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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Want to be paid to travel or pet dogs all day? It’s not all roses

More youngsters are picking niche first jobs that match their passions, such as working at a music festival. While this will add to your resume, it’s hard work, and long-term growth may be limited.

education Updated: Dec 22, 2017 20:07 IST
Prakruti Maniar
Prakruti Maniar
Hindustan Times
(Illustration: Shrikrishna Patkar)

Music, animals, humour, travel, the arts — there are organisations hiring interns and freshers today and paying them to pursue interests that are close to their hearts.

You can have a first job that involves travelling, helping organise a music festival, writing jokes or taking care of pets. But is it as much fun as it sounds? And how does one get in?

“Every time we put word out that we’re looking to hire, at least half the applications say, ‘I am your fan and would like to work for you’,” says Azeem Banatwalla, one of the founders of comedy group East India Comedy (EIC). “It’s sweet, but we are averse to such applications. In the core area of comedy scriptwriting, freshers are welcome to apply. But you should have a portfolio — scripts, blogs — so we can get a sense of your ability.”

Maybe enroll in a scriptwriting course first, Banatwalla adds. “It’s not a mandatory requirement, but it will help you understand how to take an idea from concept to execution — and it will show us that you take this seriously.”

Praful Uberoi, head of human resources for comedy group All India B******d agrees. “AIB has internships for freshers too, and we get a lot of applicants. More than a generic senses of humour, we’re looking for people who can take current issues and prepare sketches based on them,” he says.

One such intern, Raghav Sharma, 22, is in his third year of chemical engineering at BITS Pilani. “I had posted a few videos, satires and spoofs online in my first year. That, along with studying elective courses on video production and cinematic adaptation of films, helped me get the internship,” he says.


If you love music, you’d logically like to work with Only Much Louder (OML) on their massive festival, NH7.

Romario Rodrigues, 23, who worked on NH7’s offline marketing campaign this year, has a word of advice. “You will get access to great music and you’ll get to meet the bands, but chances are you won’t get to see a single set,” he says, laughing.

Althea Barretto, 24, had a similar experience with working for a travel organisation. “It’s an amazing job to have, but also very difficult,” says the sales and operations executive at The Backpacker Co. “My friends are all very jealous of me, but they don’t realise that travelling for pleasure and planning trips for other people are two very different things. You have to do everything, from scouting out locations to negotiating good deals, managing payment from clients and to suppliers. In the end, you may or may not get to enjoy the trips you do at all.”

These first jobs do not require a degree or certificate in the field. They do call for passion and creativity.

But in some key ways, they are a good training ground for the rest of your career, because more than anything, they demand commitment and flexibility. A willingness to set aside your personal interests and goals and commit to doing whatever the job requires — whether it’s data entry for a travel group or learning how to administer first-aid at a music festival.

“And the ability to engage with people is a must,” adds Sameera Iyengar, co-founder of theatre organisation Junoon, which offers internships, where tasks range from archiving to being on-field for their cultural initiatives.

Career counsellors also warn against getting too comfortable with the blending of hobbies and profession.

“As dreamy as they sound, there is limited viability to some of these fields as long-term career options,” says education consultant Richa Saklani. “While a spell of pet-care looks great on a fresh resume and presents you as a person who has varied interests, don’t let it last too long and lost sight of the fact that it is a stepping stone to a more stable and sustainable career.”

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 20:07 IST

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