Challenging my limits – How internships helped me forge my own path

About the author: Pratik Saha is pursuing electronics engineering at Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Punjab. He shares how he discovered his hidden talents and interests and started on the path that he desired to walk.

Just like every engineering student, I also had grand dreams of multiple internship offers and a 30Lac package. However, it didn’t take very long for reality to hit me; I had nothing exciting to add to my resume to make that grand dream come true. This realisation spurred me to start searching for internships on the internet which is how I stumbled upon the Internshala app. I immediately downloaded it, created my resume, set up my preferences, and filtered internships related to electronics. The results showed everything from IoT to embedded systems and Arduino projects, but I was still in my first year and didn’t know anything about those. Even though I felt extremely underqualified for internships, I kept browsing. Eventually, I noticed internships that I never would have considered applying to since they had nothing to do with engineering.

I applied to several content writing internships. To my distress, I didn’t get selected for any of them. After making a few more applications, I was shortlisted by BrandFoxie, a company that helps start-ups increase their brand visibility. I was asked to submit a sample write-up, and a few days later, they asked me to write an article on the topic – ‘Should you buy homes in sector 48, Gurgaon?’ as the next round of selection. I did my research and submitted the article, and after a few excruciating days of waiting, I received an email saying that I was hired. I had finally succeeded! The next day, they added me to a WhatsApp group for newly hired interns whom they called “newbies”. They gave us topics to write articles on and those who wrote engaging articles successfully were promoted to the content writing team; I was one of them! They shared a Google spreadsheet with me which was updated every day with 2 article topics allotted to every writer along with article specifications like the length of the article, keywords to be included, and reference websites. The topics included non-technical categories like movie reviews, product description, guide articles, etc. as well as technical topics. At first, I found it difficult to write articles as I had no clue about the topics and how to research for them. In my first article, I copy-pasted a few lines from different websites and uncreatively included the keywords given in the spreadsheet. Even though I had managed to meet the requirements and submit it, the article was rejected due to plagiarism. Instead of scolding me, my boss messaged me privately and told me about the dos and don’ts of creating content. He even offered to help me with my first article. This motivated me to try harder, and I became so good at research and time management that I was able to write an article in under 45 minutes. At the end of my first month, I had written around 60 articles out of which 55 were successfully selected!

Once this internship ended, I applied to a content writing internship at an electronics-oriented start-up called Cirkitree. They shortlisted me based on the sample work I submitted and then, asked me to write a 500-word article on an electronics product called Beetle. Since the organisation worked primarily towards educating 8th-12th grade students, I decided to keep the article engaging and simple to follow. I was hired the very next day. The first day at work was mainly introductory, and I was given details about the stipend. Once I had thoroughly explored the content on their website and familiarised myself with WordPress, I started writing articles about electronics in a simplified and interesting way. Being an electronics student, it was a piece of cake for me. I was also told to include pictures, GIFs, charts, and tables for easy understanding. At this internship, I was given free rein to take as much time on my articles as I wished, which I really enjoyed.

Although they were both content writing internships, my experiences and takeaways from them were entirely different. My internship at BrandFoxie focused more on the quantity. I learnt how to create good content and manage my time efficiently. Writing articles on a wide range of topics helped me learn a lot of things I wouldn’t have considered learning myself. At Cirkitree, however, I learnt to write quality, information-rich content structured to engage a particular readership. It also strengthened my understanding of core concepts of electronics; I simplified technical concepts for the understanding of 8th-grade students and began to understand them in a whole new light myself.

An incident which changed my outlook was when my father wanted to visit his uncle for an event but couldn’t afford to buy tickets and gifts at the time. I can clearly recall the moment when I stood up, fetched a stack of cash from my bag, and handed it to him. He was so surprised by my gesture that he got teary-eyed. He has always been my superhero but just for one day, I became his saviour instead. In addition to these two internships, I completed another content writing internship at Stay Happy Foundation and 2 campus ambassador internships at IIM, Bangalore. Thanks to Internshala, I got the opportunity to explore fields other than electronics and discover where my interests truly lay.

Are you unsure about your current career path? Are you looking for a way to branch out into other domains? Well, what’s the holdup? Apply to these exciting content writing internships and see how far your capabilities can stretch.

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