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Five Things To Do Before Applying For Your First Internship Or Job

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Finding a job has become challenging during times of coronavirus as a lot of people are unemployed and vacancies are less. The crisis led to layoffs, salary deductions, pay cuts, insubstantial or no appraisals, employee transfers to different locations, and self-employed business owners dealing with huge losses. As the situation is gradually changing, thousands of people are applying to jobs every day hoping for a better future and good pay. As most of the people are working from home globally, the hiring process is also being conducted virtually.

While many people might be habitual to professional emailing, attending video interviews, and virtual group discussions, freshers might find these things difficult. If you are also in a similar situation, here are a few things that can help you in your first virtual internship or job application. 

Understand And Analyse The Job Description

Job descriptions let you know the company’s expectations, job title and purpose, responsibilities of the role, required qualifications (for example, education, experience, skills, and abilities), work environment (for instance, leave details, location, working hours and travel needs) and compensation breakdown. 

It is important to read, understand and analyse the job description as it helps you understand your own capabilities for the job. You will know the skills you have and the ones you will need to polish, what your everyday tasks and your daily routine will look like, your eligibility for the role, and what unique skills or experience you would be able to offer which other candidates won’t.

You must also read job descriptions posted for the same role by competitor organisations, and before choosing the most suitable role for you, ask yourself questions like — which role is more interesting? Where do you see better growth opportunities? Is there a PPO option (in case of internships)? and whose values or culture do you most relate to? 

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Research About The Organisation

An organisation’s expectations and requirements from an employee is directly proportional to its mission and vision. To be a valuable asset to the organisation, it is necessary that you research in advance about the company. Find out the history, how the company started, background and professional details of the CEO, work-culture and values, recent news and events of the company, their products, services, and clients and some of their major competitors. 

You don’t have to mug up everything and remember the exact dates, figures, or timelines, but researching about the company on its official website, reputed news platforms, LinkedIn, and social media would make you capable of answering every question and would highlight your sincerity, dedication and willingness towards the job and work with the company.

Enrol In An Online Placement Preparation Training

Beginner-friendly online placement preparation training helps freshers like you, to prepare professionally for your first internship or job. The training is usually divided into multiple modules where you learn to hunt jobs through on-campus and off-campus placements and polish your most valuable skills. You also get complete expert assistance required to build a professional resume, a cover letter, your portfolio and social media presence. 

The training also features a step-by-step guide that helps you design your own resume and cover letter with the help of examples. You also get an understanding of the hiring process and prepare for pre-interview, telephonic or video interview, group discussion round, HR questions, puzzles, and guesstimates through the training.

Topics such as essential interview etiquette and questions to ask the employers are also covered in the training. In addition to all this, the training also bundles practical projects where you design your own resume, find and write answers to the most commonly asked HR questions, and choose a role that you like in a reputed organisation and prepare yourself for the entire placement process. 

Make sure that you create a separate, private, and quiet space in your home where nobody would interrupt you.

Set Up Space For Your Virtual Interview

Make sure that you create a separate, private and quiet space in your home where nobody would interrupt you. Choose a space with ample natural and artificial lighting, clear up the background, set up a comfortable table or desk and a chair, grab a pen and notebook if you get some quick assignments, keep earphones handy, set up and charge your computer/laptop and have an electricity board/extension board near you. 

Also, keep a printed copy of your resume and work samples with you and recall your work experiences again, test and check your internet connection beforehand, log-in before the recruiters and join the interview 15-20 minutes before to see if your camera and microphone work fine. Setting up a comfortable interview space will boost your confidence, reduce nervousness, let the interviewer know that you are fully prepared, and help in a smooth uninterrupted interview. 

Follow Up With The Interviewer

After completing the interview process, you should follow up with the interviewer and send them a thank you message for giving you the opportunity. A follow-up email or letter gives you another chance to highlight the qualifications that make you the right fit for the role and showcase your willingness and enthusiasm for the post. There are times when an interviewer might consider two or more candidates for the same role, sending a thank you note lets the recruiter know about your sincerity towards the internship/job and it might give you an edge over your competitors. 

While writing the follow-up email, make sure that you use the same email id that was used initially for all professional communications between you and the recruiter. Try to subtly promote your candidature once again in the email, explain why you think you are rightly qualified for the role, add anything relevant that you forgot to mention, discuss, or ask about during your interview, clear up interview mistakes if you made any and clarify what you actually wanted to say, and finally, don’t forget to add your contact number in the email as multiple contact options make it easier for the recruiter to revert. 

About the author: Internshala Trainings is an e-learning platform to learn new-age skills from Internshala.

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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.

Read more about the campaign here.

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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’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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