Reader's Nirvana

My Honest Experience as A First-Time Intern!

Before we get down to how I over-thought and blew up this situation completely out of proportion, let’s start with the back story!

I’m a Computer Science undergrad and from the beginning of the semester I have been listening to  my seniors and seminar lecturers constantly saying that I would not be considered for a decent job if I didn’t have credible internships or achievements under my belt. While this was true, I was fresh out of school and kinda scared and intimidated by people talking about ‘today’s market scenario‘, ‘employment rates‘ and MANY other things I had no idea about but which would affect my career greatly. So, I was pretty convinced that I should join internships and similiar courses for exposure and skills.

The downside to this was that I was very gullible – I jumped at any training offer or course material which was circulated in my class group or I came across online . Thankfully, I had a friend who made me understand NOT to pursue this blindly and actually think about what kind of course I actually want to do.

Time passed and suddenly I was constantly frustrated by the fact that I had almost finished my first semester and I hadn’t done anything. Maybe that’s because I was planning to do so much and I actually thought that 4 years would not be enough.

Anyways, a couple of months later I applied for more than a dozen internships at Internshala for Content Writing and similiar fields because I had no technical skills except the knowledge of basic C++ and Web Development and English had always been my strong point.

That is when it started. Day in, day out I was constantly refreshing my mail and checking the website to see if I had any responses. It was like a mania – I would freak out if I didn’t check my mail for like, 30 mins. After a week, I started getting responses and I sent out a bunch of demos . All this did was increase the frequency by which I clicked on the refresh button.

After another crazy week, I scored a position with 10 other interns at a great place. My boss was very friendly and I was enjoying it! But the problem began when I was selected for another internship someplace else.  I really wanted to do something so I convinced myself I could actually work at both places! My parents even told me that I would be biting off more than I could chew but I thought I could juggle both of them. Bad idea.

The thing is, I was still travelling 24 kms daily to reach college and spending another 2 hours coming back. I had no time in the morning and by the time I reached home in the evening, I was completely exhausted. I realised that I could not keep up with both the internships and decided to drop one of them. I should have dropped the one which was less pressuring for me but I chose to keep the one which paid me more bucks (hence, was more demanding). Not a proud moment for me, frankly.

I was still enjoying it till it became so boring and so monotonous that I even though I was clocking in 3+ hours a day, I still had a huge gap in my work. I just had zero motivation to try to do it! The quality of work I was doing was great – I was in my boss’ good books – but I just didn’t feel it. It was not my thing and it was starting to give me awful headaches. Plus, it was getting hard to keep up with my other commitments! I didn’t want to leave it without getting atleast a month’s pay so I dragged it for 2-3 more weeks. But the problem was, because of my work lag, I had not finished a complete month’s work. I was frustrated, tired and I was fighting daily with the people around me because of it!

Finally, I talked about leaving it without getting and so, I went ahead and left the internship. You see, even though it was not the smartest choice, I slept well that night. After weeks. And that is what mattered to me most!

This was my first experience and honestly, I messed it up because I was stressed about getting something done that I did not do in the right way. But I did learn a lot of things!

->  I made peace with the fact that I do not need to do everything RIGHT NOW. Time will take it’s course and I need to do things at my OWN pace. Not only does this give me my peace of mind, it lets me enjoy my hobbies and my ‘me’ time!
->  Instead of wasting my time doing things which would not contribute greatly to my resume, I have decided to spend a year learning and honing my skills in my chosen field so that I can participate in meaningful projects and satisfactory internships.
->  I had to fill up many, many ‘Why should I hire you’ questions and it did get me thinking. It struck me how much trouble I had writing this, and this has encouraged me into being able to convince other people of my skills, and develop certain qualities which would be desirable to employers.
->  I learnt to loosen up a little by starting slow and doing something enjoyable instead of jumping the gun and getting shot! I starting giving time to my meaningful relationships instead of staying glued to a computer screen all day long.

Comment in below and share your first internship experience. If we like it, it may be put up as our next post and featured on our Instagram!

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