Summer Internship at CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad – Prachi Singhal from BVM Engineering College

Prachi Singhal, who fell in love with almost all Indian startups, fulfilled her dream of interning with a Startup Incubator (CIIE) at IIM-Ahmedabad. Prachi is a final year Electrical Engineering student at BVM Engineering College, Gujarat. She had also interned with Internshala, read on to explore more about her story.

People, let me take you through the journey of my summer internship.

While I was interning with Internshala
During my internship with Internshala, as a part of my work, I went through the websites of various startups and companies. Every time I came across an awesome startup my thoughts were–

Yourstory – “Wow! This is an awesome startup. I should probably intern here this summer. Let’s see how I can intern here,” and spent next half an hour figuring how to apply for an internship there and marking every relevant page as favorite.

Social Cops – “Wow Man! They are doing an awesome work. I should definitely be a part of their team. Let’s see how I can intern here”

And the list of let’s see how I can intern here and the number of favorites in my chrome had kept increasing. I myself was frustrated over my growing love with almost half of the startups present in Indian startup ecosystem and my desire to work with all of them. I was not able to shorten my list of organisations where I wish to intern and my head started rolling over growing confusion and indecisiveness.

Came to know about incubators
Till March’14, I was still trapped in the endless spiral of deciding where to intern, when one fine day Shadab (my awesome mentor at Internshala) rescued me by asking me to compile a list of incubators. Incubators–birth place of all the awesome startups I was in love with. The more and more I looked into incubators the more firm my decision became to intern in an incubator–to learn about startup ecosystem, to associate myself with lots of awesome people and to gain the essential skills required to start my own startup one day.

How I applied and landed the internship at CIIE
(Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, IIM Ahmedabad)
Once I decided that ‘’Yes! I will be interning at an incubator this summer anyhow,” I had then sent each and every incubator I wish to intern with a long mail encompassing why I want to intern and blah. I applied for the CIIE internship through Internshala portal and was ready with follow-up mail and everything to land the internship. Every day after that went in praying to god “Bhagwanji please muje yeh internship dila do,” staring at my inbox waiting for a positive response; checking the status of internship at portal and calculating the number of days after which I should send a follow-up mail.

Finally, I got the interview call while I was in train; got to know of a spelling mistake in my resume by the interviewer and almost stammered while answering the questions. The same day I got to know that I have been selected and I was surprised and happy like hell! As soon as I read the blessed offer mail I did my happy jinga lala dance and shouted to the whole world that I have been selected (of course through Facebook).

Post selection and Pre-internship period
Ironically I got my internship offer just a few days before my end semester examinations and I was supposed to join office just two days after the end of my examinations. So, my whole examinations went into day dreaming about the office, what all I would do in IIM Ahmedabad campus, how would be the people there, talking with my co interns; and looking for a PG, calling almost every PG owner in Ahmedabad and of course shopping! (My results were just as bad as you are imagining smirkingly but no I hadn’t failed in any of my courses).

Finally Internship period!
(Sorry for making you read all the previous stuff)
Each day at CIIE was a unique day with each day having its own story to tell. I could not put into the words the feeling we (I along with my 17 co-interns and my bestie from school times) felt when we roamed around in the IIM-A campus as if we have been living there from so many years. Moments when we prowled through the office and Vikram Sarabhai Library in night; and working on the presentations we have to present next day; when we arm wrestled in the office; when we danced and ate food in almost every office party without caring whether it was thrown for us or not; when we clicked pictures at almost every landmark in campus; and when people like watchman and canteen staff started recognizing us.

We had an office timing of 10 AM to 5 PM but we all used to stay in office from 10 AM till 10 PM (many a time doing a night out and sleeping on office sofas). My office working hours were spent in learning finance skills such as game theory and making balance sheet from my mentor, going through group activities designed to make people know each other, talking to people about various startups, talking to founders of many startups, and making campus walk plans. My night hours were spent in doing the actual work I was supposed to do during my internship and dozing off. Besides all this, I was allowed to work on my own startup idea as a cherry on the cake and was given full support on how to develop the idea and bring it into market. All this was so engrossing that one day while strolling around campus I walked past Chetan Bhagat without even fully realizing it was him. I thought it was him since his appearance was vaguely similar to the posters I have seen but by the time I confirmed it was actually him by the heads that were turning in his direction, he was gone.

For many people, these two months at IIM-A lighted a fire in them to prepare for CAT and to come and study at this college, but for me, it quenched the burning desire in me to spend time in one of the coolest campus in India. And now, even if I don’t get a chance to ever come back to IIM-A, I will still be happy and satisfied. Two months fled past like seconds and my internship was complete. I left CIIE with memories forever, some beautiful memoirs, awesome friends and learning for lifetime.

Post Internship Period (Yea! This is the last paragraph of the story)
Aftermath involved going through all the photos and presentations again and again remembering everything, flooding Facebook with photos and posts, recounting the short version of above story to college friends and crying over why it ended so soon.

FYI! You can view the latest Internships in Ahmedabad here.

Editor’s note- Have you got an internship story to share? A chance to win cool Internshala T and other cash prizes by sharing your internship story here.

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