Fellowship Experience: Anurima Prabhakar

Anurima Prabhakar is a product design fellow from Cohort 6, and has recently joined PropertyGuru - Asia’s largest online property portal - as a product designer.

We caught up with her to find out more about her Fellowship, how she got her current job and what a day in her life looks like!

“I am a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology - I studied accessory design. I shifted to the product design space when the realisation that I wanted to help people hit. Whatever I wanted to do had to be of use to people.

I chose the path of self-learning during the Covid pandemic. But learning by myself wasn’t having the same effect. I felt like there was no growth. I needed a space where there was guided mentorship, people around me who could voice their opinions and discuss about different topics. That was the kind of space I was looking for. I didn’t just want a one hour class that nobody cares about later. I could get that from YouTube, but that wasn’t what I was looking for.

Coming to that, I actually saw a YouTube video featuring an ownpath mentor. And that ignited my interest in ownpath. The more I found out more about it, the more I realised that this was the place I’d been looking for, since a long time. A dedicated space to talk to mentors, have conversations, get feedback, interact with other Fellows, learn more about their diverse backgrounds. Some are from law, someone’s from architecture, some from engineering - the diversity in the cohorts is simply astounding. I’ve had so many interesting conversations with them, and I’d been looking forward to something like this for a long time.

ownpath has played a very major role in my getting into PropertyGuru. During my interviews, I had sessions with Bapu where I showed him my portfolio. He guided me on things like what would make me stand out from hundreds of other applicants. These sessions really helped me a lot. It is also exciting because I have been able to apply what I learnt at the Fellowship in my current role.

And, I’m not only learning from the mentors but the Fellows themselves - so many in my cohort have twice or more of my experience, they bring so much knowledge with them. It is always such a great experience hearing them talk about their jobs. They help me so much - John, Harsha, Naveen - they’ve all been working and they tell me how I could do better. Like simple things - when you feel shy about asking for your worth, they answer a lot of those questions and guide me through on a daily basis. That kind of help is immeasurable.

My biggest takeaway from the Fellowship is that you have to be a learner. I’ve never heard anyone say - we know everything. Even our mentors keep learning, for eg when they’re taking classes they see perspectives they wouldn’t have thought about. So this Fellowship has ignited that constant thirst for learning in me.

Mahima’s masterclass where she talked about synthesising your research, how to conduct interviews, talk in a manner where you actually get answers you want was one of my favourites. Another thing that will stay with me is from Akshay’s masterclasses - ‘we as designers are creating interactions and shaping the behaviour of the user.’ This makes you feel like you have a superpower - how you can shape behaviour in a good way. That satisfaction is something I’d found missing earlier. I also learnt about how emotions are important when you’re designing or doing research through Shivani’s masterclass and that was something I hadn’t thought about it.

All in all, this has been one heck of a ride so far, and I am quite excited to see what comes next!”

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