Roughly 3 years back I finished my 3rd-year end semester examinations and slowly walking back to my hostel room. So many things were running on my mind. It was a mixture of happiness and fear. I am so happy that I finished my exams but at the same time, there is a little part of me saying What's Next? That's because many of my friends are already decided on how they gonna spend their summer. Some chose Internships and others went on to complete the academic projects. There I am with a clear piece of mind and no thoughts about the future. All I want to do is just go home and everything is gonna be alright.
After two days of the hectic train journey, I got back home and hoping to receive a warm welcome with a lot of smiles. Here comes my father on a hot summer day with the controlled anger on his face and simply asked: "Where is your internship?" I have nothing to defend so I walk past him to my bedroom. Since I was a 5 pointer and haven't done any projects or internships in my 3 years of college so he must have decided that I didn't get anything because of my poor grades. But the real reason is I didn't apply for any type of internship
Just like that 2 weeks passed at home and with my dad reminding me about the internship once in every 2 days. Then I started applying for internships like every other student I created a profile on Internshala, Twenty19, and other sites. You know what every amateur does on the internship applications? Well, they usually fake about the skills and pretend to be someone else by claiming that they can do the work. To be honest I did the same I applied for an internship which is suitable comic lovers(I only know much about Batman and Superman :D).
"It's not about what you going to learn in the summer, my friends it's going to be whom you meet. If you are an intern it's about human connections that you going to make" - Gary Vaynerchuk
With the help of my IIT tag, I got more than 5 virtual internships. All of them didn't even last for more than 5 days. Because they are virtual internships anyone can withdraw at any time. One day I sat for a while in my room and started thinking why do I need to do the internship? Is it for the stipend or Is it because everyone is doing it? Honestly, I don't have an answer but I am clearly not looking for any stipend or any meaningless internship. Then I changed my way of applying for an internship.
I listed out my skills turns out I can go along very well with any type of marketing internship. Then I figured why can't I just apply for the companies which lack in the marketing sector. So I made a list of few companies including my dream one which is National Geographic. I collected the concerned person email ID's and sent an internship request email. Since I wasn't looking for any stipend I almost got the positive response to most of my emails. In the end, I got Social Media Marketing internship at National Geographic Traveller India. For that, I need to go to Mumbai and I had a week in hand to confirm my internship.
Like every dramatic Indian movie or family scene, I didn't rush into my dad to say that I got an internship in National Geographic. Instead, I stayed calm because I just wanted to do any virtual internship to learn how this stuff actually works. So my search on Internshala and twenty19 didn't stop there and I got a couple more virtual internships. In those, I chose one and thought of working for one week. In case if that doesn't go well I still got Nat Geo internship in Mumbai. What happened in that one week changed my life completely
Flipshope: This is the startup where I got the virtual internship in the summer. The work is very basic like you need to improve the extension downloads and increase the social media traffic. I worked in this sector before and surprisingly this startup is being managed by two fellow IITians from Kharagpur then I realized they are from the same batch. At this moment everyone may think like screw this startup and take the Nat Geo internship but I placed myself as one of the core team members of the startup to see how this goes.
I can't call Flipshope as a startup when I joined because those two guys started the site to earn some part-time income while they were in college.
There is a saying in Marketing sector "You will only receive what you negotiate". This quote goes very well at any stage of your life. Even the salary or the services which you receive are already negotiated. So I made a deal(Negotiated) with those two fellow IITians "Look, guys, I am not expecting any stipend I just want to work and learn. Your startup is in the very beginning stage so let me be a core team member and do the work in my own way to give you the better results". Since there are only two people they took me in as a member. When I joined in Flipshope they roughly got 2,000 extension downloads with 50k page views.
This is where I called off Nat Geo internship to give my everything for this mini-startup. My target was to get 10k extension downloads in 50 days and I am all alone. Here I got an idea I certainly can't do this whole work myself I need at least 2-3 people. I again turned into Internshala and Twenty19 sites but this time I registered as an employee. I hired 3-4 people as interns under me and somehow I managed to get 5k downloads in those 50 days. I didn't even invest a single penny on promotions nor I got anything in return. But I was so happy so I decided to develop this startup
I promoted myself from Intern to Marketing Manager in just one week of time
Since I was a 5 pointer I got so much time to work on other things I only care about academics when there are any exams. Then after the summer I went to college and started working on this startup for full-time. I didn't even sit for placements because I was so confident that I can do something better with this startup. After 3 years of joining in this startup, we are here in Bangalore with more than 700k extension downloads, 40 million page views, and a super cool 10 member team. Now I can proudly say that this startup is now 3rd best shopping extensions of India.
My name is Shravan Putta.
You can visit my personal website here: shravanputta.com
Wanna check out my startup then visit: Flipshope
If you are an artist or creator or if you can do something on your own then don't let anyone judge your skills. Do what you love and success will be there at your footsteps. Also if you don't have any confirmed internship till now or you clearly don't have any idea what do you wanna do this summer then you are the luckiest person. Many of your friends must have got the internships with the college placement cell or with the help of other personal contacts but you can actually create your own future by deciding what you wanna do now.