Sweta Dey, an aspiring journalist, shares her experiences as an intern with her dream newspaper agency Times of India. It all started with a school competition which transformed into a summer internship and much more.
I am Sweta. An ardent ‘bong’ as they charmingly call us Bengalis, and I am a ‘lithesome’ feminist in the making, proving true to my Mirandian blood. A fierce student of English Literature. And yes. I am also an aspiring Journalist. Well, that’s what I want to be. As they rightly say, the pen is mightier than the sword. ‘Its only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away’. Literally and metaphorically.
A Trip down the Memory Lane
I was in Standard 10 in 2012 when TOI Kolkata conducted an essay competition called ‘Young Editors of Tomorrow’s India’. I participated with much enthusiasm and was duly selected in the Top 15 from among 500 other students from various eminent schools in Kolkata. I was elated. And when the editorial board called me up at their office. Well. I was super elated. And when I reached their office and stepped my first baby steps into the air conditioned dome. I touched the sky. For an ephemeral moment.
And my teenage heart decided. This was it. I want to work with them.
We all know the term ‘Summer Internship’ is getting all the ‘likes’ these days. Not just ‘likes’, it is also one of the core momentum and a necessary catalyst to your work profile you cannot ignore. Internships provide experiences. And well. One of the best learnings you get in life is EXPERIENCES. So the Times of India. It does not need any introduction. And just might be the best newspaper and organisation as a whole to work with. At least for me.
Day 1 – I had an interview with Mr. Bob Roy (Resident Editor, East Zone). He is an illustrious Journalist with over two decades experience in print, television and digital media. Nervousness is a given before every interview and I was no exception. But the interview went well. And Hello! I was welcomed to the TOI family. Soon I was introduced to the two beautiful ladies with whom I worked under and with during the course of the internship.
Day 2 – I tried hard to ‘look’ like a ‘Journo’. Well. Don’t we all tend to stereotype Journalists having a certain kick ass dress sense, like the perfect fusion of the contemporary and the traditional? Having reached the office with flushed cheeks. I entered into the professional world. I entered into an independent womanhood. Oh! How empowered I felt.
I was given my own desk and desktop. I fell in love again!
The ‘Working’ Days
Besides my ‘trying-to-look-hard-like-a-a journalist’ crisis and drowning in the euphoria of having an independent work station, I was mostly engaged with The Education Times, writing the features and events. With Irene and Devlina, (Yes, the two beautiful ladies.), I soon got the hang of the place and my work. I even got the chance to play a reporter when they send me to cover and report educational events, and attend the Press meets at the American Embassy and The Calcutta Press Club.
June 26th, 2015 – One of those days you remember for the greater part of your life. One of those moments when you get a panic attack out of sheer happiness. Yes. When my write up was published in the main Times of India newspaper. A travel feature exclusively written by me. My first published article in the national newspaper!
The Last Days
Delhi calling. My college was about to reopen after 2 long months. And my stint at TOI was about to end. The TOI family gave me a small farewell. A farewell to the youngest person in their office. The gift? I was offered to intern for them again in December. Call it a small winter internship I am eagerly waiting for.
As lazy as I am. But I have to contradict myself and devoutly say that ‘I LOVE WORKING’ when it comes to TOI. The work culture, the employees, the canteen with the scrumptious food and my workstation, everything was a beautiful revelation. As they say, the first time is the best time. And you never forget your first experience.
So here I am. Remembering my first internship experience at the best place, The Times of India. And waiting to relive them again. See you soon, December!
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