Usually not a fan of starting a narrative with a quote, especially if it is meaningless to your life, I use the above for a reason here. I have been an ardent admirer of Mr. Branson and the above quote has been a way of life for me.
I started my engineering degree in 2009. Within the first few months I realized that my aptitude and interest in the field was not very high. But I knew I couldn’t waste these four years just feeling sorry about a wrong decision. That’s when I stumbled across Letsintern and got introduced to the concept of internships. I met the CEO and co-founder, Rishabh, at the Economic Times Power of Ideas Summit and soon after applied for my first internship. I got selected to be a Zee Campus Correspondent and got my first paycheck of Rs.5000, which was just the coolest thing in college! This internship exposed me to the world of journalism, writing and understanding interests of college students. It’s been three years and I have done over five internships since then.
One of my most formational internship’s was the Channel V India Fest, which I was associated with for two consecutive years through Letsintern, the youth partner for the fest. I started working on India Fest in my third year of engineering and it has taught me everything from ground level execution and up. It has been my BEST corporate experience yet. Hell, they even got me quoted in Business Standard.
In my first year at the fest I was a part of the 30-member core team spread across various cities in the country. Our main responsibility was to assist the core committee in Goa with all ground level activities and promotions in our cities. In the second year, I progressed to become the cluster head for Mumbai, which brought more responsibility and better chances to interact with the core committee.
The most important things I learnt through India Fest were planning, managing and executing events, meeting deadlines and managing people. I learnt processes, understood people, developed soft skills and met some of the most amazingly beautiful people who have continued to be a part of my life, besides being mentored by three ruthlessly energetic men – Pranay, Rishabh and Mayank from Letsintern. This learning has come in handy over all my subsequent experiences.
Besides this, I have been associated with a brand activation program for Phillip Morris that involved targeted marketing towards students between the ages of 18 to 24 years. I learnt how to sell a concept to people and get them to change their views and habits. As a reward for my performance, I got a F1 paddock pass!!!
Incentives might drive performance, but passion is the most important ingredient. Through my college years I have been a Letsintern Campus Ambassador, whether formally or informally. Letsintern has exposed me to some wonderful opportunities and I strongly believe every student should have that chance. All these opportunities, ranging from business development to marketing and sales have helped me realise what I love doing – interacting with people. I have finished my engineering degree and yesterday I started working at multinational HR firm, a line so diverse from my field of education that it feels like chalk and cheese. Yet, the firm took its chances seeing what I have done previously. And I would not have it any other way.
Swapnil Khetan recently completed his Bachelors in Engineering (IT) from Sardar Patel Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He worked with Channel V, Zee, Phillips Morris, Letsintern and Nokia through college. He has now joined Michael Page India to work as a Trainee Consultant for Sales, Marketing and HR. Swapnil is also an entrepreneur and his debut venture, HOPE (Hub of Professional Education), provides functional education in multiple fields through a panel of experienced and industry trainers. In his downtime, Swapnil enjoys dabbling in various sports and adventure sports activities, cooking and reading besides performing and literary arts. If his journey resounds with you and you’d like to talk to him further; hit him up on Facebook.