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The Spark After School: Embracing the Work-Life Balance at b.ignited


Muskaan Parikh



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Well, I am back! :D After experiencing a perfect internship, I just couldn’t say bye to b.ignited. So I joined them as an employee! How I joined them is a story for another time, but today I want to speak about how my work life is treating me compared to my school life. Let me tell you that the difference between them is worlds apart. But before we start, let me introduce myself again. Hi! I’m Muskaan, I started as an intern at b.ignited and left with a spark for the company and its employees. 

Juggling Studies and Stress: The Student Experience 

Let me start by explaining how my school life was. As you know, I am a proud alumna of Karel de Grote College. My journey to acquiring this degree was marked by an enormous number of projects and papers, demanding a significant amount of spare time outside regular school hours. The final year felt like a constant juggling act, with no time left for my family and friends. It was a continuous battle to complete my projects and study for my exams. This left me feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything. 

I tried planning myself by setting daily tasks and found peace in completing them at home. Sometimes, on a good day, I would be able to finish my tasks in an hour and then have the whole evening to spend time with my family and friends. You must be thinking, why not work in advance so that I would be free at the end of the week. That was already the main goal of the daily tasks, but sadly this was not possible. We needed the next lecture to determine the next task. Setting those daily tasks blurred the lines between my studies and personal life, creating a harmonious blend. However, the internship cleared that line, which made me reflect on the delicate balance between work and life. This balance felt energizing to me. It made me excited about what my work life had to offer. 

Discovering Harmony: How My Internship Redefined Work-Life Balance 

During the internship at b.ignited, a new set of challenges was created by KdG. They had given strict instructions that all work had to be completed within designated office hours. This posed a unique challenge, especially for those, including myself, who found their productive rhythm outside the fixed hours of a standard workday. But the internship changed that, once office hours were over, I could spend time caring for myself and making plans with family and friends. What about my remaining tasks? You may ask. Well, either I had finished them or postponed them for the next day. And this was ok! A new concept that I would have never been able to handle during school. My colleagues had a big hand in this, they used to always reassure me that it is ok that something was not solved. You can just do it tomorrow, and we will see what happens then, by struggling and trying to solve it now, it is not going to work. Look at it with a fresh mind tomorrow. They used to tell me all these things, which lowered my stress levels. 

New Rules, New Rhythms: Adjusting to b.ignited's Work Ethics 

On the first day of work, I had a meeting with Patrick, where he explained about the works of the company. And I remember him telling me, that if you need to run some errands during work hours, this is not a problem. Just make sure that, at the end of the week, you have worked your contractual hours and/or the amount of expected work is done. Interestingly, I realised that each time I had a conversation with someone, who has not yet started working, I explained this concept, I always ended up expressing how the beauty of working lets you decide when you work. If tactically avoiding a task or if my productivity was low during the day, the option to continue working a bit longer was a welcome option or postponing it for another day was also fine. You must be thinking that I did want the line to be clear between work and private life. But sometimes, it can be blurred out. 

What happened to me planning my daily tasks? Well, I still try to do that. Like the time, I had planned to set up a framework for Appium. This took longer than expected, I remember mentioning this to Koen. He told me that it is fine, “I know you will be able to figure it out. I have not given you an easy task, you are going to struggle. Eventually, you will be able to solve it.” He was right! It did take some time, and I was able to solve it.  

Working at b.ignited: a race we run together 

Feeling very thankful that I have such supportive colleagues, they made me realise that I must work hard. But you also need to spend time focusing on yourself. That is a valuable lesson that I would love that every workplace would give to its employees. Because as a student, I would feel pressure if I did not have a productive day. The next thought would come to mind that I would later feel bad that I had wasted time. However, at work, they tell me that it is ok if I have not yet finished something in the time I had planned to. Many times, the analogy is made between school and a race. During school, you run one lap, and you are standing to pass the stick to yourself. But at b.ignited you are not running the relay race alone, I can pass the match to my colleagues, and together we will win the race! It is not my race but our race and that is what makes working at b.ignited so fun and enjoyable. Thanks for reading!