About the Author: Riya Rohilla is pursuing Bachelor’s in Leather Design from National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFT), Delhi. She talks about her decision of coming to Delhi and how the city introduced her to the world of internships and opportunities.
I completed my first year from NIFT Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. I took Student Permanent Transfer to NIFT Delhi to gain exposure, to get acquainted with a new lifestyle and culture, and for better career opportunities. I have always believed that our life is measured in the terms of experiences that we gather. While studying in Kangra, in my first year, I had never thought about doing an internship. However, after I came to Delhi, I saw many students doing internships irrespective of the year they were studying in. I talked with some of my seniors who were doing internships and they all advised me that practical experience was very important. So, I decided to do an internship during summer vacation.
I came to know about Internshala and created an account on the website. I loved how easy it was to design my resume – I just had to add relevant details and it automatically got featured in the form of a resume. I applied to 12-13 graphic design internships and soon, I got a call from one of the companies. The interviewer asked me about the work I had done in college. I told them about the various banners, posters, CorelDRAW work, and videography assignments that I had done. They further asked me about the stipend that I expected and whether I had any social media page where my work was displayed. I was very nervous and made many mistakes. I lied that I had a Facebook page but wasn’t able to answer properly when further questions about the page were asked. As expected, I didn’t clear the interview. The major lesson that I learned was to be confident and to never lie. If I didn’t know something or hadn’t done something, I should’ve just said it upfront without beating around the bush. Also, my work wasn’t organized properly and I sent different folders arranged randomly to the interviewer. After I was rejected and got this feedback, I understood the importance of having an organized portfolio.
I worked on all these shortcomings, and soon I was shortlisted by another company. I was asked various questions – about my design skills, past experience with projects, location, certificates etc. This time, I was pretty confident and gave all the answers promptly. I cleared that round and was asked to come for a personal interview with my portfolio. It was the first time I was going to a company’s office for an interview! Even though I was nervous in the beginning, I answered all the questions confidently. I still remember that the HR asked me to share my 3 weaknesses and strengths. I answered it honestly and mentioned in one of my weaknesses that – “I take time in researching and taking decisions and when I come up with any idea after so much research, it becomes my strength.”
They were impressed with my work and the way I had answered. I got the offer letter to join from the next day itself! On the first day, I was confused about the kind of tasks that would be assigned to me but slowly everything fell in place. I started interacting with other employees and they helped me a lot in getting accustomed to the work culture. I learned a lot from my mentor who used to guide me on improving my skills so that I could reach the professional level. As the internship progressed, I understood the importance of teamwork and could see a lot of improvement in my work. The founder of the company was also impressed with my work and gave me the chance of doing product photography! This is what I love the most about internships now – you get to do a lot of stuff which you don’t even imagine as a college student!
The internship provided me some unforgettable memories that I’ll always cherish. A couple of tips that I would like to share with my juniors and all other students:
1. Never copy generic answers from the internet while applying. Employers look for specific answers and skills – you need to show them what you bring to the table.
2. Work on building a strong resume. Add all the relevant experiences and past project details to improve your chances of getting selected.
3. Confidence is the key to clearing all the interviews. Don’t be afraid of an interviewer – just be honest and confident while answering. Also, don’t forget to organize your portfolio!
Apart from the theoretical knowledge, the practical and professional experience is also essential for one’s development. I’m glad that I came to Delhi and learned this lesson early on.