We got in touch with Brigadier SK Kakar, director of the career development cell at Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology (MAIT), Delhi, to understand the current scenario of internships at his college. Brig. Kakar has been passionate about grooming and nurturing budding engineers so that they can achieve considerable heights and become responsible citizens. We asked him a few questions, and he was kind enough to answer them.
Firstly, congratulations! Over 320 students from MAIT were selected for internships through Internshala last year – the highest from any college in India! What are your thoughts on this?
I came to know about Internshala three years ago from some of the students who were looking for internships. So I got in touch with the organisation and registered all the students on the platform. Internshala has since played a major role in providing internship opportunities to our students. About a decade ago, only the students with references in an organization were able to get an opportunity to intern; however, since our students got to know about Internshala, they’ve not only had a plethora of internships to apply to but also the freedom to go for an internship that suits their interests.
Could you please provide us an overview of the current internship culture at your college?
We firmly believe that there is a substantial gap between what is taught as a part of the curriculum and what is required by industry standards. We have observed that helping students secure an internship during their summer breaks has bridged this gap to a considerable extent. We, at MAIT, conduct periodic workshops and lectures hosted by industry experts so that the students can familiarise themselves with the ongoing trends and in-demand skills. We also ensure that students are provided with insights about online trainings and internships along with the institutions and industries offering them.
Do you think that colleges should focus on internships and placements equally?
Undoubtedly, yes! Also, I think that the students should be exposed to part-time/virtual as well as full-time internships. Owing to the knowledge and experience gained during their internships, a number of our students have created their own apps and websites over the course of time.
Moreover, it becomes quite easy for the students who have done internships and have worked on real-time projects to get a placement since they have a better grasp of theoretical concepts and can also use them for practical applications. The employers find it impressive when students have projects to show for.
Which skills, according to you, do employers look for while hiring interns?
Most employers that I have come across look for a sound knowledge of subjects taught as a part of the academic curriculum and a consistency in the academic achievements so far. Other factors that prove to be significant during hiring are aptitude and an attitude to learn, i.e. learnability and trainability.
Could you recount an incident where a student’s internship experience helped him/her during the placements?
Internshala, in association with AICTE, is organizing Internship Day on 25th of August to honour the college with the highest number of internship selections. Is there any message you would like to share with the participating colleges and students?
Sure, I would like to encourage colleges to give equal, if not more, importance to internships. Students must take their internships as an opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and to become employable by picking up industry-relevant skills. There is no denying the fact that the knowledge gained during an internship surpasses their college studies and proves to be far more beneficial.
Thank you, Brig. Kakar, for taking out the time to reply to our questions. And all the best for the upcoming Internship Day.
Thank you. I wish Internshala all the best in their endeavors and hope that they continue to bring out meaningful internship opportunities for students.
Editor’s Note: Internshala, in association with AICTE, is organising Internship Day to honour and reward the colleges for building a strong internship culture for their students. The participating colleges will be provided with all the necessary support to help maximum students find an internship this summer. Training & Placement Officers can register for the event here.