India is a country of talent and employers should train and guide those who are interested in the respective industries, to try and match up the skill set which employers are looking for, says Ruchika, Co-founder and Director at Cosmic Bites. Below are the excerpts of our conversation with her on the subject.
IS:What is your philosophy behind having an internship programme at Cosmic Bites?
We hire interns to have a fresh perspective from an outsider on the issues faced by different departments. Work environment provides a lot of independence and flexibility which helps in nurturing the new ideas. Also being a start-up, many ideas are first tried and tested– and what better way than a time-bound and resource bound project which can be efficiently done by interns.
IS: What are the skills/attributes that you look for in a candidate while hiring interns? Have you ever made mistakes while hiring and ended up hiring totally wrong candidate(s)? What were those mistakes? And in your opinion, what are the common pain points of intern hiring?
Creativity and perseverance are important attributes we look for in the candidate. He/she should have a zeal for learning, because working in a start-up is quite taxing but it carves out the personality of the candidate.
Because of the emergence of internship culture and internship platforms in India, it is becoming easier for interns and employers to find each other. Being a start-up, hiring interns for the first time had many loopholes and we learnt many lessons. So for the next round of hiring we had to change our the HR hiring manifesto.
In my opinion, there is still a huge gap between the skill set required in the industry vs. what universities/colleges are imparting. I believe it’s a serious problem and needs to be addressed.
IS: Have you ever done any important project in which interns played a critical role? If yes, please elaborate. If no, what do you think has been the reason?
We hired interns for customer business development profile and we ended up hiring them for full time employment, as they were enthusiastic for the work at hand and interested in bringing a change in the organisation.
Interns can play a pivotal role in start-ups as projects are time bound, so there is a mutual benefit.
IS: What and how, in your opinion, could companies/start-ups benefit from hiring interns? A message that you would like to give to employers running internship programmes?
I think India is a country of talent. The only thing, in my opinion, that is missing is proper utilisation of resources. We as employers should take the onus of training and guiding the students, who are interested in the respective industries, to try and match up the skill set which we as employers are looking for. So rather than having a PPT (pre-placement talks) few days before the final placements, there should be continuous engagements with the institutes for honing and directing the skills of the students towards the required skill set.
IS: What is your message to students who are looking for internships?
Don’t take internship as another bullet point to be added to your resume. Treat your internship and the company with full integrity and sincerity. Do proper research of the industry you are interested in and do better than what others are doing!
If you’re an employer and want to share your experience of running an internship programme, or want to hire interns for your own organization, drop a line at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.
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