Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday. This week’s interview is with Ms. Jancy Mathew. See her interview below.
Talkback Tuesday is a weekly interview with everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.
1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?
I’m Jancy, a regular person who is trying to get a hang of tech and startups. I work at Aisle, a matchmaking startup that helps you find love. [It is] an app built for people genuinely looking for a meaningful relationship.
I was trained to be a counselor, so I love conversations and anything to do with psychology and human behavior. Whenever I get a chance, I try and keep myself updated on the recent developments in that field.
When I’m not working I try to work on my cooking, spend time with my husband, watch movies, read something more than a listicle and try to teach our dog new tricks.
2. Talk to me about Aisle. What do you do there and what is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
Aisle, true to its name, is a team of 8 people who are trying to make it possible for you to find love. We try to ensure that there’s someone for everyone at Aisle. My roommate had told me about Aisle in 2014. I met Able through the app and a year after that we got married. Able also happens to be the founder of Aisle.
It’s been 2 years since and the learning hasn’t stopped. Be it social media marketing, understanding the needs of our users, liaising with potential clients — I’ve done more than what I ever imagined I would.
I believe in Aisle not only because I found my life partner there, but also because it worked well for our friends who signed up. I joined Aisle as a full timer even though I studied science in college and knew nothing about startups. It’s been 2 years since and the learning hasn’t stopped. My colleagues and I write articles that our members may relate to and publish them on the Aisle blog. I’ve tried my hand at Photoshop and video editing. Be it social media marketing, understanding the needs of our users, liaising with potential clients — I’ve done more than what I ever imagined I would. No complaints though.
Nothing gives me more joy than receiving emails of those who have found someone special on the app. Every love story is unique, and when people share that story with us, the feeling is amazing. All the effort put in by the team seems completely worth it.
Another fulfilling aspect about what I do is being a part of my husband’s dream. I get to see something being built from scratch, and witness the struggles and sacrifices that goes on behind the scenes. He’s passionate about Aisle and technology. He encourages me to create things rather than simply consume. Every time he achieves something, even the smallest of victories, is a big moment of happiness for me.
3. Why’d you choose to train as a counselor? What are the things that most fascinate you about the art of conversation and the human mind?
My first encounter with anything related to psychology was while studying for Nursing when I had to visit Cadabam’s [a mental healthcare and rehabilitation service in Bangalore].
What I felt there was both sadness and awe. I came face to face with people who have been trapped by their own minds. No one who hasn’t gone through the same issues can remotely understand what they’re going through. Some patients have been there for years and their families have given up on them getting better.
On the bright side, I think that the doctors, nurses and staff did an amazing job every day. The practitioners are given the freedom to be as creative as they want when it comes to the treatment modality. And that’s how my fascination for psychology started. I wanted to be a part of the team that helps people who can’t help themselves.
I came face to face with people who have been trapped by their own minds. No one who hasn’t gone through the same issues can remotely understand what they’re going through.
My parents weren’t very pleased with the idea of me becoming a psychiatric nurse and I don’t blame them. I looked for alternatives that would get me what I wanted and that led me to Counseling Psychology. Counseling didn’t just prepare me to deal with the problems of others, but also come to terms with the issues I faced. Those two years were quite important in molding me into the person I am today.
Our subconscious mind is fascinating. A professor once told us that, as psychologists, rather than just reading a person and trying to get the upper hand, try understanding why the person is doing that. Learn their story. This advice stuck with me. Gestures, expressions, even the choice of words say a lot about our character. I like to listen to what is being said, and notice what goes unsaid. That’s when the picture becomes clear.
4. You said you “read something more than a listicle” when you’re not working. What are the next three books you want to read and why? In your opinion, how relevant and important is the habit of reading in this day and age?
I read books quite rarely. I’ve never had the habit of collecting books or reading two or three at a spree. However, I’ve decided to finish at least one book a month.
After years of watching mindless online series, I find it hard to sit with a book for an hour at a stretch. But I enjoy reading information-rich articles online, especially the well researched ones.
I recently got my hands on ‘How to Be a Bawse’ by Lilly Singh that was given to me by my colleague (still on page 25). No reading list for now but I’d like to pick a few autobiographies as soon as there’s more time.
5. Great. Finally, do you have anything you’d like the audience to explore? It can be a business or a movement, or it could be anything from a video to an idea.
I haven’t done enough to make me eligible to share my words of wisdom. But if life has taught me anything, it is to be humble. I believe in love and goodness in a world that tries to sell it cheap. Our work is a reflection of our values, beliefs and morals. Patience and time management are valuable assets one must have, but is hard to master.
Life has taught me to be humble. I believe in love and goodness in a world that tries to sell it cheap.
I believe that there are brilliant folks out there who are under-appreciated or unheard of. I’ve come to realise that there are people who can impact the world in positive ways who are unknown to us because they are under qualified or soft spoken. My parents taught me to take pride in whatever work I do, no matter how menial it is, and give it my best. That’s important for all of us to try.
Thank you for reading Talkback Tuesday! What did you think of the interview? Leave your comments below.
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Next, check out the previous interview from last Tuesday with Mathew Joy Mathew by clicking on the image below.