Volunteering Experience of Karthik Iyer

Volunteering with IEEE has always brought in many more opportunities to the table than I could imagine. In a case where I would simply be an IEEE member, I would have got to explore, learn, collaborate develop projects and grow my knowledge immensely. But being a volunteer with IEEE not only helped my knowledge grow but also socializing skills tremendously. It has boosted my confidence and broadened my horizons to say the least. I have been able to learn about so many technological avenues, meet so many experts, mentor other student members, learn to think creatively and handle pressure and last but not the least make so many new friends. I was introduced to IEEE through my college and stepping up as a volunteer has helped me connect with people right from Delhi to Kerela and even out of the country. I feel very ecstatic when I say I was, am and will be a part of IEEE.

I have been actively volunteering with IEEE for over 3 years now. I have held several positions right from my Student Branch level till my current position at the Section level. Through these 3 years my proudest and happiest moment was in the first year of my volunteering when we conducted STEM lectures for underprivileged students. We had spent over a month working on our teaching skills, on coordinating with the local school, curating and if not available making the contest to be taught ourselves and much more. The moment we stepped into the school the kids were so glad and happy to see us and they sat through the session intently listening and answering our questions. They were ecstatic to play with the robots that we had taken to show them and at the end of the day they stepped up to us and thanked up so innocent and purely that it just made me feel very glad to be volunteering with IEEE and doing such activities.

With IEEE I believe to have gained in two parts. The first is where I was introduced to numerous competitions and contest that helped me furnish my skills tremendously. Having been introduced to IEEE through debates at my college, then going on to debate at international levels and winning. Furthermore, I have taken part in several coding competitions, including IEEE Xtreme 13.0. I have also taken up multiple opportunities to attend Student meet ups and congresses. All of these have helped me improve my network and have put my skills to a through test.

The second part of my IEEE journey is most definitely volunteering. I have never given up on the crucial volunteering opportunities that IEEE has offered and hope to imagine that I have given my all. Through volunteering I have improved my networking abilities, my social skills and most of all my ideation and creative thinking abilities in tackling last moment problems have been given a huge boost at each step. I have most definitely learnt a lot more through IEEE volunteering than I could have elsewhere.

My favourite IEEE Story most definitely arises from the AISYWLC conducted at Kerela in December of 2021. Majority of my team at SIESGST Student Branch had attended the congress and we had a wonderful experience. I got to connect with a lot many volunteers of the section as well as the numerous other who attended the Congress. The event in itself had a lot of cultural sessions but on the night of the event, post dinner, quite a few students had gathered in the garden at the venue, and we sat there under the stars, with a guitar in hand, singing. We spent a couple of hours just sitting in a circle singing old and new songs and swaying and dancing all the while. Everyone was so jolly, and it was a very memorable night for me personally. It showed me that IEEE doesn’t necessarily have to be only about the knowledge and information it imparts but is a very easy and wholesome way to connect with so many people from so many different backgrounds. AISYWLC is most definitely my most memorable IEEE experience.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about outside of IEEE is when I have been to Model United Nation conferences. I have participated and even been part of organizing a MUN at my college (SIES GST). Beside this I have volunteered at the Aashman Foundation during the Covid outbreak and lockdown period. I have also been part of the Anveshna program back in 2019, where we would teach comparatively complex STEM concepts to underprivileged students. Additionally, I have stepped up as a performing artist at Cultural events in and out of college, as a Beatboxer and musician. I have indulged in music for about 7 years, starting from the 5th grade. I have wanted to be a volunteer with IEEE for so many reasons, because it has truly helped me define the phrase “Joy of Volunteering”