Summer Internship with Social Cops – Rahul Meena from IIT Roorkee

After rebelling a hard time of internship hunt after his third year, Rahul Meena shares how he ended up interning with a bunch awesome guys at a start-up. Rahul is a final year Computer Science Engineering student at IIT Roorkee. Read on to explore more about his internship story.

So guys, let me tell you ‘How I met Social Cops ‘

BACK in Autumn 2013…
I was going through my campus internship season. I was quite excited for it as many BIG tech companies were going to take students for their internship programmes. All these companies had one thing in common- they were all awesome.
I went through many online programming tests for different companies but couldn’t find my luck getting through any of them.

Spring 2014
New semester and new hopes to get an internship opportunity begun. I kept trying to get a decent internship for the summer but nothing came through.
So I basically tried different sources and got a BIG NO –
Campus–NO. Internshala–NO (Although got through two interviews, but I had some conflict regarding the type of work). Google–NO (Searched for lot of internships but found nothing concrete). Facebook–NO (Liked a few pages of some start-ups to and Tech blogs to get to know about new internship opportunities). Companies came and went by, but I was still there.

I felt like both internet and campus failed to get me an Internship but, in reality, it was the other way around.
It was during my end sem exams when I started thinking “What am I really looking for?” I always wanted to work for a start-up as they are the ones who offer the best working environment, mentoring and challenging tasks.
And what is a better place to ask a question other than Quora. I searched for “Cool Start-ups in India for internship,” and BANG! There was an answer by the co-founder of a start-up called ‘Social Cops’. I looked into their work profile and the kind of environment they provide to their employees/interns. I was sold out by their career page and was very keen to write to them.
They asked-
“Drop us your resume and tell us why you’re excited to work with us.”
Although I was very excited to write them a big heavy email about my interest and stuff but, I was so tired of doing that lately to several of other companies. So, instead of doing that, I just wrote this–

I’m Rahul and I just wanted to say that you guys are awesome and I like to hang out with awesome people.

Within the same day, I got the reply from them and was followed by two telephonic interviews. (Can you believe that?) I had a great chat with the co-founders and was very optimistic this time. It was April 29th or 30th, 9:00pm (I’m not good with dates).

I was preparing for my practical exams, and I don’t know if you have experienced it or not but, studying for Computer Science practical exams really sucks.
Anyway, I got a call from one of the co-founders–

– Hi Rahul!
– Hi Prukalpa (The Co- founder, didn’t I mention her name earlier?)
– I’m glad to tell you that you’re selected for the Summer Internship Programme.
– ________ (What? Really? How? Me? Come Again? – All in my head)
– Rahul … Are you there?
– Yeah sure. Wow I don’t know what to say! (A Thank you would have been a nice reply – Again my head).

She then started telling me about their work; or at least that’s what I remember as I was not listening to her anymore and my focus was still on random things going on in my head.
Well, the call ended and I could still hear “You’re selected” in my ears for at least an hour. Maybe I was so excited about it as it was my FIRST “You’re selected.” And, well, who wouldn’t be!
In all this excitement, I forgot to tell you that I couldn’t prepare well for my practicals and didn’t do well in it but, I hope you too will look on the brighter side of the other day.

——————————————————–2 Weeks Break————————————————————–

May 12th
9:30 AM
I reached office early…too early at 9:30 AM, as the office was supposed to start at 11:00 AM (good for people like me who is a late riser). So I had to wait for others. I was killing my time at CCD and was wondering how office and people would be.

11:00 AM
I was welcomed by Prukalpa and then we entered in a basement of a building painted yellow. People were coming out of their cubicles to welcome me and the first thing I asked them was “Where’s the washroom?”

So that’s how I met Social Cops. Now let me tell you about my 60 days of Summer at Social Cops. Consider this a fair warning, a cautionary message for people who are planning to intern at Social Cops.

Few reasons why you shouldn’t work at Social Cops-

You will be forced to work with many awesome people like @bankavarun, @prukalpa, @thesixthking, @ashwin107, @mukundaaaaa, @samarth, @gargvasundhara. All of them are sheer geniuses in their fields. They also have a Batman (@krishna #intern) who works through all nighter. The work they’ve done and the work they keep doing will drive you to the feeling of lack of self-worth, doubt and uncertainty. Their awesomeness will continually make you feel bad about yourself. If you are a beginner, it will hit you hard, really hard.

You will be bombarded with jokes you won’t get. There will be hundreds of obscure references and contexts buried underneath even the most innocuous one-liners. You will be forced to laugh at seemingly meaningless jokes.

The working hours at Social Cops are flexible. Too flexible. Let me tell you this, you are bound to grab less eyeballs if you come in at work on time than if you come in two hours later. Here, you are judged by the amount of work you actually do, which means that the only way to appear hard-working is by working hard. Also, the office environment is way too comforting. There will be a bean bag patiently conspiring in one corner for you to be zoned out and take a nap.

A lot of work done at Social Cops, be it developing, design, business deals, etc involves dealing with daily on-the-go problems. There are challenging problems with not so possible deadlines. Tests fail. Kinvey shows weird behaviour. Analytics don’t match. Issues come up. You need to be on your toes all the time. There will be times when you do not have time to work for anything that you’d planned, but the entire day is spent in fixing a mysterious bug.

With great power, comes great responsibility. You will have to take charge. New features are created daily. Whatever project you are working on, you have to to carry the cross. There is no hiding behind the wall, or ‘it-was-not-me’ when you bring down the staging server.

There are number of good restaurants and eateries around Social Cops as it’s in the Hauz Khas which makes it irritatingly easy for you to order food straight to the office. Also, if you are a vegan, you will have to deal with the never ending talks about beef from other non- vegan co-workers. Also the chai, thrice a day, will keep you off from falling on your laptop keyboards. The Saturdays will take you to the narrow streets of Hauz Khas village and to random restaurants where you’ll be forced to order what you want and would also make you not to pay for it. I mean it guys. How one can be so harsh on their workers.

You will be in constant fear of getting attacked by the AR Parrot Drone 2.0 or by the deadly 8 shot Plastic Guns. Other co-workers might click your embarrassing pictures through the unearthly Google Glass. So you have to constantly keep one eye on the monitor and the other on your shoulder. Prepare yourself for the war.

You will learn a lot. Period. After the internship, when you look back at your three-month-earlier-self, you will be wondering, “Oh God! What have I changed into? What did these guys do with me?” You will go back to your college and people will scratch their heads trying to wonder what happened to you during the internship. The stuff you’ll learn here, about coding, about start-ups, about design, will stick with you for long.

And, if you chose to ignore all my warnings and still went on to intern at Social Cops, then one day, two/three months later, you will have to face the terrible prospect of leaving the place. Trust me guys, it’s hard.
P.S. If you didn’t get the sarcasm, you probably shouldn’t work there.

So that’s how my 60 days of summer at Social Cops were.

If Rahul’s experience motivates you, you can view the latest internship in Delhi.

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.

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