The economic downturn has not only hit the industry but has also affected placements in Delhi University. Fewer companies are coming to DU campuses to hire this year, and also offering lower pay packages. However, the silver lining, if any, is that the number of internships being offered has risen.
More and more companies are looking to hire students as interns and trainees, either on a honorary basis or on nominal stipends.
“This year many companies which are visiting our college are looking for interns or trainees. Compared to previous years, the number of internships being offered to students is surprisingly high,” said Arvind Kumar, chair of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) placement cell.
“The companies which have come to LSR offering internships include Max New York Insurance, Radio Today, Hindustan Times Syndicate and Gandhi Fellowship,” added Kumar.
While Radio Today plans to offer internship to around ten students, Max New York is planning to take around 15. (The result for Hindustan Times Syndicate is still awaited, Metro Now is planning to recruit around six to seven part-time students). Though most of these internships are honorary, some students are being offered a stipend of around Rs. 5,000.
“The highest pay package that has been offered this time is Rs. 8.5 lakhs, a drop from the Rs. 12 lakhs offered last year. Also many companies who have come this year have recruited students and asked them to join the company in 2010,” said Kumar.
The story repeats itself in Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and St Stephen’s. On the one hand, companies are offering an all time low pay package but at the same time are not shying away from offering internships. Kumar feels on account of the economic slowdown, more companies offering internships is but natural.
“Companies are cutting costs and they have realised it is beneficial for them to hire students as interns or trainees. This is not just because of the low stipends but also because as interns, students do not get job benefits such as medical care, leaves and special allowances,” he said.
Students, however, are not complaining. "In a scenario where there are hardly any jobs available, an internship is the next best thing,” said Jonathan Syiemlieh, a student of SRCC.