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How to get an internship

A meaningful internship is the boarding pass to every student’s dream career. The right internship can lift your career graph and help you take the big leap. Summer is the most popular season to apply for internships in India. Between sending in applications to companies and giving the semester exams, it becomes a bit of difficult to find the right internship. A silent revolution of internships is happening in India with a growing awareness among students and the organisations. Armed with practical knowledge, better interpersonal skills, a strong network, and a shinier resume, the interns stand out from the crowd during the placement seasons. India has been struggling with unemployability and skill gap and recently, AICTE has made 3 internships mandatory for the college students.

To tell you how an internship can help you, let me share Mithu’s story with you. Mithu Roy, a B.Tech graduate couldn’t sit for any MNCs during campus placements due to his low academic score. He was interested in the field of Mobile App Development and took up an online training after which he started to apply for internships. He was soon selected for an internship with Eclectic Solutions and today, Mithu is working as a full-time Android Developer. The experience which he gained during his internship helped him in landing his first job by building both his technical skills and confidence.

Every summer, we surge in queries from students asking questions on different aspects of internships. Most of the students are eager to know how can an internship help them and when should they pursue an internship. Here are the 3 internships which every college student can pursue in college: a. Acquire soft skills – In the first year of college, you’ll have limited technical skills, but this would be the best time to acquire soft skills which help you communicate and are imperative for your success. So, without any qualms, choose an internship which helps you hone your soft skills. An internship with an organisation or NGO would improve your communication skills and help you learn to work in a team. b. Learn the practical applications – In the second and third year, with improved communication skills and a better understanding of your field, go for an internship where you can get your hands dirty. For ex. if you are interested in programming, then intern with a startup and work on live projects in C/C++, Java, PHP, or Web Designing.

Also, start networking with professionals in your field of interest and be in touch with the team you worked with in the past as they could help you land your third internship. By the end of your second internship, you will get a clarity on whether you want to make a career in your field or head towards a new field of your interest. c. Land your first job – The experience from your first two internships would help you build a great resume and prepare you for the multiple interview rounds. So, after the third year, start applying for internships with the brands you want to work with. Once you get an internship, make sure you focus on applying your knowledge and gaining an in-depth understanding of the latest technologies and tools. Your third internship will help you land your first job as you would probably get a PPO even before you graduate!

Now, before you start applying for internships, here are the key points which you should take care of:

1. What is your area of interest? Ask yourself this question before applying to hundreds of internships. It is always better to apply to internships which match your profile. Even if it takes a bit of time, you will eventually find an internship which would match your interests and skills.

2. Polish your resume: It’s the key to your internship. Keep it professional with crisp content and minimalistic design. Update your contact details, provide the links to projects and mention your skills.

3. Gain relevant skills and improve your communication skills: If you want to give yourself an edge, learn new skills which are relevant to the profile. At the same time, work on your soft skills – English is the language of the workplace today. Have a good command over vocabulary and grammar as this will help you to write strong applications and cover letters, and emails and reports once your work starts.

4. Follow up: After your interview, wait for a week or so and drop an email to the interviewer if you don’t get an immediate response.

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