The Internship (My Version)

I got out of the AC coach with my trolley baggage. I saw people rushing out the train, some waiting for their beloved to receive them, the vendors yelling out the names of the edibles that they were selling, small babies crying and porters struggling their way through the crowd. Amongst all the chaos, a yellow board stood with “BENGALURU” written in bold letters. The pleasant weather gave me the assurance that I could survive here, in peace and beat the Chennai-heat. Yay, I had finally arrived at the Bengaluru Railway station, from Chennai for my two month internship. Engineering is considered one of the most prestigious courses to be taken up by students in India. To flaunt your degree without an internship experience makes it incomplete, for, the very exposure into the professional world when you are still a student is amazing. Getting an on-campus internship offer was ‘a dream come true’ for me, and it took me a few days to sink into the feel that I had got an internship in an extremely reputed organisation. I immediately caught a cab and told to driver the name of the five-star hotel where the interns were given accommodation for a week. Well, being away from parents, was fun, and spending it in a five-star? I was at the horizon of my excitement. The stay helped me self-realize that I could be independent and that I was not a pampered spoilt-brat, for I knew how to handle money-matters. The orientation program on the first day, introduced me to a lot of amazing people whom I held as role-models for the rest of my time there. The organisation had people from different walks of life, and a lot of interesting talks with employees and other interns, happened over the coffee. Being a student is a synonym for being care-free. The two month internship period, helped me gain skills for the brain and confidence for the heart. I had a half an hour cab travel everyday which helped me note interesting places to visit over the weekend with my friends and cousins. My weekdays began at around 8, when I would finally decide to leave my bed. Within an hour, I would be all dressed up and ready for the cab, which would pick me up at 9:30 am. The cab drivers were friendly and took us on time in spite of the traffic hub that Banglore was. Work began by 10:30 when I would arrive at my desk all perked up for a great day ahead with coffee in my favorite mug. The work environment was very pleasant, making it a fun place to accept challenges and work efficiently towards them. My mentor was extremely patient in explaining the project details to me and didn’t mind me asking him the silliest of questions. He would let go of the small mistakes that I would commit, for he wanted me to concentrate on the ‘Big Picture’ rather than the mistakes that were part of the learning experience. The satisfaction when I completed a task successfully was ineffable. I was also introduced to professional communication skills and leadership skills. Being a part of a team that worked very closely I learnt to be a efficient team-player. One of the best moments at the end of the first month was to get the message that my ‘salary’ was credited in my account. I spent that weekend in pride, purchasing a saree for my mom, a shirt for my dad and sneakers for my sister. The next month was as great as the first and I was now getting better at it. The weekly status updates, conference calls and video calls gave me the real insight into how well I was performing. I also had one-to-one catch up’s with my mentor where he would give me suggestions on the project work and feedback on my performance. This helped me become better with every passing week and it eventually helped me ace the final project presentation which I had to deliver. Team catch up’s over lunch or team dinner sessions were very effective in bridging the gap between the employees and the interns. In the 8 weeks, almost never did I feel inferior, in front of employees with many years of experience. The firm encouraged all of us to be ‘ourselves’ throughout. The work culture was very diverse, making it possible for us to interact with people from all walks of life. We also had a day allotted for community service which gave us the satisfaction of being a part of the community which helped the others who yearned for it. We were a team of around 30 and we went to a school where we could interact with the kids and help them plant vegetables. The kids showed over-whelming enthusiasm and proved it once again to us, that it was our love and time that they asked for. We spent the day singing and dancing with the students and had lunch with them at their school garden.  The team bid adieu to the interns with a mouth-watering black forest cake and inspiring words. My last weekend there was spent roaming around the different places, doing street shopping, which the girl in me loved.  I bid goodbye to Bengaluru sitting in my seat 10,000 km above the ground level, looking at the Bird’s eye of the city, a part of it covered by the flight’s wing. After all this, getting an offer in the firm was a double treat for me. Concluding in one line, my internship has made me a “Jack of all trades”, which is what today’s competent world expects from the youth.

The Crank