About the Author: Feenaz Aarif, a management graduate, joined Internshala team as a Student Counsellor intern. She recently completed six months at Internshala and talks about her experiences during the journey.
Coming from a small city, I didn’t have a lot of freedom to explore but my dreams were never restricted by those boundaries. During my campus placement, I got job offers from a couple of companies but couldn’t join due to some reasons. I started preparing for management exams and after doing some research, I realized that having some work experience would help me in getting admission in a tier-1 B-school. That’s when my younger sister told me about Internshala. I checked their website and registered, but didn’t pay much attention as I was busy preparing for the exams. After a few months, I was really frustrated and finally decided to gain some exposure in the corporate world. I logged into my Internshala account, completed my profile, and applied for an internship; however, there was no response from the company even after 2 weeks. Then, I applied for another internship but wasn’t hired for that too. One day, as I was browsing for more internships, I came across an internship at Internshala itself. I went through the JD of the student counsellor profile and found it interesting.
I went through Internshala’s website, its about us page, products and services, etc. to have a clear picture of the organization after which I applied for the internship. Next morning, to my surprise, I saw that I was shortlisted for the internship! On the same day, I received an e-mail from Internshala regarding the telephonic interview at 5 PM the next day. I prepared myself for the interview by practising the answers to a few basic questions like tell me about yourself, where do you see yourself after 5-10 years, why do you want to do this internship, etc. My phone started ringing at sharp 5 PM and as expected, I was asked to tell something about myself. The whole interview revolved around my academics as I was a fresher and it ended after around 25-30 minutes. Within an hour, I received an e-mail that I had cleared the interview and my in-office interview was scheduled in Gurgaon on the next day. I confirmed my availability and in the end, I had given three interviews before I was finally hired! My happiness knew no bounds!
I reached Gurgaon one day before my joining as I had to look for an accommodation. On my first day, I reached office 15 minutes early. I went to meet Aastha from HR team, the only person I knew and had interacted with. She then introduced me to my mentor, Sapna, and the team lead, Shekhar. I was briefed on my work and responsibilities and they helped me get started. In the evening, we had a fun ice-breaking session where we played an interesting game and all the members introduced themselves. Thus, my internship commenced and I finally started working. I handled student grievances and counselled them either through emails or calls. I also looked into the student-employer issues which consist of various problems that the students face with the employers who hired them through the platform. I also made weekly newsletters which included exciting internships for the students, inspiring success stories from Internshala blog, and offers from Internshala Trainings for helping students learn new skills.
I’ve learnt a lot of things during this internship, thanks to my mentors. They helped me improve my communication skills, writing skills, and presentation which had a major impact on my work. I also learnt to take ownership of my work and give my 100%. Working in a startup is not like a bed of roses instead, you need to be on your toes to face the hardships and build yourself! It’s not just about the work; I also got to see how a large group of people come together and function as a team, bound by a common strand of culture values. Yes, you heard that right – a set of principles aka culture values! Personally, the three cultures that have stayed close to my heart are Dream Big, Make it Happen, and Seek & Give feedback. I’ve understood that to fulfill our dreams, we have to make things happen by doing the right thing and during our struggle, we should seek & give feedback so that we can become aware of our mistakes/shortcomings, work on them, and improve to achieve our goal – and this has been my key takeaway from this experience!