Come summer and the hunt for internships begins. With two months at one’s disposal, internships can be a constructive way to  spend this time (at times with monetary rewards). Full- time or part-time, before you head out with your internship search party, here are few things that you should keep in mind:

Have a one-page CV ready

That CV is one of the most crucial elements of your internship application. Customise it for the role that you are applying and make sure your strengths are highlighted. As the popular notion goes, it should ideally be a one-page CV listing your work experience, academic record, awards, skills, student leadership and relevant co-curricular activities (yes, you being the tennis champion of your locality isn’t relevant for a sales job).

Apply first for the job and then for the brand

If your passion lies in corporate communications, then having a sales internship in Google shouldn’t be a priority. Yes, it is Google and is a fancy name to have on your CV. But the profile is not your thing. Move on.

Small teams mean more experience

In the age of MNCs and corporate dominance, don’t aim to work in that swanky office with unlimited food and coffee. It is a great place to network and build contacts, but in terms of job responsibility you might not get a lot of opportunity. With the start-up culture in boom, working with an idea you admire can be interesting.

Think of the field

Think of the kind of field you would like to work in. Internships can also be a good way to figure out whether you enjoy working in a certain profession or atmosphere. Confused? It is okay to be confused. The solution lies in experimentation. Experiment with varied internships till you find your calling. For the more clear headed, work on growth in that particular field. Use your internship experiences to build a network.

Start that hunt

We have initialized you into the mental framework you need for that internship. What about the internship itself? Well, start that hunt. While there is a utopia around the idea of approaching recruiters, the action in itself is inevitable. You can either apply for organised internship programs that several companies release between January and April or create your own opportunities. Create a database of places and profiles you would like to work for, list their contact details and start contacting. Interested in working with a media house? Call, email (read spam), call and check – repeat this cycle until you get a response. Persistence is the key. You could also use portals such as LinkedIn in your hunt.

Internships in India require initiative

Sadly, a lot of internship opportunities in India turn out to be unpaid. This means that your presence actually doesn’t make a difference to the people in the office. But if you want it to make a difference in your CV, you need to make certain things happen. When in a media house, you could sit and send those two tweets a day, or take initiative, write a story and get it published. Remember one thing – it is okay to ask for work. Active and passionate candidates have higher chances of converting that internship to a job opportunity.

Wishing you all the best to secure that internship!


7:30 am:  My eyes open most reluctantly as the alarm goes off. I hit the ‘Snooze Button’ and pretend like it never even went off in the first place. I promptly go back to sleep.

8:15 am: My mother forces me to wake up by shaking me rather violently. I realise what time it is and panic for 2 minutes before I remind myself that I go through the same process every day, and hence have no reason to worry.

8:45 am: After getting ready quite hastily I drag myself to the Metro Station near my house and sleepily enter the Ladies’ Compartment.  I head off towards Noida where I’m interning this summer.

9:40 am: I finally reach the office and I’m only 10 minutes late. I make an expression like the ‘Not bad meme’ and sit down at my cubicle after greeting the other interns and my boss.

10:30 am: I’ve basically been going through a pile of paperwork and articles online, highlighting the information relevant to the project I’m supposed to research on. I look around to see what the other interns are up to and find all of them texting away at their phones. I pull my phone out to do the same.

11:15 am:  I feel (a little) guilty about being on my phone for such a long time and close all my chat and social networking site apps. I go through some more documents.

11:50 am: I decide to get myself a cup of coffee.

12:30 pm: Still going through documents and making entries in an Excel sheet. Lunch is just half an hour away, I realise happily.

1:00 pm:  Bring out the food! The interns and I head off to the canteen and sit at our usual table. The lunch thaali looks tasty today and we each buy one. Lunch hour is spent teasing each other and discussing trivial tales of our respective colleges. We also talk extensively of what would we would be doing right now if we were not interning – watching the latest movies and TV show seasons  are popular responses.

2:00 pm: Now that my stomach is full, I’m already feeling sleepy. My eyes threaten to close and my brain wants nothing more than to just doze off at the moment. But that is definitely not possible since the team has a meeting with the boss in about an hour.

2:45 pm: No one seems too pleased about the meeting. We’re all frantically finishing off our work and keeping an anxious eye on the clock.

3:30 pm: Well, I suppose it wasn’t that bad. In fact, the boss seemed happy with our progress! We spend the next hour brainstorming ideas on how to go about the next part of the project. I’m unusually alert right now.

3:50 pm: Time for another cup of coffee. Hmm, maybe some snacks too.

4:15 pm: Little more than hour to go.

4:30 pm: I strike up a conversation with the guy in the next cubicle about the latest Khaled Hosseini book. We both end up placing an order for it on Flipkart.

5:00 pm: I’m tempted to drink another cup of coffee but I manage to control myself by Googling ‘Health hazards of too much caffeine’ and convince myself that coffee is an evil addiction that must be curbed. For now, that is. I type out the weekly report I’m supposed to submit.

5:25 pm: I’m done with my work for the day but I can’t leave yet. I try to beat my Temple Run 2 high score-followed by Fruit Ninja and Paper Toss. I also list out all the things I’m going to buy with my stipend once I get it.

5:45 pm: FREEDOM AT LAST! I leave the building super-fast, as though I’ve been possessed by Flash’s spirit.

6:45 pm: I wake into my house, exhausted. I WhatsApp a few friends and sip some cold coffee.
Then I just lie down for a while. If nothing else, my internship has at least taught me to appreciate the beauty of coming back from a day’s work and doing absolutely…nothing!