I gave an early start to my career by grabbing an HR internship in my first year
The thought of interning crossed my mind when a senior was narrating her experience of an internship – her learning and how it brought an exciting change in her. With heightened curiosity, I interacted with my batch mates about this, but they had a notion that companies do not hire first-year students. After the initial excitement subsided, I pondered over it and realised that my batch mates were not entirely wrong; however, I had to give it a shot. An in-office internship was hard to go for since I was in a completely residential university and had minimal skills.
I was searching for work from home internships when a friend mentioned an online internship platform. I registered on it and created my resume. The examples shown during resume creation helped me a lot. The process of applying to internships was so simple that I ended up applying for four internships simultaneously. I was shortlisted for two – marketing internship at Urbandesi and content writing internship at Nettv4u. I chose writing over marketing, but I couldn’t manage the work with my studies.
“I was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
I did not lose hope and kept applying for internships in various fields. One afternoon, I received a call from Localfox, a startup based in Bangalore, where I had applied for an internship in human resources. I was asked to introduce myself; I gave a brief introduction including mentions of my extracurricular achievements in debates, elocutions, and extempore, which were relevant to the job. He asked me if I had any prior experience in the field, and I replied in negative. Although, I did mention that I had been on the student council for two years, wherein I auditioned students, prepared and helped the shortlisted ones practice for various competitions held in the school. In the second round, I was asked which work hours suited me, which field I would like working in, etc. I answered these questions confidently. After two rounds of telephonic interview, I was hired as an HR intern. My mentor, Mirza Fawaz, was always patient with me. He clarified all my doubts and provided me with samples of telephonic interviews so that I could get things rolling.
I still remember how happy I was when I was given my first task – shortlisting candidates for a marketing position. I was supposed to call around fifty people and shortlist them following a fixed criterion. On the first day, I could not shortlist anyone. My mentor then explained to me how I had to keep everything in mind, adjust my expectations as per the offered salary, etc. My work included updating Google Sheets in time, allotting time to candidates for their interview with the company, and sending reminder emails to shortlisted candidates for their scheduled interview along with follow up emails. While working as an HR, I realised that not just the candidates but also companies are eager to find a good fit. I learned that a single question may have multiple answers and it is important to use the right one at the right time.
What made this internship possible were a considerate mentor and a flexible work schedule. At times, I couldn’t complete the work on time due to my classes. All I had to do was put in some extra hours the next day. Even though it was a meagre sum, the stipend elated me being my very first earning. I also received a certificate on completion of the internship.
Author of the article: Garima Shahi