How InStep changed me

Disclaimer: I could have written on Indian breakfasts, best places to get dosa on campus or where to go out in Bangalore and Pondicherry, and decided to not do so. They could have been fun, easy to write, but they would not have revealed the truth. This is the most personal article I have ever written, as of now I don’t know if I will have the courage to publish it. Still it reveals both my true self and my incredible Instep Journey.

Aurore Guglielmi
HEC Paris​,France

Aurore Guglielmi

My name is Aurore Guglielmi, I am 23 years old French student pursuing Corporate and public management at HEC and Sciences Po Paris. My fields of interest range from politics to philosophy, management, entrepreneurship and data science. I had planned to stay only eight weeks at Infosys Instep Global Internship but decided to extend my stay. Interesting enough, I feel on campus, people would have described me as extravert and open to others. It has not always been the case.

Three years ago, I was studying at UPenn when my heart almost stop beating. In three days, my life was turned upside down: I had learned that I was suffering from a disease and had to make crucial choices. While everybody told me to stop my studies, I decided to keep going and to combine treatments and university classes. It was not easy there were up and downs. From the moment I recovered totally, I had lost eight kg, tons of hairs, my ‘joie de vivre’ and my confidence. I had to manage living with a new body, perfectly knowing what people’s first impression of me was.

I had always been shy, but was eager to meet new people. It was not the case anymore. I didn’t want to go out. I stayed in my room in a kind of apathetic mood, waiting for time to fly. Retrospectively I have the feeling I did nothing interesting in my life at that time, except studying and seeing doctors.

In March 2019, a friend told me about Instep Global Internship Program. I looked at it online and was amazed by what I saw: a fully paid internship in the heart of Bangalore. I applied and got in, no need to say I was delighted. Still, I was afraid and chose to only stay for eight weeks. I can tell you beforehand, this was a bad move you should go for twelve weeks.

I quickly understood the goal of this internship was not only to work but also to connect and mingle. I had to be open to people and willing to talk and chat. I switched my sad French mood to my open English one and connected with the girl I used to be. The one who didn’t care about people’s opinion, the one who tried to be as talkative and friendly as possible, the one who used to make friends with random people in elevators in the United States.

I am not going to say it was easy, the first few weeks were hard. Cultural shocks, adapting to community life, new sounds, new food were all kind of challenging, but the InStep team did an amazing job in making us feel at home. No one was excluded no one was left behind. From induction, to cultural activities, treasure hunts, Bollywood rehearsal and cricket tournaments, there were always a way to talk to new people. Everyone here is so smart and bright it was a delight to exchange. I realized I preferred life as an extravert than as an introvert. I realized I liked communicating and organizing things. I realized I could clearly talk my mind out and be bossy. I finally realized no one cared about the way you look, all that matters is what you have to say. I realized I could do anything with a little bit of confidence.

Five days ago, I was talking to friend and a sentence popped up: “it is incredible how you have changed, I sometimes have the feeling of talking to a brand new person.” Would I have done a normal summer internship; this change would never had happened. I would have worked and locked myself in my room all evening. I cannot thank enough the InStep team for having devised such a wonderful internship and my friends for having to bear with me. This internship made me grow, it made me mature and it made me recover fully. To conclude, apply to this program, you will never regret it, it will definitively be the ‘best summer of your life.’

Aurore is a French master student currently pursuing a dual diploma master in Corporate and Public Management from HEC and Sciences po Paris. She grew up in Nice but is currently residing in Paris. In the past years, she also lived in Rems and Philadelphia. The InStep experience has sparked her interest both for expatriation and computer science, two fields she is certainly going to fathom in!