Apoorv Shivhare, a student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, understood the importance of hands-on experience and therefore, started pursuing internships right from the beginning of his college journey. He did internships in different profiles like accountancy, data entry, business development, and market research. However, he was yet to find his true calling, which is why he decided to pursue his fifth internship. It was an HR internship with a reputed organisation.
During this internship, he learned about various aspects of human resource management ranging from recruitment and tracking employee records to handling employee grievances. He picked up various new skills and gained confidence but most importantly, developed a keen interest in the field and thus decided to pursue his career in the human resource management.
Apoorv knew what path to take in order to explore his options and choose the right career for himself. However, a lot of students in India face a lack of such awareness and often struggle to find the best career fit for themselves and sometimes, end up making a wrong career decision. Wondering what could be the reason behind this, I came to a conclusion that absence of proper guidance and the pressure to take a career decision at an early stage of life could be the major causes for this.
So, as a student who is confused about making the right career choice, what could you do about it? Well, in order to make the right career decision, you first need to know where your true interests lie and then, if you have the aptitude to pursue it. It is possible that you are not aware of your interests and even if you are, you don’t really know about the kind of professions you could go for in that particular field.
Choosing the right career could be a tricky thing to do. Here, internships can prove to be tremendously helpful by letting you explore your options in a real-time professional environment. Now, the question is ‘why internships’? Here’s why:
- Internships are short-term – Internships are short term in nature that is, they only require work commitment for a short-term duration that could range from 2 weeks to 6 months. This provides you with the opportunity to get practical experience in the field on a trial basis so that you try and test a career before you ultimately decide to pursue it on a permanent basis. For instance, your interests could lie in more than one fields say content writing, digital marketing, and human resources. Here, what you can do is pursue 2-3 month long internships in each domain and see which one meets your expectations and decide on the career path you want to pursue.
- Flexible working options – Internships often come with flexible working options (part-time and work-from-home) that allows you to try and test different professions along with managing your college attendance and studies. Not only this, by having flexible working hours, you also have the option to pursue two internships at one time. This way, you could save your time and learn about 2 different fields side-by-side plus you could earn stipend from both of them and can get a sense of self-reliance. For example, you could pursue an internship in content writing and another in human resources – managing both as per your daily schedule.
- Do not require up-to-date skills – Unlike in the case of jobs, to get an internship, you don’t necessarily need to have a degree or sharpened and up-to-date skills. In fact, internships provide you with an opportunity to polish your existing skills and get them up-to-date as per industry standards. You could still pursue an internship even if you are a first year student of say, computer science engineering and do not possess any knowledge in web development, mobile app development, or software development but have basic programming knowledge.
- Real-time exploration – Internships offer you with the opportunity to test drive a career that is, it lets you get a gist of the domain in real time working environment – how the industry works, does it meets your expectations, what are the current practices and what skills are required as per the current industry standards. For example, if you are doing a digital marketing internships, you’ll learn various aspects of digital marketing like social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing. Plus, you’ll learn how much creativity and effort goes into planning various campaigns as well as making marketing strategies.
So, discerning your real calling with internship experiences could turn out to be exceptionally useful. It could especially help you in avoiding a future situation where you might find yourself stuck in a tedious 9 to 5 job dreaming about all the other careers which you could have pursued instead only if you had made an informed decision.
Courtesy: Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Internshala – an internship and training platform (internshala.com)