During my college days, I had to attend 75% of all lectures. The college administration would get you to sign an affidavit, as a warning if you went below the percentage mentioned above. Failing to fulfil conditions on the affidavit, you could be debarred.
As a Journalism and Mass Communication graduate, I have come to understand that lectures aren’t enough that they aren’t everything. There’s a lot of theoretical knowledge but acquiring practical knowledge is just as important.
It was quite a monotonous life. I had to attend college 9 AM onwards or attendance for the whole day was gone. At the end of the first year, I had to do a summer internship in a print media organisation. I was pretty excited, but my seniors had warned me that it would be difficult.
I started dropping my resume at every organisation I knew with the hope of getting an internship. This process, however, took almost a month, and I got no replies from any of the organisations that I had applied to. I visited their offices too but wasn’t entertained properly.
They took my resume and said that they would call if they had any opportunities for me. I was finally beginning to understand what my seniors had told me about getting internships.
After struggling for two months with regular visits to several offices, I finally got an internship. I got ten bylines, and my parents were very happy. They would show my pieces to relatives, friends and colleagues.
All of this took a lot of time. A lot of my classmates had interned with popular newspapers. They had good contacts. They got in with just a phone call, and I had to struggle for two whole months.
By the end of the second year, I had learnt my lesson and dropped my CV at different places, three months in advance and landed an internship.
After completing my graduation, the only thing that was bothering me what about what I should do next. There was no placement from my college. I didn’t know life was going to be hell after I got out of college.
I started applying for jobs, and the only reply I got was – “We can’t hire you because you don’t have enough experience.” I just couldn’t understand this. Could somebody tell them that a fresh-out-of-college graduate needs someone to hire her, for her to gain experience?!
Being a graduate, it is very difficult to convince your parents about your career plans. You know when they say, “Do whatever you want,” is a signal that you’re in a mess.
I would see my classmates, the kind who weren’t interested in what was being taught, the kind who got debarred twice and hardly had any experience – they got jobs in reputed companies because they had contacts.
I am tired of reading and hearing, “You don’t have proper experience”, “Your profile doesn’t match our current requirements, but we will reach out to you in case something opens up.”
Someone even made the effort to call me to the office to tell me that they didn’t internship experiences for a job and that I was a Fresher, and it was going to be very difficult.
I was quite shocked. In my head, three years of college seemed like a waste of my parents’ money and of my time.
How is it possible for a 21-year-old graduate to have a work experience of 2-3 years? It has been five months that I have been looking for a job. I know to get something in life; you have to struggle a lot to reach where you want to.
I don’t have aunts, uncles and relatives who have the kind of contacts that can get me a job. I hope though that I can fulfil my dream of becoming an investigative journalist one day.
I am fighting each day, and I keep telling myself that I’ll get a job some day and that there must be a company out there that hires freshers.
I hope some day I make my parents proud.