and more importantly, how to stay calm in those critical situations.

If you are interested in a career with BYJU’S, drop in a mail at [email protected].

Also Read: From IIT to Harvard and now BYJU’S, Tannishtha Sanyal is charting her own course

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Sutrishna Ghosh

After spending six years in newsrooms – of all shapes and sizes – Sutrishna is back to her one true love: storytelling. She strongly believes, stories have the power to inspire, encourage, and instill change. And if nothing else, bring people together through a sense of shared experiences. Write to her at [email protected] or [email protected] Share a compelling story or just drop in a ‘hi’.

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