The summer break after my 4th semester of college had just begun, and unlike most of my friends who had tons of internships lined up (all unpaid and tedious though), I had nothing in particular to do. Hope began to crumble when those hot-shot companies with their big names failed to reply to my overly dramatic yet truthful cover letter, which mostly covered my whole world of faults. I told them how almost all of my time was spent social networking, lazily watching Suits (!), exploring Zomato, and online fashion stores (Internet sure has made everything super-convenient, no?). Err, those biggies didn’t think so.
But later while I was placing an order with Happily Unmarried, I began daydreaming about how much fun it would be to work with an uber-cool company like it. That train of thought was a stroke of genius.
The social media junkie that I was, my Twitter handle (sarcasmdeewane; this is mentioned just so you guys follow me here later) I couldn’t resist asking them for an internship opportunity. And after an interesting conversation (hardly two messages), a teeny-tiny assignment (that took me 3 days to complete), I got my first ever joining letter with a clear cut message ‘STIPEND DENGE’. That message was sheer happiness.
I worked my ass off, and grabbed merchandise at breathtaking discounts (extra perks, smirks). Yet, as easy and funny those blogs, their supporting GIFs might look to you, trust me it ain’t all that simple. The execution might not be as big of a problem, but ideation most definitely is.
I began learning social media, digital marketing, basics of Photoshop, and specifications of blogging, from friends, other interns and off course – online. It was ridiculously awesome. I was ridiculously awesome (That’s my fictional self speaking)
On the flip side, I hated travelling for close to 3 hours daily especially under the Delhi’s scorching sun. But yeah Rs.7500 by the end of 45 days, all worth it, right? Sadly, after deducting my travel allowances and refreshments, I was still left with, oh, nothing!
This wasn’t my first internship. I had previously interned without a stipend. Had interned but wasn’t paid (got duped, big time). Sometimes, travelling was an issue and being an outstation student in a metropolitan city, staying back for holidays meant missing out on spending time with family and friends. And no one was looking for a part-time intern.
I had started blogging post my summer break. But that obviously wasn’t leading into any monetary conversion.
SoDelhi was a leading blogging website that I adored, and I prayed almost every day, to be a part of it. But when my prayers went unanswered (for obvious reasons, cover letter, remember?) I decided to drop that ‘world of faults’ monstrosity. To my surprise, a positive response, and a freelance agreement was mailed back almost immediately. That was my second big break. Next came a plethora of freelance opportunities, most of which were start-ups, who required quirky-creative content but didn’t want to spend too much money and time on it. I delivered almost all of them successfully. But content was just one element, in fact, there was a need for so much more. Graphics. Videos. Animation. PR. Digital Marketing – the list seemed endless.
‘Entrepreneurship’ was something I knew I could ace. (A 100 in my 12th mark sheet had my back #FlauntKarnaBantaHai)
All of this drama was simply a background story, the following is what I figured out during the entire shindig of 6 months:
-A lot of people have caliber but they like doing things differently, or rather innovatively. Unfortunately, most established companies are boring, old school and they want to continue following tried and tested patterns.
-They are students. They are still learning. They don’t know it all. But an upper hand, a little editing, slight changes, and their work might just turn out to be amazing.
-The Digital World has taken over all of our lives.
-Mostly, all internships are unpaid, tedious, and NOT AT ALL fun. There’s hardly any freedom or authority in the work assigned. And those certificates only add weight to your CVs, and hardly anything to your personality.
-Even if the internships are paid, most of the money is spent on travelling and din ka kharcha pani.
-A lot of people are open to internship opportunities after college hours.
-Startups can function at their best if they can handle what they are supposed to provide, and give their creative needs to somebody who can handle all of them easily.
-Lastly, and most importantly I learnt that there were oh about a million people who were thinking exactly like me.
I shared my idea with a few of my closest friends. These guys – my lovely people, who are just as crazily awesome as me, agreed almost immediately. With inputs from everybody, little changes were made here and there. And then, to everyone’s surprise and delight, we grabbed our first client in less than 3 days after we started. The second one too, almost immediately. We worked on the first few all by ourselves, and meanwhile created a pool of interns who:
– Wanted to work from home, mostly, sometimes out of coffee shops or drawing rooms in their pajamas. No barriers there!
– Who (supposedly) weren’t good enough for the world.
– Who were wildly mental in whatever they did.
– Who were looking for an arrangement which allowed them flexible working hours, and wanted something that gave them ample amount of time to study for exams, and at the same time kept them busy when they had nothing to do.
– Who wanted to learn and work and grow at the same time.
– And lastly, who were absolutely-freaking-tired of UNPAID INTERNSHIPS.
These interns joined us from across the nation (some are now applying from countries that I can’t even spell correctly), fuelled our organization with their creative ideas, worked both on ideation and execution and created magic.
This was how The Creative Key was born.
Today we have a ginormous number of Satisfied Clients, and of Satisfied Interns. The core team? Well, we are still busy defeating the law of marginal utility. (The more we consume of both food and knowledge, the happier we get.)
And finally talking about me, I am 21, intrigued by intelligence and inspired by challenges. You can call me a delectable mix of old school charm and new age liberalism and this is my story, a story of how from an intern, I turned into an entrepreneur (do call me that, it’ll get you extra brownie points.) *Wink, wink*