By Rahul Jain:
With all the recent uproar about the UN Intern who was living in a tent in Geneva, the system of internship; rather unpaid internships comes under scrutiny.
When we enter a graduation or a professional course, we are eager to learn about the field and hope to one day make a mark in it. Often the hopes and pride of our families are attached to us as well. Then comes the phase of holidays. What was once a time of bliss is now a time of rigour, that is, if you worked for that rigour during the pre-holiday season to land an internship or an industrial training.
Institutions have attached weightage to a set number of internships or training that a student must go through during their academic tenure, and require a documentation or report of the events and experience they garner. This is brilliant as students get exposed to true blue industrial culture and often get to work on real life projects. In fact, companies often come to campuses to provide internships to students and sometimes these students are offered a Pre-Placement Offer (PPO) or Pre-Placement Interview (PPI) depending on their performance during the internship period.
But that is not available throughout the education system. Not all institutes attract companies for internships and that often means that it ends up becoming just a courtesy activity for most. Even if students manage to get into some companies by their own grit, it is not necessary that they will get genuine experience. Sometimes, companies take up interns just to boost their numbers for certain duration. It is not very different from the unregulated labour market.
Even this would have been acceptable to some degree if students were driven enough to try to gain something out of the opportunity. However, it is not uncommon for students to get by on the bare minimum or sometimes even manipulating the information, which is dire as internships then lose value in the eyes of a potential recruiter.
The point of an internship at the end of the day is to help students gain experience before they begin their professional careers, thus breaking the chain of qualifications required for various positions.
With portals such as internshala and oysterconnect coming up, transparency is increasing and students have more options, even on an international level. Nonetheless it is vital to realize that an internship is not a job and it shouldn’t put unnecessary financial strain on you for the very simple reason that there are a plethora of options, and international exposure will mean for nothing if you cannot make ends meet back in your country.
Take campus conversations to the next level. Become a YKA Campus Correspondent today! Sign up here.
You can also subscribe to the Campus Watch Newsletter, here.