The dark side of Summer Internships

It’s that time of the year again, where college students are rushing about getting precious experience in the “real world”. After months of dealing with forms and going for interviews, you have probably bagged that internship you really wanted (or probably got SOME internship). Well, good going!

But…there are a few things that are not always disclosed in brochures. These are things that are whispered down to you from your seniors or your friends who have done internships. Well, here are some of those “dark” secrets you might want to be prepared for.

  • This is not a place to earn money

If you are doing this to earn a few quick bucks and survive the next semester (or at least a couple of months of the next semester) without begging your parents for pocket money, sorry to burst your bubble. Most of these internships are unpaid. Even if they do pay, it’s probably worse than what a rickshaw-wallah earns in a month. If you really are in it for the money, try and get into a really reputed corporate company that takes internships seriously.

  • Time for transformation!

Yes, yes. You will come out with a new perspective, a clearer idea of what you want out of a career, blah blah blah (this article is dripping with pessimism, but I assure you, that’s not how I am. 😀 😀 :D). For you to get to realize all that, you will need to go through the transformation into…a donkey. Yep. You read that right. I recently applied for an internship, and they wanted me to work 6 days a week, 8 hours a day. Needless to say, I quit after the 3rd day.

  • Energy-suckers alert!

You could have the image of happy coffee breaks, mid-work chit-chat or frequent respite from work at your new workplace. You “could” have them. If you do, you are one lucky person. Most of us interns, not so lucky. Especially if you work in a corporate environment where people are stuffed into cubicles and hardly anyone breathes, let alone talk, that care-free spirit you had in your college just a few weeks back will be sucked out of you mercilessly. Beware!

I hope you have the drive to survive all this and come out victorious. If you do, congratulations! If you don’t, you are not alone. Give me a ping and we can hang out sometime.



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