Planning for a career switch? Do an internship!

Changing occupation

TL;DR: Thinking of an MBA to switch your career track? A management internship is a simpler, better, and more pocket-friendly way to get to the same goal. You can apply to some of these great management internships.

Rahul took up a job with a leading IT company after graduation. He worked there for 1-2 years, and then he moved on to do an MBA from one of the IIMs (lucky for him he didn’t end up in an unknown college). When asked why he was doing an MBA, he said he didn’t like the IT job anymore. On enquiring further about what he wanted to do next, he wasn’t much sure about it.

What happens next: Rahul takes an education loan to pay the hefty IIM fee. And when placement season comes, all he is worried about is landing a good paying job. Now, even though Rahul didn’t like the profile, he would have to stick to it, for at least next 2-3 years. Yet again Rahul is in the similar situation he was before MBA—he doesn’t like his job, and doesn’t know what to do next.

Rather than just following the trend, what Rahul could have done differently?

An internship. Yes, doing an internship is the most intelligible option when you want to make a career switch, but you’re really not sure about what to do next.

Why internship is an intelligible option?

It is rather simple to understand. Let us take the example of Vinayak Khare, an Electrical Engineering graduate from NIT Hamirpur. After graduation he worked in a core company for a year; he didn’t like his job, and took up an internship with Internshala. Vinayak currently works as Digital Marketing Manager at Internshala.

Vinayak says, “Getting into a good B-school requires an intense and dedicated preparation. And if you’re lucky enough to get into one of the top B-schools, you’d be spending two years of your time and a lot of money without even knowing what you want to do next.”

Below are the four reasons why I think internship is a sensible option if you’re planning for a career switch:

1. Internship gives you freedom to experiment: And it helps you discover what you like and what you do not. If you didn’t like your last marketing internship— don’t worry, you don’t need to stick to it; you can go about exploring different options. Do 3-4 internships, and eventually you would discover what career option suits you better.

Take the example of Chanukya Patnaik: Chanukya formerly worked as Business Apprentice intern with Internshala. Before that, he did a research internship [when still in college] under a Professor at NUS Singapore and decided not pursue a career in the field of Biotechnology. And now he is working as Marketing Manager at Codechef, a Directi venture.

2. Doing an internship is NOT expensive: Unlike B-schools an internship doesn’t require you to pay a hefty fee. On the contrary, you receive a stipend, which is usually good enough to take care of your personal expenses.

3. Internship is easy to find: You do not really need to do any intense & dedicated preparation in order to land an internship. With the start-up culture rapidly growing in India, it is easy to find a 3-to-6 month internship with a young and dynamic venture. Many start-ups would be more than happy to take up someone who already has some work experience for extra hand.

4. Last, but by no means least: internship teaches you new skills:  Every internship that you do, you learn some new skills. Say if you’re from an IT background doing a Digital Marketing internship, you will learn about the tools like Google Analytics & Microsoft Excel; and you also develop skills to write crisp messages, analyse data and calculate ROI of marketing campaigns. Someone from marketing background who knows just the basics of Photoshop and is doing a design internship, she will have an opportunity to learn advanced design tools like Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc, and fortify her design sense.

If you plan to do an MBA because you want to make a career in finance or have a clear reason*— great! Otherwise internship is a great way to taste the different career options without actually committing to them.

*If your reason is that you want to learn business— dear prospective businessman, think about the return on your initial investment you’re about to make, which is two years of time and a lot of money ;)

About the author : Shadab Alam, an NIT-Jsr graduate, has been the Head of Employer Relations at Internshala for around 3 years.

Image Credit: Localwork.com

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50 thoughts on “Planning for a career switch? Do an internship!

    • July 6, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      Hi,

      Glad you liked it :) Please feel free to share with people in your network who may find it useful.

      Thanks,
      Sarvesh

      Reply
      • July 8, 2015 at 11:25 PM

        I am also looking for Python Developer Openings but not getting enough opportunities. I am currently a system admin and I love programming.
        But companies are just not too open to let a SysAdmin apply for Dev Jobs.

        Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Nice article. I’m also doing the same thing. Going for different internships. :)

    Reply
    • July 8, 2015 at 8:47 PM

      What kind of profiles in internship?

      Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Informative article. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    I want to do internship on java

    Reply
    • July 9, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      Dear Prashanth,

      We suggest you to visit here for latest internships in Java.

      Good luck!
      Team Internshala

      Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 8:44 PM

    Graduated in computer science in 2012. Then did nothing for 1 year due to health issues. Now, after having an experience of 14 monthsin medical billing , I m not finding it as a suitable career option, ny good internship offer?

    Reply
    • July 9, 2015 at 12:51 PM

      Dear Sameer,

      We suggest you to view the latest Computer Science internships here. You may apply to the one(s) which suit you the best.

      Good luck!
      Team Internshala

      Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    I want to do an internship in marketing .Although I am a civil engineer but eager to switch my career

    Reply
    • July 9, 2015 at 12:02 PM

      Dear Kaushik,

      We suggest you to view the latest Marketing Internships here.

      All the best!
      Team Internshala

      Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    Thank u for writing ths post.. Wonderful. Actually nw understood meaning of internship. Well need internship on java bangalore based companies oly. How to apply?

    Reply
    • July 9, 2015 at 12:52 PM

      Dear Pradeep,

      We suggest you to visit here for latest internships in Java.

      Good luck!
      Team Internshala

      Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 11:43 PM

    Respected sir,
    your blog was informative and good. I had a request to you to kindly throw some light on ur views regarding career As an IAS IRS IES these are some of the things I have been aiming for being a civil engineer in 3rd yr I want to enter this area but often I am warned with the risk associated with these profiles what are your views specifically fr the above three posts. That is what I want to know.
    Thanking u
    Gaurav Agarwal

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    It was a really nice article.
    Its good to explore yourself before you start contributing to the world.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    Very informative….. all freshers.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    Its really informative and guiding blog .Its good to explore yourself before you start contributing to the world. really helpful for students like me too

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    What is a right time for internship??
    IS it good for1st year B. Tech student.

    Reply
    • July 9, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      Dear Kushal,

      Every time is the right time. We would suggest you to apply for an internship if you think you will be able to easily manage your college along with the internship. For latest internships, visit here – http://internshala.com/internships.

      Good luck!
      Team Internshala

      Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Sir I am pursuing B.E Biotechnology (3rd year)at MSRIT. Itseems there are no good career opportunities in this field. I wanted to switch my field…I need suggestions to get in to business sector…plz help.. thank you

    Reply
    • July 10, 2015 at 9:20 PM

      Hi Bharat,

      Great to that you already know you want to do management/business internship. There are plethora of them on Internshala; do check this list.

      Also, you may want to read this article on how to land an internship.

      All the best!

      Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    I am a student of cyber security. And it complete in July end. So that I search a company for internship plz help me. But I am freser because l have not expriance only student.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    Sit I am pursuing B.Tech and I have recently completed my 2nd year in mechanical engineering. I have to do internship by this year and I want to do it in automotive sector . Please suggest me some internship in automobile and to do that I pay less.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    Hello sir,
    it’s Informative thing..thanks
    i am electronics and communication fresher engineer.looking for internship in industrial automation field.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    I want to do an internship in robotics…

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    I have done my graduation in history but further planning to do MBA. What kind of internship should I apply…?

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Quite Helpful.This blog helped me come out of the confusion i always had in my mind.I was very confused about making decisions regarding whether or not to go for MBA just for better job options only until i read this blog.

    Reply
    • July 10, 2015 at 9:14 PM

      Hi Abhinav,

      Glad it helped you :)

      All the best!

      Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 9:23 PM

    Sir I finished my BE ( ECE ) just now but with a backlog in one subject.can i also get an internship.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    sir i have done my btech in 2013. after that i did job in teching field and also in marketing field but now i want to change my career direction. and wants to work in different field.

    Reply
    • July 10, 2015 at 5:28 PM

      Hi Piyush,

      Thanks for writing in.

      Good to know that you are exploring new options, and not settling down with something you don’t really enjoy. I would say first put some thought on what is the next thing that want to try. Once you’re sure that this what I want to try, go about exploring opportunities in the field.

      This post might be helpful once you start looking for an internship.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  • July 10, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    I have completed 1st year in btech mech and automation.Are there any internship oppurtunities for me?

    Reply
  • July 10, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    Hi Nylah,

    If you are looking for an internships to cement your candidature for good B-schools, then you may want to intern with start-ups, for learning and exposure is really high.

    But if you’re planning to do an MBA because you’re not sure what to do next, you should put some though on what you really like doing and/or what are you good at, and try finding an internship accordingly.

    Also, to evaluate how fruitful it would be to do an MBA, you may actually want to do Finance/Marketing/HR internship first.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  • July 10, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    I am in the b-tech final year of ece streem,i would like to do any kind of inturn and in any kind of company and any kind of job,and i would like to join for 3 to5 months.i would like to learn the work and to gain the experiance

    Reply
  • July 11, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    i’m interested in internship for any company.i ‘m final year mechanical engineering.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    I am in 3rd year B.Com, I want to pursue my studies in masters degree in mass communication. Can you please tell me that which kind of internship should I do that would help me to get admitted in a good mass communication institute?

    Reply
  • July 13, 2015 at 2:09 AM

    Sir,
    I am a 3rd year btech student of electronics branch…all my friends and classmates are fond of robotics or coding and are pursuing it professionally…but I don’t fascinate both..I like a systems and security or cryptographic streams…can an internship help me in this situation? and if yes…what are the best companies or startups that would offer intern to me for 2 months?

    Reply
    • July 13, 2015 at 9:23 PM

      Hi Krishna,

      Great question! thanks for asking.

      Yes, of course internships can help. Though only a few start-ups in India hire interns for security/cryptography (keep an eye on computer science internships ), there are quite a few research internships (keep a tab on this page) we post on Internshala, like LIGO, California Institute of Technology; internship with ISI- Chennai, Kolkata; internship with Department of Computer Science, MIT, USA; etc. And if you’re looking to do an internship coming summer vacation, you may want to start your online research about the organisations offering internships in cryptography as soon as possible. Remember, early bird gets the worm!

      All the best.

      Reply
  • July 13, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    i want to get done internship in architecture..

    Reply
  • July 14, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    am 3rd year CSE BTech student @ NITK Surathkal.
    I love algorithm and competitive programming. I want to improve my coding skill.
    any internship for next summer…….
    I want to know about scope of programming job in india and abroad… ):P

    Reply
  • July 18, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    I would like to know if i can do the internship as well as have a full time job ?

    Reply
    • July 24, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      Hi Pankaj,

      It depends. There are certain internships that can be done virtually on part time basis – Content Writing, Design, Web Dev, UI/UX Design, etc – and if you have interest in such work you can try finding an internship.

      All the best.

      Reply
  • July 30, 2015 at 2:36 AM

    I got into my first job as an intern and then it was just a startup and as the company grew I also grew with it and today am the one HR team. It only take a little patiencd, but it a sure way of switching your career or probably just entering your first job

    Reply
  • January 20, 2017 at 6:34 PM

    Hello, I am a biochemistry student, Planning to switch my field from medicine to an MBA
    Can i apply for internships pertaining to management field? Or am i not eligible for the same (given that i really have no knowledge about various MBA fields and the work being carried out in the same.)
    Please help!

    Reply
  • August 4, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and
    brilliant design.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2017 at 1:11 PM

    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and
    brilliant design.

    Reply
    • August 8, 2017 at 11:47 AM

      Thanks. Glad to know that you found it informative and helpful :)

      Thanks,
      Team Internshala

      Reply
  • October 12, 2017 at 6:58 AM

    Hai, I am doing my second year MBA program. I am looking for an internship in finance area and data entry. I have good skills in MS office but don’t have any samples to add to my resume. As a beginner what can i do to be hired for the interns.

    Reply

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