When Anmol Singh Diddan (19) finished his exams in late March, the Jai Hind College student passed up a chance to go back home to Shillong for the summer.
Instead, he chose to run around the city with copies of his résumé and landed a summer internship with a Bollywood news agency.
Gone are the days when students found themselves lounging in air-conditioned rooms poring over a laptop and sipping iced tea. Teenagers today seem eager to enter the ‘professional world’ and not with just boring jobs for extra pocket money like behind cash registers of fast food joints or grocery stores. Today, students take jobs/internships to gain experience, which helps in deciding a career path. Money is hardly ever a factor with most companies covering only the interns’ travel expenses.
Last summer, Radhika Dhuru (19), spent three months in Germany as an intern at a translation website http://bab.la in Germany. “I’d always wanted to travel around Europe. The whole excitement of being by myself for three months also helped,” she says. Her work involved translating the entire website from English to Hindi, building a Hindi-English dictionary using free word lists and writing feature articles based on culture and languages.
College students today are thinking further ahead. Sucharita Kanjilal, a second-year student from St Xavier’s College worked for an advertising agency, as a copywriting intern two years ago. “I wanted to do something during the long holidays. Plus, it always boosts one’s résumé,” she said.
Students are opting to gain hands-on experience as interns with adventure sport companies or advertising agencies and also venturing out in offbeat, creative fields such as radio jockeying and fashion designing to gain a broader perspective of their career options.
Sharvari Sastry (22), who handles the administrative department at Theatre Professionals, an institute that trains actors and conducts acting workshops, recently recruited interns to help run an acting workshop. She asserts that the key point is definitely not money. Students interested the art of theatre get to interact with professionals from a very focused theatre background. “While you learn basic administration skills, you also learn basic theatre skills.”
Magazines tend to see most applications for internships. “We generally get applications from students who are into music or are members of bands. Most of the interns are quite energetic,” said Mihir Malani, publisher, The Big M, a monthly music magazine.
There are opportunities for everyone. Paroma Bhattacharya (20), worked at a veterinary clinic, PALS, in Colaba, which took care of pets and homeless and injured animals. She learnt how to give injections and medicines, and clean up wounds. She also helped out in a bird ambulance and tended to injured birds. “I learnt a lot about animal care and feel like a responsible animal lover.”
Aditi Nayak (19), who interned in the creative department at a business channel said, “It’s an extremely professional atmosphere, not the informal casual one in college where we aren't as serious. They ask you for your opinion and they take your work seriously.”