I was in my third semester when I realised that I didn’t want to become an engineer. What I hadn’t realised yet was what I did want to be. I knew that I needed to make my resume attractive, but I had no idea where or how to start.
That’s when my cousin came to my rescue and told me that internships are a great way to add to one’s resume. Having done two internships himself, he recommended Internshala to me, and I registered on the platform. In my confusion and cluelessness, I sifted through the platform, applied for non-technical internships and hoped for the best.
The first application I made was for a sales development internship at UrbanClap. I didn’t know how to answer the basic “Why should we hire you?” question, so I wrote a cursory answer and submitted the application. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get selected. Ranging from sales to content writing and event management, I applied to all kinds of internships and received all kinds of rejections.
Despite being disheartened, I kept trying since I needed an internship experience. This time, though, I put more effort into answering the “Why should we hire you?” question in a descriptive and clearer manner. Gradually, my application statuses began to change from ‘Applied’ to ‘Under review’.
After four months of struggle and patience, the clouds finally parted. After my profile was shortlisted, I was directly hired for a market research internship at Kriger Campus, a mobile-based education network. I couldn’t believe it; my luck had finally turned around! It was a work-from-home internship where I analysed the current education system and generated ideas to improve it. I communicated with 31 other interns in a WhatsApp group; we were the alpha testers who checked every facet of the app. I conducted surveys and participated in group discussions and brainstorming sessions.
My ideas were appreciated and implemented which encouraged me. My performance during this internship gave me confidence and clarity about what I was truly interested in, and that’s when I decided to pursue market research. I applied again during my summer break, and this time it was an internship at Codit Solutions, a company that designs and develops enterprise systems. They asked me to research a particular market and give my report in a format specified by them.
I got through this round and was selected for the internship. The work there was totally different from my previous internship, but I was excited to try new things. At Codit Solutions, I conducted market research and prepared reports on the research. This internship gave me many new insights into how market research helps a business.
Next, I applied to another internship at an IT company called Walkover, where I went through 3 rounds of selection. In the first two rounds, they asked me to write a pitch for cold calling and to create a survey on the exotic vegetable market in India. The final round was a telephonic interview with HR wherein they enquired about my educational background, hobbies, and my interest in doing market research. During this internship, I conducted cold calls and surveys on restaurant databases and maintained the response sheets. I also got the opportunity to work as a campus ambassador of IIM Bangalore. I filled a questionnaire and prepared a marketing plan, and once I was shortlisted, I was tasked with promoting their fest, Unmaad.
My four internships completely rebranded my skill set and gave my career a direction. When I first started looking for internships, I didn’t know what to pursue, so I worked in various fields before realising that I wanted to do market research. Then, I found an outlet to discover and explore my interest in market research through internships. All these experiences also taught me to persevere and believe in myself, and I’m thankful to Internshala for making this possible.
About the author: Kunal Arora is a 3rd-year student of Maharaja Surajmal Institute of Technology, Delhi. He shares how he took the leap of choosing a career path completely different from his field of study. This article was first published on Internshala, an internship and training platform.