About the Author: Divya Iyyani, a student of K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering, started looking out for internships right from her first year. She reminisces about her journey of finding her first internship and how she managed to overcome all the obstacles.
Like most things in life, my quest for an internship started with utter failure. I was in the first year of my engineering and everyone was talking about the pros of doing an internship. More importantly, people were talking about how they had landed big-shot internships with big-shot companies and of course, the huge stipend they were going to receive. Morgan Stanley, Wipro, Ambipur – these names were tossed around with wonder and pride.
Through all this, I miserably pondered my lack of expertise in the technical field. (Yes, you gain no technical knowledge in the first year!) Many friends suggested Internshala and other websites for us, the struggling inexperienced 1st-year internship aspirants. I made an account on Internshala and started my hunt for non-technical internships. I was always good at writing. I’m an amateur author and poet albeit an unpublished one. I was chosen by XXX (name withheld so that they don’t sue me!) for a work from home, content writing internship. I breezed through the telephonic interview. However, within a week of the internship, I got a call.
Manager: I’m sorry. We don’t have any more work for you.
Me: What? Why?
Manager: We don’t have work for people based in remote places.
Me: (thinking) Yeah, Mumbai is a remote island.
Manager: We only have work for those who are based out of our city.
Me: (thinking) Then why didn’t you read my address which clearly stated Mumbai before hiring me!
Me: …umm..okay. Bye then.
I gave up after that. Since I was still in the probation period, the time when you haven’t yet received the hiring letter, I decided not to do anything about it.
Tip for future interns: Offer letter first. Everything else later.
After some time, I gathered my courage and conviction and valiantly resumed my quest for internships. This time, I had luck on my side and got successful in the beginning itself. Projects for School hired me for a Social Media Marketing and Content Writing internship after a couple of assignments that I completed during the selection procedure. I spent a month researching articles, writing blogs for the first time in my life, and promoting their products on all social media channels. It was helluva fun! I learned the various styles of writing, paid attention to prose and passive voice, and maintained the balancing act of making my articles informative and fun.
I bought gifts for my parents with my first stipend. They were small things but it felt great to give something to my family with the pehli kamaai. (The number of zeroes in that pehli kamai doesn’t matter!)
My grandmother said proudly to my mother, “Look, your daughter has given me a gift from her earning. You used to work too. What did you give me?” My mother smiled wryly (thinking of all the saris she’d given over two decades) and said, “No Amma, I haven’t given you anything.” All of us laughed.
At the end of the month, after being impressed with my work, they hired me as a freelance staff writer. I currently balance studies, college, extracurricular activities, and freelance writing. It becomes hectic at times but writing, my irresistible love, keeps me going.
And thus ends my internship experience. Just kidding! I’m young and going to do a lot of internships in future. (Of course, through Internshala!) I have just started my journey and I’m not planning to stop anytime soon.
Next destination- Technical Internship