How to Build a Profile that Creates a Positive Social Impact? – Project Baala

Profile building is increasingly emerging to be among the top criteria for admissions in universities abroad as well as leading universities in India like NIFT, Ashoka University etc. This begets the question of ‘What is a Profile’ and ‘Why are Universities according its Importance’.

Your profile is essentially a testimony of your character and personality – what are the passions you identify with, the skills you have garnered over time and how well you would fit into an environment. While your grades focus on one aspect of your profile i.e. your academic competencies, there are other factors that can enhance your candidature with respect to other candidates in the run. 

Profile also becomes an important aspect of applications to universities as marks secured by students increasingly move beyond the 90-95 percentile. In the last 6 years, there has been a 600% increase in the number of students getting above 90-95 percentile. In this situation, the idea is that universities need to go beyond grades and consider other aspects to a student’s candidature. Furthermore, a good profile enhances not just educational prospects at top universities but also placements in companies. Profile-building, is in essence a CV building exercise. This is not with the end goal of having an illustrious document stating your achievements, but also a journey that can grant you some clarity over your career choices and greater life decisions. 

A good profile consists of a balance including but not limited to projects that curate and create social impact, internship experiences that add to the practical experience of a candidate, academic pursuits beyond those provided by the educational institute you are enrolled in and other extracurricular activities and pursuits a student can curate, in their capacity. The idea is to build a consolidated list of diverse endeavours that grant growth and opportunity to you and ensure that you have a pool from which you can pick and choose items to be sent according to university preference. 

Social Work and Its Impact on Student Profiles 

Social work is often overlooked while building a profile. This is despite the fact that social impact skills are highly sought after at the university level, especially universities abroad that value the inculcation of humanitarian consciousness among students. Increasingly, universities in India are beginning to see value in admitting proactive students who take up challenges faced by the society and respond to them in unique ways. The idea is to involve the youth in curating and sustaining an active civil society ethos that creates a culture of accountability and responsibility amongst its citizen body and leaders. 

Even those who understand the importance of social work in their profile are sometimes deterred from taking it up as they are unable to find suitable organisations that align with their areas of interest and/or offer opportunities to those interested in volunteering. Today, we will be highlighting the work of one among multiple organisations that do commendable work. 

Project Baala 

Project Baala is an innovative menstrual health solutions provider working to end period poverty and period illiteracy while generating employment. Their mission is to ensure that every menstruator has access to affordable and sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions. Baala caters to demand, supply and income needs in the menstrual health sector. Their 3 pillar solution includes a sustainable menstrual absorbent, awareness modules and livelihood model.

Project Baala has designed reusable sanitary pads, with a reuse cycle of two years, to solve issues of affordability and accessibility of menstrual hygiene products. These products combine the community experience of Baala with decades of expertise in textile technology to give a product that is viable for the needs of menstruators. It has also curated a specialised awareness curriculum that systematically educates and dispels myths and misinformation around menstruation. With a commitment to long-term sustainable impact, Project Baala heads Baala Associates in rural India wherein village level women entrepreneurs spread awareness and sell sanitary napkins as a source of additional income. To date, Baala has impacted the lives of 2,80,000 menstruators in 4 countries (India, Nepal, Tanzania and Ghana).

Hear directly from Chahat Sethi, student at the Centre for Career Development, former intern at Project Baala on her experience with them, “Interning with Project Baala has been among the best internship experiences I have ever taken up. My projects included knowledge dissemination in government schools of Moga District, Punjab and distribution of sanitary napkins. Through the course of my internship, I realised the impact a single student can create simply by supporting the efforts of an organisation like Project Baala. We have our time and effort to spare, and must use it in ways that positively impact the community we are a part of. I am grateful to Project Baala to have given me the opportunity to create this impact.” 

To know more about Project Baala, visit their Instagram

Written by: Kunalika Gautam