Wikipedia defines an internship as a method of on-the-job training for white-collar and professional careers. A study reveals that 6 out of 10 articles on Wikipedia contain factual errors. I’m sure the internship article falls in the remaining 4 ones.
Letsintern was the first platform to catch my eye when it came to internships. Internships were not very common in India before Letsintern’s launch. Probably people did want to intern due to less awareness on that front but even though there wasn’t any formal platform available and one needed strong contacts to get into companies. Post 2010, after the inception of Letsintern, things changed drastically.
After enjoying my JC days at HR College, I always wanted to take up an internship, wear those formal pants and do something meaningful, but my first year degree college timings at NMIMS University did not allow me to juggle between an internship and my studies. When first year ended everyone had that usual excitement what one has on the last day of exams. For others it was about enjoying the summer vacation, holiday-ing and watching IPL. For me, the excitement was different.
So on 8th May 2012, I gave my first corporate interview at INIS Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai. It went on for about an hour and at the end the Head of Marketing offered me a position with them. Agreed it wasn’t as dramatic as the Sharman Joshi interview scene from 3 Idiots but the feeling of being offered your first profile was Lengen-WaitForIt-Dary.
I went on to do much beyond whatever was included in my job description. in Human Resource Management this is called De-jobbing. Having my own desk with a PC and an extension number, talking in corporate jargon and being able to differentiate between weekdays and weekends was something I found very cool at the time but during the whole duration of my internship with INIS, I learnt a lot from a marketer’s point of view. At the end of my summer vacation, when colleges were about to reopen, my boss offered me to extend the internship duration. I was overwhelmed and thankfully my college timings did not clash.
At my 6 month stint at INIS, I made project presentations and media-kits, communicated sales pitches to prospective clients, conducted secondary market research, created and managed databases, attended brainstorming sessions and developed business strategies. The most memorable experience was assisting my CEO in a business meeting with Blue Star in their conference room
In the mean time, Letsintern posted internship openings for their campus ambassador program. I remember being asked on the induction day as to why I want to be a part of this and I replied “I want to give back something to Letsintern as a thank you gift”. Hence, for a year I promoted their services among peer networks, wore their T-shirt and showed off my Letsintern business card. (By the way, I still do the same.) The result – a significant number of students in my college after second year started interning.
In the summer of 2013, I interned at India’s largest telecom company, Bharti Airtel Limited. Apart from flashing my Airtel identity card at every entry/exit point which automatically opened the doors, making myself a cup of coffee every morning, and getting lost in the HUGE office, I roamed around the streets of Mumbai in scorching heat to speak to telecom retailers and gain insights from them, and in six weeks completed primary market research for the given project. I then had to make a report giving qualitative and quantitative analysis. With this experience I could understand the working of the telecom industry, its distribution network, consumer behaviour and activities at the Point of Sale.
Presently, I’m at the tail-end of my 4th internship at NASSCOM Foundation. My core job here is marketing outreach for one of their programs. At the same time I’m even a part of the Adidas Superstar Ambassador program in Mumbai.
So in a few weeks I will be having 5 recommendation letters which makes me industry ready, give me immense confidence (and content) to speak in an interview and differentiate me from the rest.
In brief, an internship is helpful in:
- Gaining firsthand experience in the “real” world.
- Converting theoretical knowledge into practical use.
- Understanding the working of an organization and its industry.
- Providing direction in the choice of career and advancement in it.
- Filling up important gaps in your resume.
I just want to conclude by saying that legends like Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar, Mark Zuckerberg, Armin Van Buuren, Dhirubhai Ambani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, Michael Jackson and Roger Federer have one in common – They. All. Started. Young.
And so can you.
Deepak Narang is a student of Bachelor of Business Administration(BBA) at NMIMS University who has interned with INIS Enterprises, Airtel, Letsintern, Adidas Originals and NASSCOM foundation.
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