Volunteer for IIM Collaborative Leadership Program

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Volunteer for IIM Collaborative Leadership Program

Category Announcements;Experiential Learning

By Swathi Chatrapathy


Today I’m inviting you to participate in a volunteering program in the Himalayas. This is our Collaborative Leadership Program (CLP) with IIM Lucknow and IIM Bengaluru.

What is the Collaborative Leadership Program?

If you’re not familiar with it, this is a program we have been organising since 2011 for the students of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). 

In this program, students gather in the Himalayas to participate in a strategy game. They plan and execute their own trek to get to a high summit. In between they are thrown in challenges that force students to find ways to solve the expedition problems ahead of them. At the end of the program the students ingrain real life collaborative leadership skills. These skills stay with them for life (Read more about it here). To imbibe these skills the Indian Institutes of Management send their students to us.

The CLP is a highly acclaimed program. So much so that IIM Indore has included it as an elective for the past 9 years. Following this, IIM Bangalore and IIM Lucknow have made it a credit course for their students. More recently, Goa Institute of Management started the program as well.

For 11 years, every year we have given the opportunity to a few volunteers to witness, participate and help facilitate this acclaimed program.  

Being a volunteer in the Collaborative Leadership Program is a big learning experience

Truth is, this Collaborative Leadership Program offers experiential learning not only for the IIM students, but also for us — the organisers. It’s a unique platform to hone our leadership skills.  

During this program, as a volunteer, you help facilitate the program for IIM students. For most of the students they are stepping into the Himalayas for the first time. They are outside their comfort zones, doing a trek in the high altitude and trying to win a strategy game. 

The Collaborative Leadership Program steers the focus away from individual achievement towards cooperation and the development of collaborative skills and behaviours. Picture by Dhaval Jajal.

“During my stint as a volunteer, I realised that learning is a two way process — not something reserved just for students. As a volunteer, I learnt a lot about team management, conflict resolution and communication,” says Keerthiraj, who volunteered in 2018 and was also a student of IIM, participating in the CLP in 2016.

How does the CLP volunteering work?

First, you send in an application wanting to be a volunteer in the upcoming CLP program. Once selected, your role changes to a “Game Coordinator”. As a GC you are assigned a team of 9-10 students. You not only trek with them but you also ensure that the students complete the experiential learning program successfully. 

At the end of the program you earn a ‘Certificate of Leadership’ from Indiahikes.

This December the program is being held on our most popular winter trek — Kedarkantha. 

For our previous CLP, we received over 350 applicants. We could only offer the volunteership to 20. This winter the volunteership is open to only 24 applicants. 

The last date to apply is: Nov 18, 2022 (Friday).

What are we looking for in our volunteers?

We are extremely picky about our volunteers.

First, volunteers must be able to intellectually match up with IIM students. They need to be able to conduct facilitation and reflection activity with students drawing out the learning of the program. This is not easy, considering IIM students are few of the top minds in our country! Which is why we are looking for volunteers with previous work experience. 

Second, volunteers play a big role in managing the whole program. This requires good people skills, discipline and leadership ability.

Third, the entire volunteering period is a 6 day marathon with no time to breathe, eat or sleep. Volunteers need to be physically and mentally capable to handle these situations. You have to keep in mind, the program is in winter as well, where you could be snow bound, with temperatures dropping below freezing.

Our eligibility requirements

  • You must be between the age of 25 and 35 years (male or female)
  • Have at least 3 years of work experience 
  • Have done at least one Himalayan trek with Indiahikes
  • Be extremely fit

If you fit the bill, ~Contact.FirstName~, you’re welcome to apply as a volunteer.

When and where is the Collaborative Leadership Program happening?

The Collaborative Leadership Program will be held on the Kedarkantha trek in two groups -- Dec 10th to 17th and Dec 16th to 23rd.

You need to report to Indiahikes Office in Dehradun at 6 am on the start date of the program (Dec 10th or Dec 16th). You'll be back in Dehradun by the evening of the last day of the program (Dec 17th or Dec 23rd).

Indiahikes will sponsor your volunteership throughout the trek. All stay, food and trek costs are borne by Indiahikes. This includes the cost of your travel from Dehradun to the base camp and back to Dehradun.

We have a two step process to select volunteers.

Step 1: A questionnaire to get to know you and your skills

Step 2: A video interview to assess your potential as a volunteer

Please fill out this form if you’d like to apply as a volunteer.

We’ll get back to you within 24 hours if you’re shortlisted after filling the form.

Swathi Chatrapathy

Chief Editor

About the author

Swathi Chatrapathy heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many, Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers.

A TEDx speaker and a frequent guest at other events, Swathi is a much sought after resource for her expertise in digital content.

Before joining Indiahikes, Swathi worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters's in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to bring about a profound impact on a person's mind, body and spirit.