Participating in the Inclusive Business Lab STEM+ Leadership Week in China and Thailand is one of the most adventurous and risky things I have done in my life. I am glad to say that the risk I took was worthwhile and that my experience over the summer allowed me to gain insight and practical experience in the vast world of programming, helped me mature as an individual whether it be through an increase in self-confidence or growth in self-belief. Over the summer, I have had very different and unique experiences which I never thought would be possible, met many new people and made some good friends and last but not the least was able to dive into and explore the culture of not just one but two breathtaking countries.
Above, I referred to my decision to take part as risky and adventurous. I say this because of two reasons. First, When I applied for the position, I had no experience and no knowledge in any of the technologies/programming languages they wanted but they saw my passion to learn and to do and gave me a chance. I had to work very hard to meet the expectations of the project. Doing so I gained greater knowledge and experience, of course, but more importantly, I am able to confidently believe in myself that I am able to do anything I put the mind into. Second, I had applied for this position to help with education technology in places I had never visited before and without any friend whom I knew beforehand. Doing so, forced me to interact and meet new people and to appreciate the culture more.
I always believe in challenging oneself and doing things which make one uncomfortable in order to keep learning as a person. I was challenged in many ways exclusive from programming related tasks. I have always had stage fright. This makes it very hard for me to do presentations at University as well. I was challenged by having to go up on stage and talk about the technology I worked for and explain it to a crowd, I was challenged by having to dance and sing on the opening of the event in Bangkok and I was challenged when I had to rap on stage for the closing event in Bangkok. I believe this has helped me with my stage fright.
In Zhenjiang and Bangkok, we lived in two residences in different areas of the city, each place we lived in gave us a different exposure to the people, the food and the people of the city. Though the workload was intense, through time management, we visited many tourist attractions and experimented with different food.
In Zhenjiang, we visited many iconic places such as the Vinegar Museum, Zhenjiang Museum, etc. We even had a cultural trip, where we went to Shanghai and visited The Bund, Yu Garden, The Oriental Peral Tower etc. In Bangkok, we went to many tourist attractions as well such as The Grand Palace, The Chatuchak Weekend Market and many of the malls in Bangkok.