About the Author: Tanya Munshi is the founder of The Lifestyle Portal. From children’s books to e-learning modules, she has worked on content creation for various websites. She shares how her journey as a writer began with two internships.
Most of us begin our professional journeys as interns, and so did I. I started my career with internships at two prestigious publications namely Better Photography and India Book House. I had done these internships as a part of my assessments during my post graduation in Communications & Media. The concept of finding internships online was unheard of 17 years ago, so I had to call up these publications to seek an appointment (even emails were a novel concept then) and wait for hours to interview with the editors there. The interviews were almost similar to a full-time job interview, which gave me a glimpse of how to prepare for a job interview.
At Better Photography, I assisted the chief photographer. From holding reflectors to fixing the camera on the tripod and setting up the studio, I had a variety of responsibilities there. Along with this, I learnt the nuances of photography. This stint was quite special to me as I wrote my first photo essay on INS Vikrant, a warship turned floating museum that people could visit during the Navy Week. When I saw my name in the magazine as the author, I was on the top of the world.
My next internship was at the Indian Book House Pvt. Ltd. where I interned at Tinkle comics under the guidance of late Mr. Anant Pai, aka Uncle Pai, the founder of Tinkle comics and Amar Chitra Katha. I had a desk right outside Uncle Pai’s glass cabin where I would sort letters that kids sent from all over the world and draft answers for ‘Tell me why Uncle Pai’. I edited and copyrighted text for various stories published in Tinkle comics. I witnessed how the team of artists painstakingly drew and painted each page by hand and assisted them with the proofreading and color check once the comic came back from the printer. I even got a chance to write scripts for some comic strips and learnt to write short and simple excerpts because a majority of our readers were kids. I would spend days researching and reading different books along with all the volumes of Amar Chitra Katha that were present in the library. I got so well versed with Indian culture, mythology, and folktales that it planted the seeds of storytelling and writing for children in me. You must be wondering why I’m talking about the internships that I did 17 years ago, right?
Well, after I completed my post graduation, I wrote my first comic book which was an autobiography of a human nose intending to teach kids about the human respiratory system for IL&FS Publications. I edited several children’s books for Pratham Books and eventually, retold the unpublished folktales from Africa and Latin America for Mango Books. Today, 17 years into my writing career, I have written content for some of the top brands like The Hindu, Rediff.com, Women’s Era, Yatra.com, World of Moms from the house of FirstCry.com, The Mountain Walker, and Spice Route Magazine. It’s been over 7 years since I launched my own e-publishing website called The Lifestyle Portal on which I have featured over 180 entrepreneurs from across the globe.
So coming back to why I talked about my internships – it was to showcase how the two internships that I did during my college proved to be a stepping stone for my career and paved the way for my entrepreneurial journey. My professional experience has taught me that an internship is not just a stint you do as a part of your curriculum, rather it is a lifetime opportunity for learning new things and assessing your strengths and weaknesses.
Inspired by Tanya’s experience? Do you also wish to re(start) your career and build your own identity? Apply to these internships for women and take a step forward towards your career.