Updated: Sep 30, 2020
Anwesha Pati is a third-year Commerce/ Psychology student at UNSW who has been with 180DC UNSW as both a Consultant and Project leader.
Now, Anwesha shares her experiences of being a Consultant and Project Leader with 180DC and how she was able to integrate the skills she learnt in psychology with the society.
1. Why did you join 180DC UNSW?
The first time I heard about 180DC was at O-Week. It was also the first time someone had explained to me what consulting was. I honestly didn’t have any idea about what consulting or social impact was when I joined, so I wanted to learn more about it and give it a go. 180DC stood out to me because I really wanted to get as much practical experience out of my time at university as possible. I've always been a hands-on learner and I find that engaging with projects is the best way for me to solidify things that I learn in classes, so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity. I stayed for three years because I had learnt so many transferrable skills with each new project I was assigned. Plus, it was such a great way to meet such driven and inspiring people.
2. What has your experience been like in 180DC, coming from a Psychology background?
It’s been really interesting because psychology and understanding human behaviour is, in my opinion, at the core of social impact. Trying to understand what the motivations of people are and thinking laterally about this is the best way to find different solutions that you normally wouldn’t think of. This comes in handy when, for example, you're brainstorming solutions about whether a person would choose to donate to a cause. Really diving deep into possible reasons for this and asking ‘why?’ helps in brainstorming not only causes, but solutions as well. You can’t solve problems that you don’t understand deeply!
3. Was there a time you were able to apply your science knowledge to add value to your 180DC project?
Honestly, I was really surprised about how much of the scientific process is involved in consulting, especially when you're trying to figure out how to find solutions for complex social and business problems. Hypothesis testing is a great example of this - in order to make sure that you aren’t just researching something blindly, you start with hypothesis of why a problem might arise. Then you try and look of evidence that might either disprove, or prove your hypothesis. Another great example of this is when you need to apply your researching skills that you pick up when you’re doing a science degree. This could be going through scientific journals to find the relevant information, for example.
4. What would you consider some of your most memorable moments with 180DC?
One of my most memorable experiences was in one of our recent client meetings, when our team found out how much of an impact we had made for both the current problem the client was facing, but also some larger scale impact. It seems a little counterintuitive, but when our client came to us with a whole list of edits that they wanted us to make for our final deliverable, I couldn’t be happier. This told us that not only were they super engaged with our work and the consulting project; but also that they wanted this final product to be perfect because they knew it was going to be used so much in the future. It was honestly such a rewarding and heartwarming thing to hear from our clients.