Luck comes to those who are prepared. Meghna narrates how her two month internship in Delhi helped her find like-minded people who are also her new favourite now. While she didn’t seem to be much prepared for this, she embraced her luck.
“I got a month to prepare for my last exam (you read that right, a month). Putting that like most of the 19-year olds like us, I got 30 days to worry about my pending exam, make fresh time-tables every day, wake up with a resolution (that ended as soon as I was free to study) to start studying no matter what, think about how happy everyone will be when I get a good result, and worry about how I am not studying at all & that I should get to it!
I also spent some of my time making To-Do lists titled, “Things to Do after Exams” which included all the fun things I could think of. But surely I’m not the only one who does that, right?
Ahem, moving on.
In no such to-do list did ‘Do an Internship’ figure. It had things like, “Finish watching Naruto”, “Read Maus”, “Bake a crêpe cake (anyhow!!)” – you get the gist. But then as though by divine intervention (or the May issue of Outlook Money in my case), internships came into the picture. I could actually hear mummy’s thoughts when she handed me the article she had just finished reading, ‘I’m not going to say it, but you better do this.’ I gave her a puzzled expression but read the article anyway. That’s how I got to know about Internshala which eventually led me to an internship.
So there I was, setting up a profile on Internshala and looking for internships in Lucknow (my hometown) and Delhi. Crafty as I am, I passed a cursory glance at the ones in Lucknow and paid more attention to the ones in Delhi – I had had enough of Lucknow and wanted to go someplace else, and Delhi was the closest and most convenient option at the time.
Anyway, I applied for six internships and got responses from three. I made up my mind to join one of them starting June, and then a day after my exam was done with, a fourth offer came trickling in. It was an interview call out of the blue, and before I knew it all plans had been altered and the fourth call culminated into an internship for me!
It was a policy research internship based in Delhi that came with a stipend which was more than I could ask for from my first internship. Everything worked out smoothly which made me optimistic (otherwise rare in my case), and I was looking forward to the coming two months.
My stay in Delhi had been arranged by the organization itself like it had been for all the other interns. We were to stay together in the campus of a fairly new IT college, which was also where we were to work. Each intern had been assigned a different project related to public policy relevant in the current times. Our work was to research extensively on the given subject and at the end of our two months, compile a report on the same replete with our recommendations on the issue. Every intern had been assigned a mentor – a government official who was an expert in his area of work, and the interns were free to seek the assistance of their respective mentors and those of other interns as well. This was great because one got to interact with men of high calibre, commanding respect and importance in their respective offices.
But I am writing this article because of my fellow interns. If you think you’ll never find “your kind of people” (like I used to), you my friend, will be proved wrong. My internship brought me to so many amazing people that I have stopped counting. My fellow interns are my current favorite people.
This workplace turned out to be a melting pot of brilliant minds from across the country. I interacted with so many different kinds of people – it gave me new confidence. The people were amicable and spoke to everyone without any airs whatsoever. We were all there to learn, and to save ourselves from the admonitions of our mothers for watching too many movies in a day, and we ensured that we made things easy for each other.
Because all of us lived on the same campus for two months (with the exception of daily commuters), it was mad fun! I don’t remember ever going to bed before 0200 hours (psst! Let’s keep this among ourselves, shall we?). The campus was awesome and there were no curfews whatsoever. We played foosball, pool, and whatnot! In fact, on some nights badminton matches went on from 2100 to 0300 hours. The weather during these two months was pretty cool which is saying a lot for Delhi. The one thing I missed the most about Lucknow though, was the starry night sky, because in Delhi it was just a lot of red up above.
Since there were no curfews on the campus, there was a 24×7 milkshake & fruit juice counter to keep night owls like us feeling happy. God knows I’ve spent a substantial amount of my allowance there. There was also free high-speed Wi-Fi for us all day long (I know, right?) – best two months of my life so far! Sigh, I miss the place now.
*Takes a minute to collect thoughts*
Now obviously, when you meet new people and spend all your days in their company, you tend to become really good friends. We shared the weirdest of jokes, brainstormed about random things over a plastic glass full of mango shake, sung as if we were intoxicated, watched back to back movies all night. I know all of you currently living in a hostel are nodding your head and going, ‘Man, this is every day for me.’ But this being my first ever experience alone and out of home, you cannot blame me for being the wide-eyed girl here.
But it would be unfair to exclude from this post my working experience as an intern. The work was interesting but sometimes was bordering on monotony, and one had to do something every now and then to spruce things up. However, the experience was new and thrilling. I would never have thought myself capable of coping so well under such different circumstances as those in Delhi. From field visits to weekly presentations and reports, from guest lectures almost always ending in stimulating discussions to the final report and presentations. Heck! I could never have imagined compiling all my work of two months in an 11,000 words long report, and even more so, in a 3 minute long video presentation! The internship definitely challenged me and forced me to think creatively and unconventionally – you wanted to, after all, make your work noticeable in that ocean of excellence. And it doesn’t end there. The internship played a significant role in broadening my knowledge base, which was one of the expectations I had from it.
During the weekly presentations I got to learn new things about various social issues which I otherwise would’ve been unaware of. What was notable was that every intern was researching their respective topic in-depth and with every presentation, they had something new to bring to the table, a new finding perhaps, which might’ve escaped our learning eye under different conditions.
Long story short, if you’re wondering whether to go for an internship or not, let me be your dame in shining armour and tell you that you must give it a shot. Just make sure you know where you’re going and what you’re in for, and you’re set. Once you’ve looked into the nitty-gritty, all that remains is to sit back and enjoy the ride.
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.