One thing these extraordinary times have taught us is that adopting digital technologies is key to adapting to the changing times!
However, for Suja Augustine, taking the leap to edtech wasn’t a tough decision. It was a path paved by her passion to teach and willingness to make a difference in the lives of young learners. As this passion took root, she stumbled upon a role that combined both her love for teaching and her creative bent: reviewing content for biology at BYJU’S.
As the Senior Associate, Content Development, Suja is responsible for proofreading and scripting videos as well as designing products for young learners. She says it’s a role that “challenges me to think creatively and innovatively about our content.”
She adds, “Nothing should stop you from exploring a new field at any point in your life. When I applied at BYJU’S, I knew this would be a great learning experience for me, and it proved to be one. The most exciting part about the work here is that we are making engaging content that is going to help children learn new things in an exciting way every day.”
For Suja, the passion to teach took flight early on. The BYJUite, who has spent more than a decade in the education sector, was in Class 11 when she started taking home tuitions for children aged 10-15 years. “That was a turning point for me because I had stumbled upon something that I really loved,” she recalls.
To pursue this passion further, she went on to study BEd at the St Joseph’s Training College, Ernakulam. She also has a PhD in Microbiology from the Karpagam Academy of Higher Education and has published four research papers in Microbiology in international journals. From teaching to working in edtech, Suja has had quite a progression.
“At BYJU’S, I get the opportunity to create effective learning content and products for children. This way, my team and I are impacting so many lives,” she chimes in. “Hence, I can confidently say that the transition from traditional education to online learning has been seamless and in perfect alignment with my goal of sharing my knowledge and nurturing young talents.”
Suja landed her first stint as a teacher in 2006, at a school in Aluva, Kerala. The role marked the beginning of her career in teaching, leading to more interesting opportunities along the way. In fact, before joining BYJU’S, she was heading the medical division of an educational institution in Karnataka.
“One important lesson that I’ve learned from this role is that the impact you can have on students can be even greater than you ever imagined. And it is wonderful.”
All these different roles and experiences have shaped her career and made her journey remarkable. Talking of how she experienced a seamless transition when she joined BYJU’S, Suja says, “With the right people in your team, work becomes much easier. There are people in our Content Team with all kinds of skill sets, and they have been really supportive and encouraging, especially, during these unique times when we all have been working remotely.”
Suja believes that in these uncertain times it is important to stay motivated and keep yourself engaged. “Staying home all day can be a bit exhausting so it is necessary to keep yourself creatively engaged. I am a writer and have published around 300 stories in Malayalam. A flexible schedule at work allows me to pursue my hobby on the side. So after finishing my work, I am able to publish one short story every week. Writing helps me beat any kind of stress and this control over my work schedule is invaluable when it comes to achieving a work-life balance,” she quips.
Stressing on the need to stay connected with peers in the new normal, Suja says that one should support coworkers by respecting their obligations and appreciating them to make them feel valued. “Our team checks in regularly to look for ways to support each other. We hold virtual meet-ups every Tuesday to see how others are doing. We have also incorporated a culture of appreciating the team for their extraordinary work and contributions,” says the BYJUite.
This attitude has seeped into her life outside of work as well. On a personal level, Suja has been helping people in her apartment, who have tested positive for COVID-19, by delivering medicines and other essentials at their doorstep. She has also volunteered to ensure regular sanitisation in her building to keep everyone safe.
Ask her, what inspires her to do all this and go above and beyond her role both in a personal and professional capacity, and pat comes the reply. “It’s all about being involved and making a difference in the lives of others. Especially now, that the sense of community has taken precedence over everything else.”
Damini is passionate about photography and travelling. She is happy to have her camera in hand to click random pictures. Always searching for answers about the chaos around her, she spends most of her time reading and learning new things. She also loves listening to music but is a pathetic singer herself. From being a journalism student to working with several media houses, she hopes to keep narrating compelling stories all her life. Write to her at [email protected] or [email protected]
My mentor Raksha Chettri has been my pillar of strength from day one. It is her constant guidance and encouraging words that have helped me become a lifelong learner. A big thanks to her and BYJU'S - The Learning App.
BYJU'S app has helped me understand Maths and Science in a fun way. Now, I study from the app, understand concepts, and then go through my textbooks.
BYJU'S is the bridge that connects my imagination to my reality. The engaging study videos with real-life examples help me understand concepts not only from an exam point of view but as a lesson for life.