About the Author: Sapna Shukla, a student of RGVP, Bhopal, reminisces how she began her journey at Internshala and tells us about the long way she has come.
I joined Internshala on 12th October 2015 as a student counselling and support intern. With mixed emotions of nervousness and eagerness, I entered the office. The first week was all about me being quiet and working on my tasks. Soon enough, I became comfortable at the office, made friends, and started enjoying my job. But what preceded this is a different story altogether!
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Gurgaon was a new city and finding a place close to the office was a must. Until I found a cozy little room nearby, I commuted for 5 hours a day. Reaching home at 9 didn’t leave much time for me to do anything else. I swear I even had nightmares about commuting and the rush in the metro.
On top of this, my deteriorating health kept making it difficult for me to take care of my work. This was taking a toll on me, so I decided to quit my internship. Next day, I came prepared to talk to Shekhar, my mentor, about this decision. Before I could have the ‘talk’ with him, we left for a team lunch to celebrate the first stipend of all the new interns. And when I came back to the office, tears rolled down my eyes because I had fallen in love with Internshala and the team. I was certain that I was going to continue with my internship.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
I found it utterly difficult to work in the beginning. I worked on a laptop for 8-9 hours continuously. I was neither acquainted with typing with both hands simultaneously nor quick at typing. Shekhar introduced me to typing tutor so that I could learn to type fast and took my sessions regularly. I used to practice typing for half an hour daily and send a report to Shekhar. Gradually, I got a hang of typing and started replying to 100+ queries a day.
“Fight till the last gasp.”
One thing I profoundly admire about Internshala is that we are given constant feedback on the job we do. Among many, one of the feedback that I received was to improve my email-writing skills. I started reading a lot of articles and rewrote them in my own words to enhance my command over the language. I made every possible effort to improve my writing skills, and the feedback I received from Shekhar and Sarvesh from time to time helped me overcome this weakness. In the beginning, I was also a bit hesitant in responding to users’ calls. As time passed, I started interacting with students, employers, and training and placement heads, resolving their queries and helping them have a smooth journey on the platform. In less than 3 months, I took complete ownership of my work and gave a new structure to Internshala’s student support. I resolved students’ complaints over emails and calls, took live chat sessions, handled queries received on Facebook and blog. I also spent time understanding the pain points of users and suggested various product changes. I was getting better each day, and I could feel that I was doing justice to the role of a student counsellor.
“The sun himself is weak when he first rises and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on.”
Time flew and I completed my 6-month internship. Owing to my sense of ownership and the growth I had undergone in this period, I was offered a pre-placement offer and a position of business manager. This was my first job ever, and my happiness knew no bounds. The fact that I fought all the odds and made it happen made me even happier.
“I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into better shape.”
After a span of 8 long months, I went home, booking my first flight tickets from my first salary. It was an emotional experience which I will always cherish. I bought lots of gifts for my family members; this gave me a feeling of immense self-pride and financial independence.
Fighting all roadblocks, I have completed 3+ years at Internshala. I began my journey as an intern and am currently working as the senior manager of student support. I still fall ill (a lot) but I manage the work diligently. After all, that’s what this amazing journey has taught me – to keep going!
Stay tuned to know my journey from a manager to a senior manager and how I manage my team!
Editor’s Note – If you feel inspired by Sapna’s journey and wish to be a part of the team where you are constantly encouraged to do better, visit here to apply.