To be able to create positive ripples within a company is a sense of achievement in a very fulfilling internship

There have been enough debates on paid and unpaid internships; students are always in doubt over a question that seems to have no definite answer. There are two ways of looking at an internships – as an intern, doing things you’re expected to do as per your job description, and fulfilling curriculum requirements (besides serving coffee to your superiors)

The other way is to take it in your stride. You strive to perform as well as or better than your colleagues, hoping to take that confidence and experience home. It prepares you for the real battle ahead, when you actually join the competitive start-up world. Most MBA students get internships in big corporation with heavy stipends. There is, however, an emerging trend where students prefer to work at start-ups.

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YourStory caught up with the interns at Shephertz, one of the largest players in cloud ecosystem providers. Based in Gurgaon, Shephertz is an emerging corporate workplace.It’s no doubt that the work culture at start-ups is an important factor that contributes to interns choosing them over big corporations. New-age offices with lounges, relax zones and chilled atmospheres are considered plus points. Most start-ups don’t, in fact, follow fixed office times, giving interns and employees the flexibility to work within their comfort zones, and sometimes at their own perils.

Interns about their experience at Shephertz:

While we were told about it all during our recruitment process, we still were excited about the prospect of having a lounge in the office, and the freedom to relax ourselves on tbean bags when our minds wanted more than the space of our cubicles. It definitely lived up to our expectations. And, hold on, we have just begun counting the perks! No formal clothing, flexible timings (no compulsory 9-5 timings), weekends off, no internet restrictions, and many others proved to be the icing on the sweet cake.

As students of Department of Management Studies – IIT Roorkee, Anubhav Satpathy, Kartik Khamesra and Shubham Arora these student interns provided a different perspective to the whole technology-led start-up.

Technology doesn’t win by itself. What technology does is it gives you a shot at marketing’

Seth Godin

These interns have travelled the ‘road less taken’ for the past 9 weeks, since they began working with Shephertz, with less or absolutely no knowledge of cloud start-ups.Coming from a management background, they’d never heard of App42 Cloud APIs (BaaS), App42 PaaS or AppWarp Multiplayer Gaming Engine. But today, they’re well-versed with these emerging cloud technologies.

Working with big corporations gives you great insights of your department, but with start-ups, you are exposed to the entire business process, be it an elaborate strategy or the nitty-gritty of a regular office routine. You get to see first-hand how different aspects of a business develop from their earliest stages, and mature into something big and productive.

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Speaking about the independence at work, they share:

Tasks were served on a platter: a host of business related tasks to take care of, and we were given complete independence to alter these processes, subject to approval of the top management. Due to a very inclusive work culture, we could see our ideas being put to practice within the organization. To see weight attached to our ideas was a great leap of inspiration for us.

This stands in direct contradiction of the clichéd thought that “there is only so much that an intern can do.”’

Not every intern’s ideas are considered by the team: ‘low bandwidth’ is explained as the reason for these rejections, most of the times. But, there’s a level of learning that goes even with rejections here, where you’re offered explanations of why something we suggest might not work, as opposed to blunt unexplained rejections.

The interns say they were once pleasantly surprised when called over for a meeting by the company’s product architect, Mr Ajay Tiwari(App42 Cloud API), to discuss the means of implementing their ideas. To be able to create positive ripples within the company was to drum home the idea of ‘the fulfilling internship’.

A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”