Can an internship add the right punch to your career?

internshipNiyati Patel has been writing for school magazines and local newspapers, ever since she was a child. As a natural progression, her penchant for writing gave way to her passion of becoming a print journalist. All of 23, today, Niyati is the youngest Reporter to be on the permanent rolls of her company - a leading media house in India, which has several dailies and publications under its banner.

Niyati attributes her success as a journalist to the learning that she picked up while working as a Trainee Journalist for the same media house. She feels that while in college and having opted for English (Hons), she managed to judiciously divide time between studies and her internship work – for which she attended office in the second half of the day.

“The initial exposure I got at my workplace is phenomenal. I have learnt every facet of journalism during my internship, which I surely would not have picked up in any Journalism course. I really like it here because everyone treats me as their colleague, right from the day I joined as an Intern,” says Niyati.

Not everyone echoes Niyati’s viewpoints. Jyotsna Kakoti, who interned for a year in a PR agency, has this to say, “My friend and I joined this Delhi-based PR agency and it was the biggest nightmare of our lives to work as interns. Our boss was a slave-driver and our colleagues used to dump all their work that they did not like doing on us.”

Jyotsna sadly recounts, “The day I was asked by my boss to fetch a glass of water, as she sat playing Solitaire in her desktop, I decided it was my last day there. With this sour experience, I started applying to other jobs and finally landed with a permanent job. Here, I am today, after three years, a Senior PR Executive.”

Kiran Khanna*, founder-Director, Talent-Discovery, a recruitment and job consultancy firm, says, “It is a win-win situation for an employer and a prospective employee, who carries internship experience. The former gets an employee who has done his ‘homework’ in a particular field, upon whom the employer does not need to spend time on training. Whereas, the latter, can always bargain for a better salary package, considering he has had internship experience in a related field.”

Parvez Alam, a Design Internee who works for an accomplished fashion designer comments, “This is an unparalleled experience of hands-on learning, as part of my internship, unlike the Fashion Designing course that I am pursuing, which is very bookish.”

“Working with some of the best minds in the fashion industry, plus earning a stipend of Rs.4,500 per month is a good deal,” adds Parvez.

Argha Pratim Nandy*, has had an interesting internship experience, “I wanted to join the music industry – basically be a part of a record label. I did an internship in a music store that has its presence pan-India.”

“My brief internship gave me a clear perspective on the varied music tastes of consumers, help me build contacts in the industry and of course reinforce my CV. Most importantly, I have developed my interpersonal skills as well and now I am all set to join as an Executive in a record company based in Mumbai.”

Indeed, an internship is helpful to boost confidence and to generate substantial networking opportunities, apart from development of interpersonal skills – which could be of immense value addition to students, researchers and even people considering career shifts.

 

- Suniet Bezbaroowa (views expressed in the article are that of the author)

(All names, except where indicated *, have been changed on request)

 

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