By Janki Chaudhari
Hi! I am Janki. I am a 3rd-year Computer Science Student at the University of Western Ontario. This past summer, I had an opportunity to work at Kikori. This is my story as an intern at Kikori.
What is Kikori? 🤔
Kikori is a Startup with a focus on experiential education. At Kikori, teams work to create experiential education activities with the vision that activities will be accessible to educators around the world thus providing all youth with the opportunity to develop the cognitive, social and emotional skills needed to thrive. One such example of an activity in the Kikori app is —
What’s the quote An Appreciation activity that allows the participants to write their own inspirational quotes by thinking about people in their community(friend, family..etc) who they would like to send something uplifting to or show appreciation for.
What working at Kikori meant to me 🥰
When Kendra (Co-founder and CEO of Kikori) told me her story about her time as a social worker and an educator in Chile, the needs she felt for emotional learning activities and her mission to make experiential education activities accessible to educators around the world. I instantly resonated with her mission because back in the summer of 2017, when I volunteered at an NGO(non-governmental organization) called Manav Sadhana in India, I had to design activities for children at the NGO and it is indeed difficult to come up with new activities all the time! Having personally experienced a need for such an app, I was overjoyed to be on board to work on a product that really excited me.
My role as an intern at Kikori 👩💻
My role at Kikori was to initially work on their website by improving its current UI design. I collaborated with multiple members and teams at Kikori, where I got a better insight into how activities were created and verified. This made me realize how complicated verifying an activity can get, due to copyrights and infringements. Moreover, I worked with the UX/UI team to develop an affinity map for the app (how cool is that!), transitioned into the management side to organize a Trello board and finally worked on the front-end and UI design for Kikori’s web app (which will be out in late Sept/Oct).
Someone said it right — you wear many hats working at a start-up. It teaches you leadership and taking ownership of your work. To be honest, this was the most diverse experience I have gained in a span of 2 months. Everyone at Kikori works day and night to bring the product to life. That brings me to my next topic — Staying in the loop and asking for feedback.
Staying in the loop and asking for feedback 🔁
The most important part of working as a remote intern was to stay in the loop. With Kikori, teams were spread across 3 different countries and 4 different time-zones. Communication was the key to success … literally! At a start-up, a lot can change in a span of a week. Remaining in contact with my supervisors, managers and co-workers helped me stay aligned towards my weekly goals.
When I worked as a UX developer, asking for feedback was fundamental for me to complete my projects successfully. This was especially true when we started building the UI for Kikori’s web-app. The feedback helped me build products more methodically and improve the UI by gaining insight into the user’s perspective of the app.
Thank you to Kikori Team 🙏
Someday, I hope to meet everyone from Kikori who I worked with this past summer. I hope all their dreams and visions for Kikori come true, as the team works day and night to improve the product and bring it to life.
Firstly, I am very much indebted to Susi Burke (Strategic Advisor for Kikori), who I met during the mentor-mentee program at Tech Together Boston. Susi introduced me to Kendra and without her, interning at Kikori would not have been possible. I was emboldened by the hard work Susi puts in every day, and the amount of feedback and critique she offered to improve Kikori.
Kendra managed me for my internship. I have never met someone with so much determination and energy. She is not only incredibly kind, but she is also a one-woman army. It is marvellous to see how she manages to run a start-up while working towards her Ph.D. There is just so much to learn from her.
I am also grateful to Nikki who spent the time to explain how activities work and the process to create one.
I am much obligated to Sarah for supporting me throughout my internship and making sure my voice was heard.
Last but not least, I am thankful for everyone who worked to make my experience at Kikori so fulfilling.