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Make the right internship choice

Weigh all your options before you take the final call on summer training reports Vimal Chander Joshi

education Updated: Mar 24, 2010 09:12 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

For his summer internship, IIM Lucknow’s Anurag Singh chose to work in a small film-producing unit over a big corporate house.

“It’ll give me a new perspective on life, thus helping me become a better professional. Even corporate houses give preference to MBAs with exposure to diverse areas and not just people with run-of-the mill skill sets,” says Singh.

Local options
Choosing the right internship is an art. Bhanu Joshi, a final-year journalism student at Delhi College of Arts and Commerce is not looking at the usual newspaper or TV channel route. “I want to work with researchers to learn more about policy-making and implementation. As a student, it’s essential to develop an understanding of a host of subjects,” he says.

During his internship, Joshi worked on a project in administrative and policy reforms at the Centre for Civil Society, an NGO, and studied different policies formulated in India since 1947. “It helped me a lot as I learnt the dynamics of different subjects like health care, public private partnership, etc. These are complex subjects, which must be understood in their entirety. Covering an event for newspaper doesn’t provide that opportunity,” he adds.

“A student should not be attracted to the brand value of an organisation. S/he should find out how much the company can help in getting him/her the hands-on experience in those two three months,” says G Balasubramanian, consultant, Educational Systems and former director of CBSE.

Going abroad
Doing internship abroad has its own plus points. One can apply directly through websites (for example, check www.internasia.com if you want to go to China). An international agent like AIESEC will help you find the right country, work and organisation.

“We have a presence in 107 different countries and an applicant can choose from various options available at any given point of time. Some students want corporate work experience in some Western country while others prefer NGOs in Asia,” says Preetika Rana, VP, AIESEC, Delhi University chapter.

Raghav Sharda, a second-year BBA student at Amity University, also used AIESEC’s services before he flew to Ukraine on a development project – World without Borders – last year. He was there for two months to study cultural diversity and social integration between India and Ukraine. “It was an enriching experience. I addressed a gathering of 300 students from Egypt, China and Korea. While interning, I also managed to finish a college project which was on a similar subject of cultural marketing diversity between two economies,” says Sharda.

Where can you train?

Centre for Civil Society
What’s it about? This is an independent, non-profit, research and educational organisation devoted to improving the quality of life of all citizens of India by reviving and reinvigorating civil society
Eligibility: The applicant must be a college student and be skilled in research, analysis, writing and critical thinking
How to apply: Send an email to internship@ccs.in before April 15

Greencitizens.net
What’s it about?
GreenCitizens. net is a young BITSian start-up, with a website launched just four months ago
Eligibility: Dedicated and self-motivated individuals can apply. Degrees don’t matter in environmental journalism
How to apply: Send email to tanpreet.sehgal@gmail.com

Robo.in
What’s it about? It’s an initiative to encourage innovation in the robotic industry
Eligibility: Smart techno-savvy individuals, who are willing to work with school students (Classes IV-XII) for promoting robotics education. Applicants are required to have good communication skills, basic computer proficiency and the ability to think innovatively. Science background is a must
How to apply: Visit www.robo.in

Development Channel internship
What’s it about? It’s a web-based channel, which requires you to write on development issues
Eligibility: Students from any university (graduation/postgraduation)
How to apply: Send email to editor.developmentchannel@gmail.
com (or call 011-46120643)

Why Newton Media & Research
What’s it about? It’s a website which aims to foster technological innovation
Eligibility: An engineering student who has a passion for tapping into innovation and upcoming technology
How to apply: Send email to sai@whynewton.com

Things to keep in mind
Before you apply for an internship...
. Narrow down your area of interest. If you want to go in for IT solutions, join an IT start-up and not an NGO because your friends are doing so
. Remember, an internship is for professional and academic learning, not to make money
. Working for a big brand helps but smaller organisations can also offer you a much wider scope to learn