By Sambridhi Shrestha

College life has been really busy for me lately. Apart from studies, I am also working as a part-time researcher at Whittaker Associates (WA Analytics), and I am involved in running an electronic shopping platform known as Outlet-Smart Shopping. I get up early in the morning for my classes, then rush to the office around 1:00pm, and later in the evening, I devote my time to the shopping platform. My role at Outlet varies from customer service and answering inquiries to product delivery and marketing products on Instagram and within our mobile application. These responsibilities have helped me learn new things every day, and I would like to share a few that I prize the most.

The most important thing that I have learned this year is to manage time even in the busiest days. Time is something I value, and knowing that I have to get up each day and carry out my responsibilities keeps me motivated to work hard. I have built up a habit of planning my day which helps me stay organized. Meanwhile, the nature and diversity of three different duties I’m involved with helps me “buy” more time. At WA Analytics I have flexible working hours, and at Outlet I have very supporting team members who cover for me during the day. In addition, my class starts early in the morning which forces me to wake up early in the morning and helps me get going.

Furthermore, I have become financially independent and have been growing my savings account. This has developed my self-confidence and made me grateful to those who have helped me financially in the past. I have also grasped the value of money, and it’s helped me become relatively frugal these days.

On the other hand, working at Outlet has taught me valuable lessons. Outlet is a digital platform which helps physical stores go online. Retail industries in today’s world have become increasingly tech savvy. Outlet gives an advantage to both the vendors and their customers. It helps increase sales for vendors as well as helps save time for our customers. It has helped me understand business in a different way. Business is not just about buying and selling goods and services. It’s about understanding the needs of the customers and satisfying them. I had an experience with a customer to whom we had offered a very reasonable discounted price at her first inquiry, but she didn’t want to buy because she thought it was not of a good quality and we didn’t offer her a further discount. On her second inquiry, we negotiated an offer, and she accepted it and bought the product. In competitive markets like that of Nepal, I have been able to hone my bargaining skills, but this time from a seller’s perspective. Online shopping is not yet popular among the older generation here in Nepal. So pursuing and interacting with them has helped me be more persuasive. Not only that, I am now capable of handling disputes and intense arguments, and it has made me become more patient.

I believe that hard times can bring out the best in people; it just helps one to think in a different way and overcome the situation. I have certainly learned a lot this year and continue to look forward to growing, professionally and personally, next year as well.