About the Author: Arijit Goswami completed his B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Panjab University. He shares insightful details about his journey from being an IT engineer to a writer and how internships helped him make this career switch.
“If you don’t like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.”
It was in my 6th standard when I had first received appreciation for an essay written on this topic. That was the first time someone had told me that I had a flair for writing. I pictured myself working as a writer.
Fast forward 6 years and I was at one of the most important crossroads of my life. I was at the junction from where many career paths originated, yet I could walk on only one. And when it comes to choosing a career in India after XII grade, opinions and preferences are shaped not by a person’s knack or interest but by the prospects of financial security. The world around me recommended engineering after seeing my scores in the board exams. Google even endorsed their recommendation by showing the hefty packages offered to engineers. From no corner of the world, writing or journalism ever raised its voice. I, being an obedient follower of the herd, moved on to an engineering school. I still wrote, but I could not muster the courage to become a writer. Those words kept ringing in my ears – “Who becomes a writer? After all, can you ever earn enough money out of it?”
The years passed and I got a job in an IT company. New work, new experience, and, certainly, brand new bank account. Now was the time to overcome the biggest obstacle – my fear of doing a virtual aka work from home internship . I had two friends in college who were amazing graphic designers and who had actually exemplified ‘earn while you learn’. They used to talk about how Internshala helped them find those internships. So, I followed their footsteps and registered on Internshala. I still remember the first few applications which got rejected. I could not understand why my resume was being rejected even though I had got some experience and creative ideas. The list of rejections kept growing along with a decline in my hopes until I came across Internshala’s guide on creating applications and resumes.
Whoa! That was the first time I discovered so many mistakes and inadequacies in my CV. Few changes that I made were:
1. I had not mentioned my previous writing stints and current blogs in the resume. Later, I added all the relevant work experiences.
2. My application was based on why I wanted to do an internship rather than what I could bring to the table for the employer. I changed it later to how I could be of value to the employer.
Soon after revamping my resume, I landed my first internship with House-Crazy. I had to share a sample article on the topic “Top 10 amazing designs of staircases” for the selection process. The short interview went really well and I found the interviewer quite friendly. Internshala’s interview guide really came handy. It was a work-from-home internship, and I wrote extensively and researched a lot. The client was supportive. The payment process got completed within 2-weeks and that bolstered my confidence.
My second internship was with Mettl. In the interview I was asked about my blogging experience and whether I could consistently submit a specific number of write-ups every day, to which I agreed. I was also told that I had to design infographics for social media marketing on Facebook and create tweets for Twitter campaigns. For the first time, I realized that content writing was not just about typing words but also about creating marketing and SEO campaigns. I had never even touched the domain of graphic design. I was in a dilemma and even thought about leaving the internship. However, I decided to take the risk and accepted the offer letter.
My first few designs were awful. The client hated them. I was given suggestions, but I again failed to satisfy them. I also received warnings and a last chance to prove myself. I stuck on to the internship, spent an entire weekend sacrificing get-together parties and hobbies, just to learn graphic design using Photoshop and Canva. The following Monday, I shared another design to which I got a positive response and thereafter, I not only received appreciations but also timely payment. Getting work through Internshala helped me generate a source of income, learn new things, and fight my fear of virtual internships.
My next internship was with Indian Realty Bytes. I was interviewed directly by the founder and after going through my previous work samples and a few general questions, I was hired. This internship challenged me to visit real estate projects and talk to the sales teams. I had never spoken to sales and marketing team people before. I was afraid that I won’t be given attention as I was a blogger and not a buyer. For three days in a row, I stopped at the gate of a real estate project, clicked pictures and returned as I feared the failure in initiating talks with the builders. I never thought blogging could involve active face-to-face interaction. Somehow my inner voice along with the positive experience in the previous internship encouraged me to try a fourth time. And I not only found that sales team was welcoming to bloggers but also learned a big deal about real estate and covered five projects in just two days. Though I received appreciation from my client and received the highest rate per word in my life, the biggest moment of joy was when one of my uncles asked for my advice and suggestion before buying a home for himself.
Currently, I’m working as a content writing intern for Application Write. Today, as I look back, I find that I have grown heaps and bounds as a writer, designer, and communicator, all because of the opportunities provided by Internshala. I’m still in my IT job and Internshala has helped me realize that one can balance work and freelancing efficiently without any mental stress. And, who knows, someday I might take up writing as a full-time work too! My only advice to all the students out there is to keep hunting for opportunities, regardless of the number of rejections you face. And when you grab an opportunity, give your 100%. Don’t think that it is just an internship and won’t affect your career. Every internship teaches you professionalism and the art of balancing emotions, punctuality, and patience. I still find some people who have the same fears that I once harbored. I just introduce them to Internshala and recall my essay, “If you don’t like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.”