Make most of your internship

New responsibilities

Make most of your internship

Unheard of till a few years back, ‘internships’ have now become the mandatory stepping stone to professional life. Almost every company a youngster approaches for a job, demands to see a list of internships these days. Likewise, students also start hunting for paid or unpaid summer jobs in the first year of college itself.

However, not all those who bag an internship are able to reap its benefits. Just getting to spend your two months holiday in an ‘office’ is not sufficient.

You must be able to learn office discipline, garner work experience and make useful ‘contacts.’ For all this, it is important keep a few points in mind while looking for and working on your internship.

Sarvesh Agrawal, Founder-CEO of popular internships website Internshala.com, says, “Firstly, when looking for an internship, ask yourself: ‘What am I seeking in this job? Is it a handsome stipend, just office experience which can be provided by
a call centre too or work experience in my own course/subject even if unpaid?’ Once you have your priorities clear, you will be able to find the right internship for yourself.”

“Next,” he says, “Make the right choice between internship with a big brand name and a small company. It’s true that prospective employers get impressed with big brand names on a resume, but sometimes, a smaller company provides much wider work experience. This is so because established organisations already have skilled workers while smaller companies always need people to look after a gamut of functions.”

Once you are into a summer job, there are as many things to remember and do. Career counselor Pervin Malhotra shares, “Often, organisations complain that interns don’t take their work seriously. They treat a summer job as just another college assignment. They wouldn’t land in time, copy paste projects and ignore deadlines. A student must realise that this is now the real world. Someone will be answerable for every mistake.”

On the other hand, if an intern conducts himself like an actual employee, there are rewards to be won.

“Many a times, interns say that they were given menial, tedious work which made them disinterested. I would say that if you have been given easy work, finish it before time and prove that you are eager and capable of more. Who knows you may be gifted with a paid job immediately after you finish your internship,” adds Pervin.

However, in this ultra-competitive world, it is not sufficient to just slog away. Interact with your fellow-interns, colleagues and bosses and learn from them. Puja Bisht, a senior journalist who interned with two newspapers before landing a paid job says, “It is very important that you establish a rapport with your seniors and teammates. An internship is one’s first opportunity to establish a professional network post college.”

“These same contacts will help you get comfortable in the company, give you
the right career advice and even inform you of job vacancies later on. And then, who does not want friends in one’s industry. My teammates from my first internship are now my friends for lifetime.”   

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