What you could still do if you are not from IIT/NIT

HopeThis post is for those students who by choice or by chance find themselves in colleges which do not enjoy the same brand reputation and infrastructure that IITs and NITs do and hence feel disadvantaged when it comes to competing with students from premier institutes for internship and career opportunities. While it would be foolish to state that college brand does not play a role in deciding your career path in a country where dowry rates depend on the chip you carry on your shoulder; my experience of interacting with thousands of students over last 2 years, suggests that not all hope  is lost if you are determined to fight against the odds!

I want to ask you sir, is there any scope for a student like me who is a non-IITian/NITian, to get internship of my choice. I had gone through almost every internship of my interest. What they want is previous projects,internships,referees, recommendations  etc. Although those are not mandatory but these stuff is mostly available to “branded geeks”. No one is willing to consider us.

I am enrolled to a affiliated college, in 2nd year  having Electronics & Comm. branch. I waited for 1 year to become eligible for a few internships, and now think will have to wait for another 2 years till i am in final year and do some projects and then apply for those internships. My engineering degree will be a scrap if so happened. I don’t want just a degree, I want a quality degree.

Why they can’t consider  the ”raw(s)”, I need a starter to start the chain reaction. Can you assist me with some motivation and a few CV/Resume samples of an applicant having no previous experience and no jewels on academic front but is determined to grab them.

I often get emails like these from students. I believe the answer to Do I still have a shot at quality internships and career opportunities even if I am not from a reputed college? is YES and here is how you can do it.

1. Take responsibility for your life: – Yes, maybe life served you a raw deal. Maybe you did not study hard enough, maybe you fell sick on that fateful day of JEE or maybe it was plain bad luck or lack of resources. Truth is you are where you are today and you have a choice to make. You can either continue to blame the system, the government, the society, your parents, your teachers, your college, and your neighbor’s dog about the difficult situation you find yourself in OR you can decide to take control of your life and do everything possible within your reach to ensure it gets better from here on. Bad news is, if YOU don’t decide to do something about your life, nobody else will.

2. Learn outside the classroom: – Poor quality of teachers is one of the biggest challenges our country faces today and maybe your teachers are not as inspiring, as knowledgeable as you would want them to be. However, in today’s information age, that are ample learning avenues outside the classroom a few of which are listed below that you could explore –

  1. The thing called internet – Did you know that many of the world’s best universities (MIT, Stanford, and even IITs now) offer many of their courses online to students all over the world for free. For those for whom this is a news, try visiting http://coursera.org or http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/
  2. The festivals, not traditional ones – Almost all the IITs have technical festivals (Shaastra from IIT Madras, Tech Fest from IIT Bombay, Cognizance from IIT Roorkee, Kshitij from IIT Kharagpur, Techkriti from IIT Kanpur, Tryst from IIT Delhi, and Techniche from IIT Guwahati) which are great platforms for you to learn, compete and network with fellow students and professionals in the field. Even if you know nothing, just go there and you would be amazed how rich experience and knowledge you would come back with.
  3. Remember Eklavya – There cannot be a better example than Eklavya in Indian mythology who was not in a very different situation 5,000 years ago as you are in today. Did he sit down and waste his time brooding over how unfair the life was? No.  Learn by yourself. Start writing your own programs, building your own projects & models – no matter however small and insignificant they may seem to others but to you they would not only provide with practical knowledge but also give you lot of confidence. For programmers, participating in different online programming contests (CodeChef is a great place to start) can be a life-changing experience.
  4. Train: – If all of the above fail to do the trick and you need holding hands to get off the mark, there are many reputed training programs being offered by companies like IBM, HP, Microsoft, Cisco etc. that you can join after class hours or during your winter/summer breaks.

3. Work on your communication skills: – One of the biggest advantages IITs/NITs offer is they provide you with an environment and peer group where you can learn to read, write, and speak in English really well. Remember no body would give you an internship or a job if you can not speak two complete sentences in English without grammatical, punctuation errors in it or if you can not write in a non SMS language. Spend time reading quality blogs, newspapers, watch as many English movies and serials on YouTube as possible (without subtitles please), learn to write a personal diary, and form a group with friends where its mandatory to converse only in English for an hour a day.  Try this for 6 months and see the marked change in yourself and your confidence level.

4. Start small, and grow big: – I get really irritated when same students write to me saying none of the big brands like Google, ITC, McKinsey consider them for internships. Arre Bhai, when you yourself can’t give up on your obsession with big brand names; how are these companies at fault when they do the same? Why not start with smaller, lesser-known companies and startups which are less hung up on brand and more on whether you are sincere and hardworking. I’d go to the extent to propose that if nothing else works and you are getting an internship opportunity in a field, not of your choice, you should take it. The amount of practical learning and the network you would build would eventually come handy in the pursuit of your true passion.

5. Have faith, don’t give up: – Because in the end, it will work out just fine; it always does. A couple of years ago, I also felt that only IITians have the license to rule the world (being one of them, a part of me still wants to believe that) but over last 2 years I have been humbled enough number of times by bright students from lesser known colleges to know that it is not true. I just counted,  ~50% of long term interns at Internshala have come from non premier colleges and we hire ONLY the best; my CEO at previous company I worked with (Aviva) did his graduation from MES College in Bangalore and MBA from Bharatidasan Institute of Management; the man behind Telecom revolution in India, Sam Pitroda, studied in Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodra; Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam  distributed newspapers in order to financially contribute to his father’s income before studying Physics at Saint Joseph’s College, Trichy.

None of these examples are from IITs or NITs and the only common thread is the determination, perseverance and a burning desire to make a mark for oneself. Remember, life just begins at college, does not end with it. You still have plenty of time ahead to make amends; start now!

So, if you have decided to not sulk and do something worthwhile so as to ensure that you find a meaningful internship opportunity, register on Internshala, and find a plethora of internships. Also, if you wish to skill yourself in a particular domain, check out Internshala Trainings. Use the coupon code ‘BLOG10‘ and get an additional discount of 10%.

Image credit: – http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_la-le6CKPB4/SWbouDqwFRI/AAAAAAAAANE/wHOS9myJxgM/s400/Hope.jpg

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26 thoughts on “What you could still do if you are not from IIT/NIT

  • December 16, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    an truly motivational video…………thanks a lot

  • December 16, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    an truly motivational …………thanks a lot

  • December 17, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    very inspiring sir…thanku…:)

  • December 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Thank You sir. Thanks a lot for the motivation.

  • December 28, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    struggling is life..there are many IItians from the great “IIT” but there will be handful of “IITians” from non-IIT..Come on frndz d 2nd option is open to all of us except “IITians”!!!..Lets show them

  • March 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    thanks fr motivational sentences sir,….i really feel myself more confident now…thanks a lot…

  • March 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    thnkq sir for sch a motivational speech… very welll and truely said…

  • March 27, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Such a motivational editorial. Your work is commendable. I just wish you keep inspiring us like this always. Thank you so much.

  • April 1, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Vry inspiring video,thank you so much. Sir i idid my b.tech and waiting for job in any solar company as Trainee or employee….. just to gain some experience(not fresher), also i’m interesterd in soalr technologies,actully i looking for a company which trains as well as pay like internship.Please suggest any link for the companies offering internships in hyderabad.I have searched for current interships in hydedrabad on solar but i found nothing,so thought you might help me.

  • April 21, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    very inspiring and motivating ….

    • April 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      Thanks :)

  • May 7, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    well said sir! What is the eligibility criteria to get into Mckinsey, BCG, Bain etc? Do I stand any chance of getting selected if I able to manage admission in IIMs?

  • May 8, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    gud motive…

  • July 2, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    sir/madam,i am from AGRICULTURE background.it is very different from THE ENGINEERING or other backgrounds being talked of on most of the posts on this site and other blogs published on this site.i want you to put some light on the internship chances that are available to such students like us and if possible please give some links for the above stated. Are WORK FROM HOME chances available too?

  • August 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM


    This is a great post which should really inspire every student in our country who feel that they are loosing out due to lack of opportunities, etc. Coming from the other side of the fence( I studied in one of these ‘big branded colleges’) I would say that there are even certain advantages for a non IIT/NIT student. How? Well if you apply for foreign internships or go for higher education abroad, you will not be judged by your undergrad college at all. For example, if you are among the top of your class, you have a very good chance for being selected for one of the paid foreign itnernship programmes( DaaD or Mitacs in Canada). Now the competition among students in a top NIT/IIT/Bits is ten times as much as the best college in your city. So it is much more harder for a student in a top college to rise up to the top of his class than a guy from a regional college. In my case, I was denied admission from many of the top universities in the US because my CGPA was only 8 ( a very respectable CGPA in my college) but it won’t compare with a 9+CGPA person from a regional college. However a schoolmate of mine who studied in a city college was able to secure among the top 5 universities in the US because of his hard work there. So, guys, wherever you are studying, just concentrate on your studies, try to reach the top of your class , while at the same time learning some real stuff. The opportunities will come on their own.

  • August 11, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    I have just joined b tech cse this year and i want to do an internship next year i.e. after completing my 1st year. Can you please tell me some things or courses i should do during this 1 year for a better chance at getting the internship. Anything like Java or something else.

  • April 26, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Sir ,
    Is it alright for an engineering student to do an internship in some management company ?
    I want to pursue MBA after completing B.tech .
    Thank you.

  • September 23, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    I really feel like beating the author with a shoe. He has posted this article as if NON IIT graduates, or rather those who are not able to crack exam, which don’t have credibility are foolish and nothing. And look at his gall, he is giving gyan. Do this , do that, brings in eklavya. IF you don’t know anything about Engineering, then keep your mouth shut. And what’s that, start small, grow big. No Engineering companies ever discriminate, it is the hiring managers from these institutions who don’t allow NON IITians inside. And on salary, Engineering companies really don’t care from where one has studied, they only bother about the quality of work which one would give. Why would I hire an IITians if he/she cannot even assemble chips even after showing the documents? I am not stupid. And oh yes, I was setting up a business, in collaboration with MIT. Don’t know what made him to write such a stupid article without doing any proper research. Such articles will be very bad for those people who really wants to build confidence.

    • September 24, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      Thank you PeterParker,
      I was in dire need of a shoe. And while you are at it, can you make it two please, so that I will have the full pair :)


  • April 27, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    Inspired! …
    Manly tears in my eyes.

  • June 1, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    It is a Great motivation for me. Thank you sir.


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