This summer, diversophy® interns are working on a new project. We are reaching out to people who did their practical training at George Simons International in the past, with the goal of learning about- and from their experiences. Continuous work of dozens of talented scholars and professionals who have contributed to our organization and its products turned diversophy® into what we see now. During the interviews we ask our colleagues to describe how their time with George Simons has influenced their lives and share some stories.
The first intern that we reached was Malati Marlene Shinazy, MEd. In year 1992, she was an instructor at community college. Being familiar with issues of diversity and inclusion, she wanted to get a deeper understanding of the professional field surrounding those. As Malati realized that she was eager to apply the intercultural knowledge gained from books into practice, she decided to move from academia to business.
She ended up working with George Simons for one summer – marketing the recently launched diversophy® game and trying to bring it to the academic world. According to her, one of the most valuable things that she learned during her internship were the insights of running a small consulting business, as it was one of the issues that interested her in the first place.
Now, Malati runs a leadership, management development and organization development consulting business herself, Pacific Leadership Consultants. Though her main sphere is leadership, she weaves inclusion and diversity in her practices, as she believes in importance of maintaining those at the workplace. Referring to her experience with George, she remembers one advice he gave her that she never has followed – stick to building business around what you know. She believes in learning and growing when working on various projects for her customers. Malati defines her "main value" is commitment to making people and workplaces work better, no matter the initial situation, searching for true hidden demands and suggesting suitable solutions.
Throughout her teenage years and early working years Malati herself had faced a lot of discrimination. Thus, the desire to make a difference was driving her since young age. Today, she is still cooperating with George Simons – working on a teen-oriented diversophy® deck, TeenDIVERSOPHY®. Malati knows that most of our values are developed at a young age, and that working with students at teen or even pre-teen age will make a huge impact on future generations.
When we asked her for a piece of advice she could give us and other future interns, Malati referred to three main principals that she herself follows in her career. Firstly, she underlines the importance of continuous network development and support. According to her, it is crucial to meet and stay in contact with a lot of people, as these connections can bring success and continuous learning. Secondly, Malati advises to stay true to ourselves: take every opportunity that works for us and discard what doesn’t.
Lastly, she tells us about one lesson that she learned while interning with George Simons. Taking his example, she learned to be open with her knowledge. She believes that we need to see others as partners and not rivals, being open to share and spread that we learn. And we are willing to follow!