What internships are doing to you?

Yes, the question which is raised is that whether you are working as an intern at the right place or not? These days when new startups are coming up—people with entrepreneurship spirits are trying their bit to launch their ideas. So, can they fulfil all their motives by themselves or do they need some backup in this regard? Backup comes in the form of people (human resource), in the form of funds (from investors) and just a launching pad (the idea).

Image Source: http://www.wagehourinsights.com/intern.jpg

How do most of these ideas work? Take for instance if a college graduate or a college student has an idea—so to build upon that idea, one would need people to backup. Right? So, there is a need to accept interns—where the company explains their working to them and in return gets its work done. It can be about content writing for instance in the current scenario many businesses flourish from social media, and there would also be need of marketing both at offline and online platforms amongst other work profiles (e.g., graphic designing, sketching, photography etc. )

Being a fresher to college you would be attracted to work with different companies but at that time you might not be aware regarding how they function! They might ask you for a lot of work in the name of experience and not pay you anything for your efforts. I personally feel that if an intern's work is getting a company monetary benefit then the intern also needs some share in it. Had it been an NGO, or NPO (Not for Profit organisation), then it could be understandable. But if the companies are making money out of your work then it is your right to have a share in it! For instance if it is an online portal, having advertisements at its nooks and crannies, then it is making money through that. Or if you are asked to write articles on some given topics then also, you might be working for a client of the respective company where you are working.

Moreover there are few online portals which neither pay nor give any credits to their interns. They publish their articles on their website by some different name. In case any intern asks the reason for the same, they call it the policy of the website. Although it is not told beforehand to the interns. Also they are asked to work for a given period of time- failing which they are not given any certificate.

It is saddenning to know that in this environment, every student wants certificates to increase the weight of their CV's. Because they know it well that companies during placement drives do focus at the CV's as well. Sometimes also asking 2-3 years of experience. Now it is quite annoying, for that matter how can a graduate have years of experience? But few students have it but it comes at a cost of missing classes.

A day has only 24 hours. Either one will make college assignments, study texts or just continue one's internship; one cannot give 100 percent to every place. But few students intend to do that as well, calling it management. When they join college societies, they find difficulty giving time at many places but like I said, they want to do more and more to outweigh their CV's amongst other students. As they call it competition, right?

Is it good for one's health and overall development as a student who does not find time to study the texts in details- and also passes the exams by either reading summaries or by luck? And who sometimes leaves examinations also- if one gets a placement offer in a flourished and tantalizing company!

Being young, many a times one doesn't understand the value of one's efforts and hard work which one puts in as an intern in a given company. Not only newer formed companies but also well established companies are following this criteria of exploiting the interns. This exploitation can be in the form of lesser or no pay at all—or increasing the workload in the name of experience to set their motives right!

My advice to youngsters is to understand this nature of work, which can also hurt you—so what all you need is, to open your eyes and not follow what others have been following in the name of experience(facing exploitation). You have every right to get what you deserve.

Gagandeep Singh Vaid


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