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A change in perspective

education Updated: Apr 21, 2010 09:46 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi
Vimal Chander Joshi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

While choosing an internship, many students don’t consider research options because they think such opportunities make sense only for someone pursuing studies in social welfare or economics. Nothing could be further from the truth.



“Research internships help you think beyond the obvious. You reflect on issues that matter to most of us. Students tend to develop an understanding of how to question the administration. The insight provided is much more incisive than what you would develop by reading newspapers or watching the news,” says Shreya Aggarwal, research associate, Centre for Civil Society (CCS).



Cheistha Kochhar, a second-year student at Sri Venkateswara College found the intership at CCS quite satisfactory. “Normally in research you analyse data and then come up with solutions. But here, we were able to understand the ground realities of life. I worked on a project on helpline numbers in Delhi and discovered there were hardly any that actually helped citizens. I made a report and we gave a presentation in the secretariat on the basis of our findings,” says Kochhar.



She made mock calls to all 186 helpline numbers during different times of the day to check their efficiency. After two months of intensive research, she concluded that there should be only one helpline number that can route calls to experts in different fields.



Students from management and engineering fields also find internships useful. Raunak Nahata, a first-year management student at a B-school in Lodhi Road, Delhi, worked with Prabodh, an NGO. He researched the transport system in Delhi. “I interviewed many auto drivers and understood the problems faced by them. It was a revelation for me because we always blame them for their errant ways. These internships give you a new perspective on many things,” says Nahata.



On how this knowledge will help him in the corporate world or make him understand the dynamics of management, Nahata says, “You get a peek into the lives of a new segment of people, their preferences and needs. You tend to become sociable because you have to interview many people on the streets for the project. You have no choice but to abandon your inhibitions and get candid with them. It also helps you grow your network. Most importantly, you break out of the stereotypical mindset – a definite requirement for any decision-maker, be it in administration or in the corporate world.”



About her internship, Chandni Narang, another MBA student, says, “I was entrusted with the handling the communication department, and was responsible for screening a documentary, which was made based on the findings of the research. The project helped me develop my personality, an aspect on which all management students should sincerely focus on.”



Opportunities
Greencitizens.net internship:

Dedicated and self-motivated individuals can apply. Your degree doesn't matter in environmental issues. E-mail tanpreet.sehgal


@gmail.com for details



National Institute of Technology, Karnataka:

Internship to work on a mini-project at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK), Surathkal, aimed at enhancing awareness of high-quality academic research among young engineering, management, sciences and humanities students. A scholarship of Rs 3,000 per month for a maximum period of 45 days will be given. Selected students will also be given access to library, computing facilities and accommodation in NITK Hostels. The last date for accepting applications is April 30. Contact:

nitksip2010@gmail.com

for details



Infosys Research internship:

The programme is open to undergraduate, graduate and PhD students. The programme enables interns to work on live technical and business projects in Infosys' offices worldwide. Durations range from eight to 24 weeks, running throughout the year, designed to suit academic calendars across the globe. Contact

www.infosys.com/

research/internships/pages/index.aspx

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