Work hard and be proud of what you achieve. Nikhil is pursuing Computer Science engineering and shares his wonderful experience of internship days.
I have heard a lot of internship stories, read many too. All of them have been fascinating. Like most others, my internship story is also a fascinating tale of “twist of fate”. Trust me when I say “twist of fate” because my internship wasn’t quite an internship; it was a ‘little’ more than that.
Despite being an engineering student (who is supposed to be a techno-freak-geek), I have always had an inclination towards arts, particularly sports journalism. The story dates back to April 2014, when I actually thought of giving ‘creative writing’ a shot in the middle of my technical degree. I could enjoy the best of both worlds, I imagined. I kick-started as a freelance writer and soon had a lot of credits under my name. No wonder my confidence was sky-high. I wrote for various random blogs before eventually deciding to take up an internship in this field. Five years down the line, I could see myself as a leading columnist.
Amidst such a backdrop, I applied for the Sports Journalism Internship at SPORTSOVAL. Sportsoval is a Bangalore-based online sports magazine. I wouldn’t let the beans about the company spill so soon. There is more to come in the later part of the story. So I applied for the post through their website and got a call from them on the very next day. This is what followed in the telephonic interview with the company head Mr.Ranjan Yadav.
Sportsoval: So Nikhil, why do you want to work for us? How did you come to know about Sportsoval?
Me: (A rhetorical answer would be perfect I assumed) Sir, I have been writing for various websites but none like yours. I have been closely observing how your company has grown leaps and bounds on the social media. To serve you would be a privilege for me. (I just need an internship which pays me well. And honestly I have never heard of your company. I just bumped into it while randomly surfing the internet!)
Sportsoval: Great. We have seen your resume and we feel you are a perfect fit for this post. Would you, if given an opportunity, join our core team in the future?
Me: (Surprise surprise!!) I would absolutely want to.
Sportsoval: See you at the office tomorrow.
I was so excited about this that I couldn’t sleep the entire night. To be an “intern” was synonymous to “I-Have-Grown-Up”. I started imagining of a big office with corporate people, an attractive receptionist and an awesome cafeteria.
The day arrived, September 15 it was. What I saw was a small room with some 5 people on their laptops. Now that was THE OFFICE! Hopes went crashing. No cafeteria, no corporate people and forget the receptionist part; there were only men around. There were two bosses (brothers they were, they had to be I presumed), a lazy editor and 3 other writers; none were writing though.
I was a tad disappointed to be honest. They sounded so professional on the call. Now that I had joined, they offered me a “LUMPSUM” amount. That was perhaps all that I cared about. I got to work. I saw the website. It was a pretty dull one. There were no updated posts, and a lot of errors which ironically the editor couldn’t spot. I decide to take things under control and worked overtime to flood the websites with updated posts, popularised the articles on social media and got the “clicks” we wanted.
So impressed were the bosses, that they made me the social media admin too! Yes, I own the media rights now. I was never really convinced with the work of other writers. They showed up rarely.
Despite tiring efforts, we were not matching the standards of our competitors. This was worrying all of “us”. I say “us” because I was taken into the core team (a team of 3, the bosses and me) within 20 days of my “internship”. The editor left soon. The only choice the bosses had was me, and so I took the chair.
From an “intern” to “The Editor”; sounds like a fairy tale. But a man cannot be juggernaut until he has a team backing him up. I was a writer, the chief editor, marketer, the social media head, and lastly the promoter too. All that was fine but I was never quite told about what would happen to my “Lump sum” salary. There should be a fifty percent hike, I calculated. The bosses kept quiet on this though. They kept on giving me more and more tasks and all they had to say was “You know we are hitting the dim verge and not making enough (money). You have seen the web stats. I hope you understand.”
With great powers, come great responsibilities they say; and a lesser salary, I would like to add to the adage (sarcasm intended)!
Albeit being thoroughly unpaid, I continued to give my all to the company. But diminishing results and no discernible impacts forced me to quit after I finished my “internship” tenure of stipulated 3 months.
It was not an internship for me; it had become a business which I proudly co-owned. From being nothing to being the everything of a business. I have not lost all contacts from the firm though. I still work as a guest editor and do contribute with my articles. The social media page is alive too, and Sportsoval continues to be close to my heart.
The “Lump sum” amount however continues to be a mystery as I have not received a penny yet but I do not even care for it anymore. But I do not hold any grudges against the bosses. I absolutely love Sportsoval! We are not making much profit, and might even stop functioning soon but we continue to be a happy little family; well, almost happy!
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