From writing programmes to working on film sets and at poker tournaments, the profiles available on internship sites are dazzling in their variety.
The full spectrum ranges from social media marketing and non-profit work to content writing and research. The work on offer could range from a few weeks to several months, and salaries usually fall in the Rs3,000 to Rs25,000 range, depending on the profile.
The sites say they encourage firms to adequately compensate students and that from around 30% companies who were willing to pay two years ago, now 90% companies offer remuneration.
“Companies are realising the importance of attracting top talent,” said Karthikeyan Vijayakumar, 30, founder and CEO of Chennai-based Twenty19.com. “The talent crunch is a big challenge and companies want to engage students early.”
Companies, too, see the benefits of streamlining, especially the smaller start-ups that might not have the resources to contact campus placement outfits or advertise openings in a big way.
“A single platform works better than going to multiple colleges; we want to make sure we are choosing the best,” said BV Harish Kumar, who runs the Pune-based online library TenderLeaves.com. “It’s not about getting cheap labour any more. There is greater stress on getting good interns, especially for finite time-based projects.” While Twenty19.com has a special tool that helps match students and companies through a series of questions, Internshala.com also posts openings at public institutions and universities, without actually become an intermediary.
Abshishek Bhowmick, for instance, landed a summer research internship at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh through the site. When he had earlier approached the university independently, the correspondence petered out, but through it became easier through a website. “I might have ditched the application and not followed it up otherwise,” said Bhowmick, 21, an IIT-B student.