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How My Internship At IIM Bangalore Turned My Career Around

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After the final semester exams got over, I was in dilemma. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make a ‘practical’ decision by taking up the jobs I had or to let them go and pursue my interests. I was passionate about marketing but didn’t have any experience. After much deliberation, I finally decided to follow my passion and didn’t join any job. I wanted to develop a management perspective to build my profile and get the much-needed experience. So I spent two months searching frantically for internships by networking and asking all people I knew in my circle, but to no avail. I had lost hope and almost conceded to join the job at hand when I overheard my friends talking about Internshala. Frankly, I didn’t believe that I would get an internship by applying online as compared to networking; however, I was desperate and so decided to give it a try. I made an account and was overwhelmed by the myriad available options. To top it off, there was an internship opening for a marketing intern at IIM Bangalore – one of the most coveted management schools in India! I immediately applied and was asked to write two essays on why I needed this internship and why I chose IIM Bangalore. I was apprehensive, as more than 80 people had applied for the same when the requirement was only for one or two!

After about ten days, I was shortlisted and informed to be prepared for the second stage of the selection process – a Skype interview. The interview was brief, lasting about 20 minutes. The questions mainly dealt with my undergraduate course, why I chose to be an engineer, what was my motivation behind the shift to management, my interests and hobbies, and lastly why I wanted an internship despite having jobs at hand. The interview was a good experience after which all my doubts about whether I was making the right decision vanished. My hopes were building; I got the call for a final face-to-face interview at IIM Bangalore.

The interview was taken by the Chief Marketing & Development Officer and the Head of Programs at IIMB and it lasted for an hour. In the beginning, I was asked the basic questions – to introduce myself and share my educational details, extracurricular activities, and awards received. I answered comfortably, emphasizing on extracurricular activities such as debates, theatre (mime) participation, and representing my college at state level festivals. I also spoke about organizing events and conferences at my college. Following this they dug deeper, asking about why I was interested in marketing, where I saw myself after this internship, and in what ways this internship could add value to my career. I told them about my plans of pursuing an MBA in India/abroad and how this internship would be really beneficial in realizing that. Then I was grilled for my decision of leaving the jobs for pursuing an interest. I said that as I was a fresher, I wanted to be equipped with practical knowledge and experience in the field of my interest, before entering the industry. By now, I could feel that they were convinced by my answers. Lastly, I remember that I struck a common chord with one of the interviewers – love for poetry. I told him about my passion for writing poems and we spoke about this for the rest of the interview.

A couple of weeks later, I got a mail from Internshala stating that I was hired for the marketing internship at IIM Bangalore. My happiness knew no bounds! I started my internship from September’16 at IIM Bangalore and my life took a grand turn. Every day was a learning experience and I was enjoying it. I was involved in the marketing of long duration programs, both postgraduate and doctoral, at IIM Bangalore. I worked with my team in organizing information sessions and open houses for various programs. I organized sessions at various companies and marketed the flagship weekend MBA program at IIM Bangalore. I also worked for the placement cell of IIMB by creating links with the industry and getting new recruiters to campus.

Almost 3 months into work, I was assigned the role of a research assistant for 2.5 months under the guidance of a marketing professor of IIM-B. It was a project on designing and conceptualizing of academic programs compatible with market needs. It was a really enriching experience! In a way, this internship has been a solid foundation for my career. The knowledge and mentoring I received are unparalleled. I know the links forged will be a support system in all my endeavours. Now, I’m sure that I will work in the marketing domain only and pursue an MBA in the near future.

About the Author: Kaushik J completed his B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from BNM Institute of Technology, Bangalore. He shares how he got an internship at IIM Bangalore and how the experience helped him convert his passion into a career choice. This article was first published on Internshala, an internship and trainings platform.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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