Name: Vijay Raj
Role: Independent Media Professional
An eleven-year stint in journalism provided a comprehensive experience of the profession. The gains were however not restricted to writing, editing and design. Skills in management, leadership, communication, conflict resolution and adapatability were also key learnings. A career-span which involved covering events in India, the Middle-East, Europe and Malaysia as well as functioning from locations based in the first-two named regions, contributed immensely towards gaining insights into systems, structures and strategies that enable efficient output in the world of work and people. Given the pressure-driven world of journalism, planning, coordination and execution of tasks under tight deadlines was almost always the norm. Also forming part of the journalism experience were travel, experience of international events and interactions with world-class professionals. Armed with learnings from my journalism career, I made the transition into the NGO sector, a move that was triggered by a need to explore a new channel for my skills. Two key features of the non-profit sector – approach (an emphasis on service) and intent (to bring about change in society) – struck a chord and were instrumental in shaping my new career path. The first-ever Information-Activism camp, a one-week training programme for rights advocates held on the outskirts of Bangalore in February 2009, was the highlight of my NGO stint. Being part of the organising team that animated a project for about 150 people from all over the world was a wonderful lesson in project management, planning, teamwork, and crisis management. Bringing out a daily newsletter was also one of my activities at the camp. Sourcing content, editing and designing layout were daily drills and although challenging, the end result was a successful package. Working with children and youth is of immense interest to me and my intent to groom an inspired new generation is reflected in my theatre assignments with children in schools. Being part of the non-profit sector would help me exercise the varied skills gained as a professional as well those acquired from my forays into theatre, sport and music. Using these skills for the benefit of the less privileged although challenging, will certainly be fulfilling.