A roadmap to getting the best internship for engineering students in India
Are you a student pursuing your engineering studies in one of the private or government engineering colleges? In search of a good internship that will add value to your engineering degree? Learn here in this article some of the measures that you may undertake in your quest for an internship relevant to your field.
What do we understand by internship The literal meaning of internship is to gain practical experience in a field of work while you are still a student. Most of the times such practical experiences are gained at an industry related to the student's field of study under the supervision of an expert. Internship training is part of the course curriculum for most professional courses like engineering, medicine, management, law, etc. Amongst all these, it is engineering where it is an absolute must for students to undergo internship at one or more organizations during their B.Tech studies or other courses in the engineering stream.
These internship trainings are very important as they give the students a valuable insight of their engineering field. These trainings form a bridge between what the students learn in theory to what they see and experience in the real world. It provides the students the much-needed industry exposure, without which, it will be difficult for most to get a foothold when they finally set their feet outside their colleges. For many it is the launch pad for their career and to others it gives the opportunity to work for a top company, immaterial that it is for a short period only. Industries often lament the lack of skills among today's engineering graduates. Majority of these graduates find it tough to adjust with the outside world when they first step into it. Internship training addresses many of these issues to a large extent.
How to search for an internship Now that we know the importance of internship training in getting a toehold in today's highly competitive world, let us learn how to search for one, while you are still a student. For colleges like the IITs, NITs or even reputed private institutes like BITS, there is no dearth of internship for their students. At such institutes, companies and organizations themselves head to the institute to hire the best interns. I am saying here hire, because at such institutes, the companies compete among themselves to recruit the best students. Some students are even handed out handsome stipends ranging anywhere from Rs 20K to 1 lakh. Even their lodging and transportation is taken care of. Some of the top students get overseas positions. Then there are those fortunate few who get a placement in the same company even during the internship itself.
Thus, for students from IITs, NITs and similar such institutions, there are internship opportunities galore and they do not have to struggle too hard for it. However, for students from the not-so-reputed colleges that mushroom in every city and town in the country, the scenario is somewhat different. In such colleges, not everyone is able to secure an internship through the college placement cell. At least, not the one that is the right fit for them. You have to struggle really hard and work your way to an internship. At times, you have to also pay through your nose. There are industries like aviation, where students have to sometimes pay the organisation for the internship. So, here in this article, let us see how such students, who do not have good enough support from their college, can seek an internship.
Ways to land an internship Notwithstanding that your college does not have any on-campus facility for you to land an internship, you can still manage to grab one if you follow one or more of these measures. As for when you should apply for an internship, it entirely depends upon you. There are students who go for an internship soon after their first year of study itself. Then there are those who wait till the end of the third year to seek one. Some even do every consecutive year. Here goes the ways you can seek an internship at the company or industry of your choice.
Contact the company directly The best way to begin your off-campus search for an internship is to connect with the company, where you will like to intern, directly. For this, you will have to first create a list of companies where you may apply. Search the internet; seek help from your professors, seniors and alumni to identify such companies.
Research on the companies Once you have identified the companies that suits you the most, do an extensive research on them. Do your homework and find out about the company and the industry it belongs to. Through a bit of research you can find about the challenges facing the industries that you are striving to work for. An insight into your potential employer will prepare you well for the interviews. It will be then easy for the employers to directly relate with you as they will be more interested to work with potential interns or employees who have a good bit of knowledge about their companies.
Use your networking channels It is quite likely that you can learn a lot about the companies through your own research itself. However, magnify your efforts by networking. Networking is a very good tool to seek an internship, and, later even land a job. Networking makes your search for an internship a lot easy. With good networking, you can easily find companies of your liking. At the same time, it helps you in learning about the company. You can also get aware of the type of questions that are asked during the interviews. You can learn from your network of friends, the techniques to create a good internship resume or covering letter. More importantly, you get to learn about the culture of the company, its hierarchy and a lot more that can directly influence your decision to join a certain company and whether it is the right one for you or not.
Start networking early Now to make the best use of network channels, you have to start a lot early. Start networking from your early days of graduation. It will then help you to spread your networking channels wide and deep. Moreover, it will give you time to decide what goes best for you. You will also have many options. On the other hand, those who start late won't have too many options and will have to join a company or organisation even though it is not the right fit for them. Often, it is seen that students get into a herd mentality, where they simply choose an internship just because others have done so. So it is necessary to do some homework before you join a certain internship. Find the right company or industry depending upon your subject majors and specializations. So, start networking, if you haven't done until now. Bring your friends, seniors, alumni, professors and even relatives in your network. Networking is one skill that you will require long after you have landed your first job. It will pay you even in the long run.
Concluding notes It can be thus seen that even if your college or university does not offer on-campus facilities for applying for internships, you still have the option to seek one through your own efforts. You do your own research and apply at the companies directly. Network to improve your options that too at an early stage. Learn from your networking experience in handling interview questions and creating a good resume or covering letter. All these and many similar such measures can help you in your quest for an internship. And who knows, you may ultimately land up an internship which pays you handsomely as well as offers you an opportunity for employment as well.
This article has provided good guidance for the students planning to undertake some internship course. Today, a large number of students as well as professionals are going for some sort of internship program to enhance their learning in some niche area that can help them in searching a job or better job and also can help in their career planning. In this scenario, searching a useful and appropriate internship for one's purposes is definitely a challenging task as one has to pinpoint it in view on one's aspirations and conceived goals. So one has to do a bit of homework in this matter before going to join a particular internship. One has to see that the internship should be helpful to one for applying in the area one was dreaming through the educational career. For example, if someone is aspiring for a data science or data analytics career, it makes sense to do an internship in related IT areas like learning a language like Python which is becoming a lead language for these professionals. So, we have to find a link and connection between the internship we are seeking with our long-cherished career goals and then only the internship takeaways would be beneficial to us.