Sidharth Ganesh a.k.a Sid, a now 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student at IIT Madras and the overall coordinator for InternSaturday, shares his experience of spending this summer with Internshala. Read on…
What does it take to be an entrepreneur?
There’s an easy way to find out, do an internship with a start up. But there’s a better way (certainly not easier), spend two months at a dedicated and passion driven entrepreneur’s home and work for the start up. Needless to say, I did the latter.
Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
– Orison Swett Marden
Although I’d been working with Internshala for quite some time now, it was this particular experience which made a big impact in my life. I can’t quantify this impact, but I would be surprised if I don’t start-up myself in another 5 years. And I would definitely owe that to this summer.
It all started in April when JJ (A.K.A our benevolent founder, Sarvesh) told me about the concept of InternSaturday. It was a very interesting concept and something that has never been tried before. Devi, (a friend of Sarvesh) who had then just completed her Ph. D. in Management from IIM Bangalore helped us add a lot of substance to the concept. By the end of April, after hours of conceptualizing and Skype conferences, we had a format and structure for the event. It was also clear we had a long road ahead of us. And I, my twin brother Suthirth, Sarvesh and Devi set out.
The overall experience was nothing short of a power packed course on multiple aspects, most of which I’m pretty sure Mr. Ram, M.D & C.E.O of Aviva Life Insurance mentioned in his speech on “What it takes to be a successful business leader”. (Those of you who attended InternSaturday will relate)
Every dark cloud has a silver lining, if you look deep enough: In our talks with several people from the corporates, the conversation did not end with InternSaturday. It went that extra mile to make the person believe in our vision.
A good example would be the conversation with a certain contact in IBM, HR department who told us the event would not be relevant as their hiring numbers had already been met. After a few more minutes of conversation, and upon understanding what Internshala was all about, we were connected with someone else in their brand building team. After a few phone calls and a meeting, this person became a true believer in Internshala, and it was by a whisker an association did not happen for InternSaturday.
The same happened with a professor at NSIT, who although himself wasn’t able to give the institute’s auditorium on account of a different commitment, guided us in arranging another venue where the event took place.
Stubbornness: As time went past, there were innumerable obstacles that came our way. We didn’t have anyone to do the designing, we had a tough time with corporates, we hadn’t fixed the venue till the very last week and so on and forth. But, we never lost hope at any point of time; we kept building our strategies around our setbacks. We knew we were going to make this happen. Never once did we contemplate postponing or (God forbid) cancelling the event.
Confidence: We believed in InternSaturday. We did everything possible, and left no stone unturned to ensure we had an event which will be talked about in the years to come. We never took a moment to look for flaws in the concept amidst our setbacks. In spite of a few of our mentors warning us of the possible incompetence, we believed in ourselves; and kept pushing ourselves.
Motivation: Like I said, after our day’s work (rather night), we would all sit down on what to do next. The clock hits 3AM. “This event is going to be a rage. Students will be fighting to get a seat for InternSaturday!” “Next year we’ll do InternSaturday in 6 cities simultaneously” “Next year we won’t contact companies, they will contact us!” We meant every word of it.
Passion-driven: A very clear distinction between a regular internship and this one was unlike most internships, this internship wasn’t much perk-driven; it’s driven by passion. When you’re constantly under the guidance of someone who breathes passion, innovation and determination; perks don’t really matter anymore.
Fun: Till the struggle that was June 30th, we also had a lot of awesome fun times – playing Poker, heading out to Chandni Chowk, Pizza nights and so on. Thanks to co-internees like my brother, Abhishek, Abhinav, and Sonal; we had a lot of fun roaming around in Delhi and exploring the vast capital.
Gurgaon has a reputation for the unparalleled frequency of power cuts each day. And soon, our computers started dying at these power cuts and we found ourselves jobless at rising temperatures. And we found a way to beat it – Poker (and now I am addicted to it)
In short, InternSaturday put most of my skills to the test, built my confidence and most importantly made me understand what even a small of team of determined and motivated people can achieve!