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How Intern-Employer Feedback Is Important For The Company’s Performance

Internships provide an exciting opportunity to students to discover their true calling and passions. In an internship, a student gets first-hand experience of how an organisation works in a professional world. You become an employee of that company or organisation during the period of the internship. This builds a clear idea in the student’s minds regarding the experience they are going to have after they start working full-time in that particular field after the completion of their degree.

Hiring interns is not only beneficial for the interns themselves, but also for the employers. While interns gain a lot of valuable experience, the company gets its work done efficiently by a young workforce at a far lesser cost than what would have been required to hire experienced professionals. A proper system and a few healthy practices are a must for a successful internship programme.

Taking and providing regular feedback is one such practice that is of immense importance to both the stakeholders involved. Feedback from either side helps to set up a healthy work environment and ensures progress and improvement.

The company that designed an internship programme did it to fulfil a particular task in mind. Thus, it can often end up overlooking the problems and difficulties faced by an intern. It has been often observed that organisations that merely assign work and set a deadline for the interns are disliked by interns.

A still from the movie ‘The Intern’. 

When there is a lack of proper feedback or communication, the interns feel that they are being ignored and left out. This is harmful to the company in the long run as it can lead to difficulty in recruiting efficient interns because of its bad reputation. Also, interns will fail to become efficient employees of the organisation. There is a high possibility that this will lead to a fall in the standard of the company’s work. Lowering work standards for interns is detrimental to onboarding professional expertise from their respective fields into the company. This has a direct impact on the company under which they are working.

A company that can set up an efficient feedback loop will get constant updates from its interns regarding the problems of the programme. If the interns inform the company regularly regarding the obstacles and hardships being faced by them, it will help them improve the system accordingly.

For example, if the interns inform that there is a lack of efficient training, which is hampering their ability to produce quality results and realising their full potential, the company can then arrange for a workshop that will train the interns extensively in the work they are supposed to do. The professional expertise they gain will be reflected in their work, which in turn will improve the company’s performance as a whole.

These capable interns are also potential full-time workers for the company in the future. Sometimes, interns might report that the internship is not providing diverse opportunities to them. They might say that the programme is forcing them to stick to the same type of work within a limited field. The company, upon understanding this, can tweak the nature of the work assigned to the interns.

indian international student in Germany
If a company collects feedback from its interns at regular intervals over a period of time, it will provide the company with a clear picture of the shortcomings of the programme.

This will offer a variety of tasks to the interns and allow them to work in diverse fields. Some of them might even be able to discover new skills and passions that they themselves had no idea about earlier. They might begin working in some other department and deliver great results. Even for those who do not do so, any sort of boredom will be eliminated from their work. This will enhance their performance manifold as bored employees are highly unlikely to produce satisfactory results.

If a company collects feedback from its interns at regular intervals over a period of time, it will provide the company with a clear picture of the shortcomings of the programme. Necessary improvements can then be easily made to fine-tune the programme. This will make the internship much more appealing in the future and allow it to produce more capable candidates.

Incoming feedback should preferably be left open-ended. This will help the interns in expressing themselves freely. A healthy and open work environment must be set up that develops a cordial relation between the company authorities and interns. An atmosphere that allows comfortable and open communication is ideal to ensure holistic improvement.

A huge percentage of interns, nowadays, experience a lack of concrete feedback. They yearn for someone to guide them where they can improve themselves and how. Companies must understand that interns are essentially students who need attention and guidance to perfect themselves. The responsibility of shaping these novices into professionals lies with the company. The company authorities must leave their door open for interns to mail them with queries on any topic. They must interact personally with the interns regularly to correct their mistakes as well as to praise them where it’s due.

If companies learn to broaden their viewpoint and look upon the interns as trainees, it will result in them doing phenomenal work. Although this does not seem beneficial for the company at first glance from a business perspective, constant enhancement of skill will actually lead to gains for the company that would be beyond their wildest imaginations. Such an internship is the ideal platform where great success stories get built.

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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 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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