This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Ashi Siddiqui. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

My Story: How I Managed My Dream Internship While My Father Had COVID

My Internship Experience by Ashi Siddiqui

June was near, Mumbai had soaring cases of the Coronavirus. We had all returned to our homes from the campus before it was formally informed and we still had hope, I knew we weren’t going to Mumbai for the internship, it had to be virtual. Tickets were canceled, we were virtually heartbroken and the next thing we realized was to somehow manage a laptop and a network connection in my half-built house under construction.

GSK Pharmaceuticals Mumbai was a dream! The first company for an internship at NIPER S.A.S. Nagar for MBA(Pharm), I knew it was my call and it didn’t happen to me, I made it happen. All this time since my selection I have dedicated myself to ‘Mission GSK’ but now it all seems not aligned.

I borrowed an old laptop from my uncle good enough, planned WiFi lines across the half build walls, and set up a small separate corner in the house for virtual meetings. I was apprehensive, I did not want it to be a constraint and was extra careful each time. It was always an hour of preparation in the setup before any meeting.

The onboarding was seamless, I was exhilarated to get a project in Modern Trade Channels. Exciting, challenging, and innovative. I loved working on the project from the very start. It was my first experience of being a part of an organization. Getting my own email and login ID to the GSK platform, access to courses, a plethora of reading material, and an extremely supportive and encouraging mentor, I was living my dream.

I resonated so well with GSK as an organization I was sure that this is where I want to work, contribute, make a difference! Getting a PPI was next on the list. My mid internship review went on really well, I had planned my project conscientiously and was much on track with the timeline but then suddenly things fell out for me.

My work set-up for the internship.

My father tested COVID-19 positive and he had to be immediately hospitalized. Everything had turned upside down for us, it was an excruciating time for us as a family. We couldn’t see him and often talked to him after days on call, I visited the hospital every day to discuss the situation with the doctors along with my uncle. It was a sleepless one month after that.

I started managing my internship work during nights, I didn’t tell anyone my situation there emotionally. The person I am didn’t allow me to. My best friend and family held up my morale. Each day was a challenge but I gave my best, never missing a deadline or submission and equally managing the hospital visits and insurance work.

By the last week of July, my father’s health started improving a lot and he was on a path to recovery, my final internship presentation date had also been scheduled by then and there were just a few things left, my recommendation for the PPI was to be decided on it. On the final presentation day, my mother sat across the adjacent room praying throughout my presentation.

I was confident of the work I had done, I had completed it with all my heart and sincerity. When the presentation was finally completed it was to my delight and satisfaction very much appreciated and admired. My mentor was proud of me.

My final internship presentation.

The next week was the result and I cannot explain the feeling when I learned I got through, I immediately called and told my father on the call, he was very happy and proud. The subsequent week, he tested negative for COVID and returned home. I went for the PPI and further processes, and ultimately bagged a PPO in the company of my dreams.

I have never let out my story to anyone anytime since then, thanks again to my best friend who has insisted I share my experience here. There are a few things I feel I must emphasize that I learned through this journey as I end. Firstly, be courageous. No matter what just work with all that is in your hands and let go of what you can’t control. Secondly, be agile. Whether it’s for your learning or situations in life, adapting is what can help you. Lastly and most importantly, always hold on to your family and friends because these are the anchors in your life that will make you traverse all storms.

Ashi Siddiqui, MBA (Pharmaceutical Management), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, SAS Nager (Mohali), Punjab—160062, India | Email:

Feature image is for representational images only.

You must be to comment.
  1. Ravindra Kumawat

    Hey Ashi, First of all congratulations for your successful achievements. You have nicely shared your experience about the struggle in the very opposite circumstances. You faced lot of difficulties which were challenging your preserverence even though you stick to your decided objective and this the result of your hard work. I wish you all the very best for you amazing future.

More from Ashi Siddiqui

Similar Posts

By Akilandeswari Sivaramakrishnan

By Internshala

By Internshala

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below