Exams are over and you've got time on your hands, here is an excellent way to put your time to good use and be trained by the professional world. Internship is a motivating practice that has been invented to make the learning community understand the office scenario. You might yearn to be the best amongst doctors or engineers when you grow up. Try paving the path to such a future now. It might sound all too nerdy and geeky – but isn't a well prepared trainee always a step better than a fresher?
All it needs is a passion to work, the zeal to achieve zenith, and an eager mind which wants to explore. Find the avenue that you are interested in – it could be anything from journalism to radio jockeying and robotics. Locate a firm that is willing to accept interns. Write them a letter, and when they call you for the interview, just show them how well prepared and knowledgeable you are…. and Bingo! You have become an intern.
Your teachers and professors can guide you. Peers and seniors who have already interned are a good source of information. Advertisements calling for interns also help identify your requirements. But most of the time the availability of internships travels through word of mouth. Keep your ears open and grab the opportunity. The vast internet database will also help you in your search. Duration periods and timings of an internship depend upon the type of work and the company's flexibility.
To be an intern
As an intern, you'll have all of the experiences that a regular employee would have, but without as much responsibility. You won't be expected to make major decisions, but you will more than likely get to watch how others make these decisions. This will help you be prepared for an upcoming job where mistakes are not easily forgiven.
Internships are temporary and may or may not be paid. The emphasis during the job is training. At times, bosses may even forget that you are around. Hence, be as confident as possible, show them what you know, learn out of mistakes, never take conflict sensitively and make your boss trust you.
While joining a company, it is very rare that you'd be allowed to work in a higher position. Even the smallest of clerical jobs might be assigned to you. Do it with full josh. It might seem like ages until you learn the needful – but be patient. Observe and listen to the happenings and most of all, understand relationships that exist in a workplace.
“I have been with three companies so far, and all three were poles apart. In every case, the seniors have different expectations, and an enthusiastic intern should be able to gel well” says Maria Gayen. “Addressing your bosses itself is different. At Citi Bank, we used first names and, at Taj, we had to be very formal. But in all places, bosses are very much approachable and understanding”.
At times, bosses can forget that you have academic responsibilities as well. Make sure he knows what your schedule is, but at the same time, do make yourself flexible. Ask if you can take part in activities. Be open to criticism. Let your interests be known. Communicate flawlessly. And most importantly, Learn.
Blessing in disguise
Murtaza Broachwala, who just completed his 12th Std, appreciates this experience. “I work in two places. And in both offices, I deal and work with two completely different classes of people. This experience has given me confidence, communication skills and an insight into business dealings. And I'm certain this will help in college admissions.”
As an intern, you'll get tons of experience in the field you're studying. Colleges and employers value this on a resume. An internship gives you an edge over applicants who are freshers. Generally, you will not get paid. But if you are very lucky, and manage to zero in on a job that does pay, the money would just give you the incentive to strive more. You can request your internship director to write letters of recommendation. When positions open up in a company, they often hire from their pool of interns.
Remember, this internship could turn into something more. Treat your internship like you would any job - be punctual, organised, creative, friendly, understanding and helpful. Act responsibly and reasonably. Surviving it might mean a better job in the end - and one that comes with better pay!
“Internships are the place where practice and theory meet. Usually, textbooks are old. So to get up-to-date with present technology, an internship really helps” says Muthu Annamalai, a student of dentistry.
Mr. Vignesh, Paterson Securities, believes that “it is an experience for the interns. They learn a lot and can relate to things. I don't force timings on them for later on they are going to be bound by time. Timings, area of interest are all left to their choice”.
Kasturi Ramanathan has finished Std XII at AMM School, Kotturpuram.