About the Author: Shaurya Sharma is pursuing English Honors from Banaras Hindu University. He shares how an internship interview landed him a work from home retainership with HT.
I was about to begin my second year when it struck me that I hadn’t done anything in the past year that could add to my resume. I felt disconcerted and talked to a friend who advised me to make my summer productive by interning, and so I did. I had been asking my friends and relatives if they had any contacts in a company when one of them had advised me to visit Internshala website. After hours of surfing through the plethora of internships present there, I applied to around 20 internships. There weren’t many opportunities in Banaras, so I applied to internships in Delhi NCR as it was close to my hometown as well. I was shortlisted by 5 companies for the next round after which 2 companies selected me for the final interview. I could not travel 700 km for an interview, so I put one of the companies on hold and interviewed for the other one, who gave me a joining date but didn’t send the offer letter. Not having received the offer letter, I called the company a million times and dropped a billion messages and a zillion emails (excuse my exaggeration!) but didn’t get a response. I decided to go the company directly and join as I didn’t want my summer to be uneventful.
The day I reached Delhi I received a message stating that Hindustan Times (HT), after making me wait a month, had finally recognized my application and required me for the final round. I was thrilled! I went to HT Media’s office in Gurgaon and got to know that the final round had two sub-rounds. After submitting all my personal details to the HR manager, I, along with 40 other candidates, was given a grammar, comprehension, and composition test. We were to edit and proofread a passage, arrange it in a meaningful order, and compose relevant information. We were also asked to write brief articles on two of the three topics given. After getting through this round, I had a day long (yes, a day long) interview with the HR, the media head, and the content head. I was a little edgy but my confidence held my nerves together. I was asked why I was willing to work there in spite of studying in Banaras. I gave a satisfactory answer to this. They asked me why I chose content writing to which I replied that I wished to transform my hobby into my profession. After asking me a few personal questions and telling me how impressive my written task had been, they asked me to wait in the boardroom of meeting. They announced the results, and I was the first one to be selected. Just when I thought the day was at its best, it got better. I was offered a permanent job at HT as a content writer which, unfortunately, I couldn’t take because of my studies.
Regardless of this, I was ecstatic as I had bagged an internship in content writing at an established company, just as I desired. I rented a PG near the office and walked there with butterflies in my stomach wondering if I could do justice to my work. I was warmly welcomed but my day was rather uneventful. After juggling among many people, I landed with a senior for a task. He asked me to address him by his name which was a little surprising. He explained how the company worked and told me not to displease anyone and deliver with quality and quantity. He was a mentor that I had asked for: strict and friendly in the right proportions, guiding and appreciating me, and making me comfortable in his company. In the initial days of my internship, I developed a descriptive content for colleges which were enrolled on the e-portal of HT Campus. The experience was enlightening but monotonous. My mentor sensed this and as soon as I was done with this assignment, he requested the content head to place me in the editorial section. After the head had assessed my capability for the job, he conceded me to edit write-ups that were to be published on the e-portal of HT Campus, which is a renowned website for college information and queries. Most of those queries were quenched by the college reviews published by students. My job was to select one review at a time from the backlog and proofread and transform it into a much presentable form. Although my supervisor smiled in a fortnight and laughed in a leap year, he was laborious, dedicated, confident, and sincere. He told me that I could not edit the entire draft or change the thoughts and intentions of a review as this would violate the rights of reviewers and the viewers as well and taught me some tricks to work fast and efficiently. I supervised the reviews, corrected the grammatical errors, and made them look more informative without editing their gist. The task seemed intriguing and interesting because reading the opinions of the youth was quite an informational stint, the added perk being some undeniably funny reviews. I moderated the drafts and was fairly appreciated. Within a month, they made me a direct publisher of the reviews. This was a responsible job, and I did justice to it. I also wrote some articles on miscellaneous topics which enriched my experience even more. After my internship got over, they offered me a work from home job which I gladly accepted.
Working with people who shared the same passion was a cherishable experience. I was given guidelines for the proper and discreet use of the language that make any article or draft look formal and professional. I not only developed fashion, focus, and style in my writing skills but also a sense of obligation. I learnt that with power and opportunities come responsibilities and that fruits of success are born with labor, consistency, sincerity, and dedication. I fell in love with the work culture of HT Media. I was applauded for my work and my commitment which inspired me to work harder. I grew close to my coworkers and learnt intrinsic work details. The two months of my internship passed like the winter’s day. My manager told me that I was made for writing and that she enjoyed working with me. The encouragement, experience, lessons, and appreciation that I received at HT transformed me into a learned man, a better man.
This internship will always be close to my heart not because it was my first one and paid me handsomely or because it decorated my resume but because it gave me a mini trailer of my aspirations. It was a landscape of what I want my life to look like. I owe gratitude not only to my co-workers but also to Internshala for I never would have discovered this opportunity otherwise.
P.S. As I work for Hindustan Times, I still haven’t heard of the company that I was supposed to join.
Want to pen down everything that comes into your head? Check out these cool content writing internships and unleash the writer in you.
Editor’s note – If you also have an interesting story to share, you can now participate in Your Internship Story Contest 2017 and win cash prizes and goodies worth INR 1 Lac!