Rightly said it is there is no shortcut to success. It will be challenging, tiresome, but at the end, it will be all worth it. Similar is the story of Anisha (third from right) who did an internship in her summer holidays and soaked each ray of sun, which in turn made her shinier.
On 21st April 2015 I entered NDTV office in New Delhi for an interview. After endless phone calls and emails for one year to an acquaintance, also an employee at NDTV, I finally received a call for an interview on 20th April. I was on my way to Dehradun, my hometown from Bengaluru when I received the call I landed at New Delhi airport. I was not prepared for this, it came as a complete surprise. I was going home after almost five months and had to leave for Delhi the next morning itself! “It’s okay”, I said, I had been waiting for this day for almost a year, and I immediately booked my tickets back to Delhi.
Fast forward to the interview. It was a general interview about my educational qualifications, career interests and my interest in NDTV. Three hours after the interview I got a call from the Audience Cell team leader asking me to join the week later. Oh, what a relief! Those three hours, in the scorching April heat of Delhi, were the most tedious hours I can ever remember. My father accompanied me on this journey and I must say without his strong support I wouldn’t have survived those three hours. Anyways, by next week, I arranged for a place to stay and joined NDTV as an intern in the Audience Cell, my dream company. The first day was exasperating, really it was. I was given an introduction of what the Audience Cell does and what as an Audience Researcher my job will be and how challenging it becomes. Believe it or not, it seemed like rocket science to me! I left science stream two years ago to study journalism, how was I supposed to do that? Heaven only knew.
Second day came and we received an email asking us to invite audience for a show in Cyber City, Gurgaon hosted by Volvo. So coming to a completely alien city, I was supposed to invite engineering students to participate in the show. Well, not rocket science but I did manage to get hold of a few students. Thanks to my ever so helpful and friendly colleagues who guided me throughout the preparation, step by step. A few days into my internship things took a sharp turn. Another surprise! I was made a member of the Audience Cell team responsible for Ms. Barkha Dutt’s show! The most amazing opportunity I ever had. Since grade 7 I have been watching Barkha Dutt’s show and that lady has been my inspiration and my role model. Working for her show was the most breath taking experience. The first show which I worked for was Townhall with Mr. Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India. Seeing Ms. Barkha conducting a show with her evergreen grace and charm is a sight etched in my memory.
The next two months were like an awesome road trip with varied views like desserts, forests, landfills. I worked for a number of shows, Townhalls with Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javadekar, Ravi Shankar Prasad and We the People on various political and social issues such as the Indian Army running low on ammunition, Triple Talaq Ban. For every show we had to target a specific set of audience depending on the topic. It was quite challenging since in the month of May students were busy with final exams and in June everyone was out on vacation while we worked. There were times that we reached beyond the target and there were times when the show went into complete crisis. Large chunks of audience used to cancel at the last minute or the show itself would get cancelled. But no matter how many hurdles we faced, our team leader would never let our morale down. When stuck in a crisis situation he would politely say, “It is okay guys we are dealing with humans, not machines,” and everyone used to get back to work with double the enthusiasm and effort.
Over this period of two months I not only learnt journalism but made friends who made me comfortable in a new city, learnt a few ways of the corporate world including how we deal with people, and most importantly, I learnt that there is no alternate to hard work and honesty. While working for the shows, we tend to make mistakes or stray, which as a result made our seniors angry. But at the end if we just owned our mistake and made sure not to repeat it and learn from it, our work was appreciated. The lesson of honesty shall last with me long.
I walked out of NDTV office on my last day of internship as a completely different individual than when I had entered. I felt to have grown personally and professionally. It was an experience which is with me even today and is sure to stay with me for the rest of my life and mould me into a better individual. And I shouldn’t forget to mention the fun I had in Delhi apart from all the work. I went out exploring the city, tried different restaurants, made friends. The best part of Delhi, it has metro! You can easily travel to any corner of the city irrespective of the distance and still save a lot of time and money.
Coming back to Bengaluru, I do miss the metro a lot, because travelling in Bengaluru is just another battle we fight every day!
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