She is the little Miss Sunshine who has dug her hands in almost everything and yet she shines bright. Even if it was for a short while yet it drastically changed her. Find what drives you and go on an adventurous ride.
My encounter with the term ‘internship’ can be dated back to a few months before my college even started, when I asked my sister over lunch the question – “What else do you do in college?” So among joining societies in college, working for NGO’s and completing your assignments, my sister mentioned the term ‘internship’. Over the past two years of my college life, I have been fairly active inside as well as outside college. Worked inside through National Service Scheme Society of my college and outside through internships. I have been a part of a decent number of internships ranging from Teach India to working with AIESEC but one of the most challenging internships that I have undertaken till date was my internship with Mettl in the summer of 2015. It was only when I was vaguely browsing through my placement cells board that I found the internship opportunity with an excellently written job description and an email id to apply at. So what was the next thing that I did? I came back home and applied the same afternoon. The application form was interesting and practical which raised my anticipation further. I never expected to hear back honestly, mainly because of two reasons: First, it was a paid internship so I thought my chances were slim and second, because I did not have an excellently adequate experience for the job role. Nonetheless, I got a response and before I knew it, I received a joining letter which stated that I was to be the ‘Digital Marketing Intern’ receiving a handsome stipend. I don’t think it is necessary to state how happy I was for bagging this internship. Since, they wanted me to start as early as possible I agreed to start before my last paper that is on 18th May 2015.
Even though people tend to start off with the positives, I would like to highlight not the negatives but a few key challenges I faced over the course of the internship. The internship was in one of the main corporate hubs: Gurgaon. So one of the first challenges that came my way was the intense travel involved in reaching the office itself. It took a hectic, fatigued and immense 2 weeks (15 hours) of travel for me to adjust to the routine. Next, the job description provided for the internship, no doubt suffered loopholes when it came to actual tasks that were assigned to me. As it happens in numerous internships, the job description is not a match with the actual work that is carried on by us. There were some days when all I did was handled Twitter account of the company, which can be a tedious task (trust me I have been there). However, travel and a ‘not so accurate’ job description was not the only issue I tackled. I was the only intern there and the youngest which made my stay in the office a tad bit boring. This does not imply that I didn’t interact with anyone, I did have professional conversations with half of the office, but like I said, all it was, was formal chit chat or an occasional hi on the way. Furthermore my inability (I guess) to connect with other employee and my boss didn’t help in improving things and by the time things did get better, it was time to leave. The work environment was a mix of formal and informal which was good because it gave off a casual & friendly vibes (I saw my CEO wear 3/4th shorts in the office).
All together it was a different experience because even though there were challenges, it would be wrong if I deny that it had the highest learning curve among all the other internships I have ever done. The working from 9-5 gave me a peek into the corporate world and its working (even a little politics here and there). Weekends were off so my social life did not die, even though I ended up sleeping most weekends. The entire process of working with diverse individuals and a boss who sits right next to you with such intimacy and intensity was something I had not experienced before. The work load (especially in the end) pushed me beyond my limits. So the work helped me improve my skills, abilities and devotion towards work, in short, I received a more realistic perception of the term ‘work’. Some days I was only motivated to work for money, but one of the key things I realized was that money alone can only motivate you to work up until a point, after that it’s your passion for it that pushes you through. So yes, this internship had a lot of ups and downs, challenges, in short, this internship took me for one heck of a ride this summer but I ended up becoming a better person both professionally and personally. I ended up making an amazing friend (yes I did), whom I meet up every weekend (yes that good). I got a peak into the transition of a startup into a company, same stage as adolescents. So I am glad I got to be a part of Mettls growth in some small way. My personality has evolved too, my sense of accountability has grown leaps and bounds, I am a much more independent person, my confidence level is better than another point of time in my life and I have a little bank balance as well (it doesn’t hurt).
How was all of this possible? It was possible through the internship. So yes, each internship has its own set of challenges, rewards, and learning curve. My internship with Mettl may not be the best one, but it will always remain the most memorable one. Why? Because I couldn’t have done anything better with summer 2015!
I remember discussing with a friend once, that’s how ‘good’ internships are a myth. I still stand by it, but this internship is as close as it gets to a ‘good’ internship. College students are in an excellent state to learn and grow and internship assists you do the same. But that will only happen if you are willing to devote your time and energy into something like that (not a cake walk) and let me tell you it is worth every bit of it, because when you walk out that office, you know you are capable and needed by someone! It may involve a little workout in terms of moving out of your comfort zone. In my opinion every college student should engage in a single internship, at least throughout their college life or at least have one experience in their bag if not many, because classroom teaches you ‘what’ but it is only an internship which can teach you ‘how’.
A word of warning: It is not always going to be a pretty picture. Sometimes you won’t like it (it may push you out if your comfort zone), you may have different opinions or you may work with individuals you don’t particularly like and you may even feel like giving up but always remember they teach you something consciously or unconsciously.
I have been a part of Internshala for at least a year now and I can proudly say that I have worked on two internships through it. I love their mail blasts which list down all the great internships in one go that too according to my preference! I am a part of other internship portals too, but they lost their shine a little too much, too soon but Internshala didn’t. Great job, Internshala!
Moral of the internship: Money is not enough, but passion definitely is.
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