Summer Internship with The Fishbowl Network – Nikhil Anand from Christ University Bangalore

Nikhil Anand (right) interned with The Fishbowl Network and tried his hands on journalism after his first year of engineering, and rediscovered a writer in him. Nikhil is a Computer Science & Engineering student at Christ University, Bangalore. Read his internship story in his own words.

Surfing through the monotonous lanes of the internet, I suddenly bumped into a competition advertisement which boldly flashed “My Internship Story”. My eyes lit up with excitement and I was like “Voila! I have a story to share!” Coming to the centre stage now; My Internship Story? Well, this short yet the sweetest life experience of mine is no less than a typical Bollywood movie. There was action, work, passion, suspense, comedy (of errors) and a plethora of joyful elements.

It was the summer of 2014 and everyone around me was busy packing up to fly back home for the vacations after the exams, but I had some other idea in my mind. It was pretty unusual a thought of doing a summer internship, especially for a first year engineering student who had his exams just round the corner. What bamboozled others even more was the fact that I was about to apply for a journalism internship, a totally irrelevant stream and a non-technical one. The reason behind this was pretty scarce; I always had a desire to become a sports journalist but destiny had other plans and I ended up in an engineering college in Bengaluru. The fire was gone but the spark was still there. Swoosh and a flick and then there was a twist of fate, and I found an internship opening advertisement on the college notice board. Despite of having no prior experience in journalism, I applied for the post of ‘Cricket Journalist’ at The Fishbowl Network.

The very next day I received a telephonic interview call from Mr. Nitin D. Ramnath, the Founder and President of The Fishbowl Network. He sounded highly impressed with my application and the way I had answered the questions in the application form, and also during the 7 and a half minute long telephonic conversation. A day later, I got a meeting call and my internship was confirmed; and with that I bagged the position of Cricket Journalist there for the tenure of next 3 months.

The Fishbowl Network is an online talent hub which brings talented, passionate and aspiring individuals together, transcending the geographic boundaries. The institution is known for its monthly online magazine known as the Furore and for the NGO that it runs. I was asked to cover four league matches of the World Cup T-20 which was scheduled to take place in Bangladesh, and the two big games, Semi-final 1 and the Final. What sounded like a beautiful journey, turned out to be an even more scintillating to embark upon. The first game that I covered was England vs. Sri Lanka match. I closely followed the game and penned down my first article under the title of “Hales Smashes Ton in a Catchy Affair Against Lanka”. Within hours, my first article got published and I got featured in the online magazine and the official blog of the Fishbowl Network. The article had flaws as clearly spotted by Nitin Sir; but it was a proud feeling to have an article under my name. I was really apprehensive because the appraisal was very authoritarian. Working on the areas of weaknesses, I wrote my second article. The build up to the game was huge as it was an Indo-Aus match up. India went on to win the match convincingly and this time around, an almost flawless piece of writing was published from my end.

Everything seems so jolly, doesn’t it? But here comes the twist in the story. My exams had begun and I had to be back in the hostel. It was the big occasion of the finals. It was all the way more special because India had made it to the final with an unbeaten run in the tournament. The stage was set for the finals and I had to follow the game online. The very next day, I had my nemesis waiting for me, the mathematics exam! I couldn’t care less though and opted to follow the game instead. Much to the disappointment of all Indian fans, the game was gone with the wind and the Lankans lifted the silverware. With a heavy heart, I wrote the article and posted it. The article got good viewership. So the tournament was over and it was almost midnight. I stared at the gloomy looking heavy mathematics book; I knew I was in hot waters. There is no point in describing what perspired the next day in the examination hall as all that I could do there was sing to myself a few Bollywood tracks; especially “jag suna suna laage (the world seems lonely)” and “emptiness”. Albeit I managed to pass!

With that, the first major tournament was done and it was the rest week. In the mid-April, the Fishbowl Network decided to organize a ‘flash fiction’ writing competition for all its new interns. The basic agenda was to develop an article by just looking at an image. I got an image of a running in Shoaib Akhtar! I described the picture meticulously with every detail and with an elaborative approach. There was another meet up that followed wherein my flash fiction was adjudged as the best piece of work. It was yet another proud moment for an ‘engineering aspirant’ wishing to become a ‘writer’.

The cricket carnival of the IPL was up next and it meant back to some serious business. This time around, I was asked not only to write the match analysis and report but also a weekly team and player review. It was a tough nut to crack but I was up for it. With every passing week, the games got more and more intense and so did my job. The readership and the viewership of my articles grew manifold on my posts and articles.

But as the tournament ended, my head was down again as I knew that the beautiful journey that I had embarked upon had reached its dim verge. However, there was some sort of happiness lingering at the back of my mind that I successfully completed my internship and I was about to receive my stipend and the letter of acknowledgement with a certificate.

The certificate did arrive and arrived in grand fashion with some eye grabbing lines. The letter of acknowledgement came in with an offer of a permanent membership in the Fishbowl Network Content team. My happiness knew no bounds! This is how the ‘internship’ ended and it was an end which had a new beginning attached to it with full of opportunities waiting for me.

So why is Fishbowl so special to me? What did this internship mean to me? It was a ray of hope which gave rebirth to the writer in me. It provided me with every opportunity that I longed for. The frequent tweet wars we had and the group discussions imbibed the quality of team spirit in me and taught me how to work in a team amidst hard and fast deadlines. The inner voice of the writer inside me grew with each day. Lastly, who could forget the fame part? I have my name featuring in the any search engine’s search results. One can search for ‘Author Nikhil Anand’ to read my blogs and articles. In a nutshell, The Fishbowl Network internship gave me a new identity.

I am a more confident writer now and have started to write for various sites and personal blog as well. I have a novel to pen down in my ranks and every other innovative idea which could possibly make me the second Chetan Bhagat and the first Nikhil Anand.

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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