Volunesia: A Moment that changed my life

My Journey from a Volunteer to Creative Head of InOut hackathon.

I was amazed to see how people coined the word ‘Volunesia’; meaning- a moment when you forget that you’re volunteering to help change lives, because it’s changing yours. I believe we all will have stories to tell in context of the same. I have mine too. Being an introvert then, accompanied by a very few companions, hopping from home to college and college to home was my only routine.

It all started from the day when I agreed to volunteer for InOut 1.0, to this date where I lead the team as Creative head of InOut. I’ve always been into painting and crafts but never thought it would get me anywhere forward. During the first edition of InOut, I volunteered to deliver some handmade posters. Everyone appreciated my effort and the journey has been remarkable since then. I started enjoying this work even more and interacted with many folks for suggestions. The day when we decided to organise the second edition with more number of participants nationwide, I took up the charge of branding the hackathon and formed an awesome team of designers for the same. I had three things in mind:

  1. Everything has to be handmade.
  2. Posters will be inspired by our tech-tracks.
  3. Our design should represent our vision of playful & fun learning hackathon.

We worked together for two months before the hackathon, and left everyone tweeting happily about our work. None of us stopped. We continued thinking about what’s next? A year later, we were excited to know that the third edition was on its way. I wanted it to be different this time. We were going to host more than 10 eminent sponsors of our event onsite. Knowing that there were no direct flights to Surat, it was very nice of them to travel all the way to Surat from Bangalore, so I decided to give it all a personal touch, just the way I like. As soon as the college resumed, I called my ‘Sena’ (as I call my design team fondly) who worked with me in previous edition too, to discuss about the theme to work on and our time arrangements (as we had our classes ongoing this time). Unlike InOut 2.o, only 15 days were left for the event-day. Nevertheless, we decided to put our heart and soul into it. I asked my team to gather ideas on how we can design the hacking area. They were quick like a bunny, as in an hour I was flooded with dozens of ideas. We made a list of number of posters and other creative accessories to be made. Each one of them was assigned a particular task, only to obviate mess and make them responsible enough. I’m a big believer of transparency & ownership and I wanted my team to believe in the same.

We all knew, we’d have to pull out all the stops to get everything ready for the final execution. After 15 days of continuous hard work, my ‘Sena’ was able to pull off. It was our collective responsibility to arrange everything for the zeroth hour. Starting from managing registrations to welcoming all the attendees, my team handled it all very well.

Our efforts were very much appreciated by the participants as well our esteemed guests giving us major goals for the next one.

They all posed for a group picture in the end while I kept smiling proudly. I was living the best moment of my life. InOut has truly made a masterpiece out of the creative amateur in me. Only if I could measure the leaps, which a leader and a person within me has taken.

Waiting to see these happy faces again in our upcoming fourth edition in Bangalore. We’ll be sharing more here. Do follow us to learn more about organising hackathons and crafting beautiful experience for the hackathon community. #HackingSoon #hackinout

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