About the author: Digvijay Singh, a final year B.Tech student at NIET, Greater Noida, shares how his need for a laptop led him to intern with the UN, Harvard, and IIT.
My tryst with internships began when I was looking for avenues to earn money to buy a laptop. I went through a few blogs and found the idea of doing an internship to earn some money during holidays interesting. I wasn’t very confident about this since it was all new to me but when one of my friends suggested that I checked out Internshala and looked for work-from-home and part-time internships, I jumped at the opportunity.
I visited the platform and started applying to internships in content writing and digital marketing. I wasn’t selected for the first three internships that I applied to but in my fourth attempt, I sent an application to Career Growth Consultancy. They got back to me with an assignment where I wrote an article and suggested ideas for promoting a product. Next, there was telephonic interview after which they extended the offer letter to me. It was a comfortable internship given I was working from home and my mentor, Mr. Karan Jain, guided me through each task – from researching keywords to publishing articles on WordPress – with utmost patience. I started with writing an article on NEET where I talked about its syllabus, schedule, preparation tips, etc. Once I got the hang of it with this article, I wrote many articles for the company. I would upload the articles on the WordPress site and add relevant keywords to the articles. After publishing, I also shared them on their social media handles on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. It formed the basis of my inclination towards social media marketing, and I started looking for internships in the same domain post that. I got rejected a couple of times in the beginning because I didn’t have any expertise as such in that field, but I kept trying and landed a social media marketing internship at Wallmag. The selection process involved creating a poster to promote WallMag and getting a certain number of app installations from the registration link they gave me. I was primarily involved in the promotion of the organisation and getting sales there. I designed a number of posters, created promotional videos, and implemented various marketing techniques. While working there, I realised that sales & marketing wasn’t my cup of tea, so I went on to do a volunteering internship with the United Nations. The selection process only involved a screening based on the resume and my past work experiences. Once I was hired as a volunteer by the UN, I started sharing relevant content to curb the pollution created by plastic on various social media platforms in order to encourage people to minimise their plastic usage. I did certain activities to spread awareness regarding this in my college. I also planted trees as a part of this internship. Talk about awesomeness! As this stint came to an end, I applied for another internship with the UN for the role of a climate coordinator wherein I promoted their course on UN climate change efforts till date. I had to get certain number of sales and mentor all the participants to complete the course successfully. Being a part of the UN was like a dream come true for me; little did I know that this was just the beginning.
I applied for a campus ambassador internship at the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR). They evaluated my skill set on the basis of my resume and work experience and had a small chat with me over a phone call where they explained the role, tried to understand my interest in the same, etc. It was by far the best internship in terms of exploring the outside world and understanding what the student community was up to. One of the tasks during the internship was to apply for HPAIR conference which was a global annual conference organised by Harvard University where 600 individuals from over 60 countries were selected as delegates. I applied to it with no expectations whatsoever of being selected but to my surprise, I cleared the screening round and after a quick interview with a member of the organising committee, I received a letter of invitation. It was so unexpected and amazing that I got numb for a moment. I was selected for the HPAIR Asia Conference 2018 which was to be held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This conference was hands down the best experience I have ever had. I met various people from different cultural backgrounds and hearing their experiences and accomplishments was simply inspiring. Since I was selected in the track of technology and innovation, I got a chance to attend a lecture on Blockchain by Dr. Karim Eldefrawy, Senior Computer Scientist, SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute).
While socialising with students from universities all across the country, I came to know about a fellowship program named FOSSEE organised by IIT Bombay and MHRD started with the goal of promoting and developing open source software. I applied for it in March 2019 and by April, I cleared all the screening tasks and got selected as a fellow for FOSSEE. When I joined, I got to know that I was one of the 67 students selected out of 8885; I felt really proud of myself. All the disappointment I felt from the 172 rejections I faced suddenly just vanished. I worked on a project based on Rainfall Data Analysis using Time-Series Forecasting in R programming language.
Till date, I have done 5 internships and 1 fellowship, and this journey has not only taught me time management and work ethics but has also helped me gain a more practical and objective approach towards life. I also understood that it doesn’t matter how many times one fails but how many times one tries. To talk about the laptop – the beginning point of this journey – my parents gifted me one when I got selected for the Harvard conference!
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