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Applying for internship? Your first job? You do not have to stick with them out of loyalty as you always have other, better options waiting.
It was during my second year of university, applying for internship–a marketing internship–to use my extra time effectively while earning money. I emailed them, like any usual position, and they responded. I went in for an interview. Their office literally had one employee there, the manager.
The interview went well, and I sent a follow-up email thanking and asking for a follow-up. The manager called me in for a second interview. Again he asked a few basic questions and asked me to make a sample of how I would use my marketing skills to promote the company. I promptly worked on the report and sent it. And ONCE AGAIN, they called me for an interview with the CEO.
This time only the CEO and manager were present in the office, along with another candidate and me. The CEO was explaining how he landed many sales by convincing customers.
The manager and CEO asked us to work for them. At the time, I was vigilant and knew to ask for an offer letter. While applying, I was promised Rs. 5000-10,000. Since it was part-time, I used to go to the office around once per week.
I noticed that their company had poor visibility and they did not know how to use social media properly for their benefit. I suggested investing in a logo and building a brand name. I told them to collaborate with a company that could boost their reach. But the manager kept brushing my ideas off and asked me to work on whatever I could without involving money.
I had not received any formal training, and I was expected to start working. I worked on a giveaway and designed a logo using free resources doing whatever I could. I also took social media into my control and tried to boost reach with the limited resources I had. They also asked me to write reviews for their company under different names and user IDs.
Generating sales for a company that operated within an old business model was challenging. They chose not to adapt to newer technologies.
Meanwhile, I kept asking for the offer letter but had not received it. I received a photo of it, but it was not stamped. The manager kept saying that he had to wait for the CEO to sign and stamp it. I was uncomfortable working there but decided to continue since I had applied.
Note that this was during the beginning of COVID-19. I had worked for a few weeks, but the lockdown was imposed, and I got a message from the manager saying that the internship would be on a hiatus. I asked him about the pay, but he got defensive and said I had not done enough to get paid, even though the offer had promised a basic salary.
I was completely new to the job industry. I thought whatever I did was not worth it. But I still stood my ground and repeatedly texted him to give me a part salary, at least for the duration of my work.
He kept saying it was a momentary issue and would pay me later when I came to work. I tried to argue for my salary, but he never gave it.
Well, it could have been my fault for applying for something I barely knew about. I had tried to learn and implement digital marketing strategies but failed. It was such a terrible anxiety-inducing experience. I felt it was not worth taking to court for a few weeks of work. I cut off contact and forgot about this incident till I saw #careermistakestoavoid on Women’s Web. I kept quiet about this because I was embarrassed. The whole incident was traumatizing, and I decided it was better to forget it. Today I shared my story so you can learn from my experience.
I followed all the proper steps while applying for internship and still got fooled. I want to mention 6 tips to those applying for internships, based on my experience:
I know it is hard if you are in financial distress. In that case, start looking for better offers and attend interviews while working for the company. Is it your first job? Remember that you do not have to stick with them out of loyalty because you always have other better options waiting.
My story does not end here. After this encounter, I decided to apply for opportunities to build my resume and use my time wisely. I applied for unpaid work because I did not believe I had the experience and potential to be paid. I did a few of them, after which I felt confident enough for applying for internship in content writing that paid Rs 1000 per month. I could not dare to send applications for highly-paid work.
Do not make the mistakes I made while applying for internship. Several companies exploit talent by advertising unpaid internships for a cheap workforce. I would encourage freshers to confidently apply for whatever role they feel you are comfortable with. Never ever doubt your abilities! Ask for the pay you deserve. Stand your ground, and do not hesitate to speak up!
Happy interning! Wishing you all the best in your careers.
Ending my article with some food for thought.
India is seventh in the world among nations with long workweeks, which can reach up to 48 hours. We spend less than one-tenth of our day on leisure activities, and women get far less spare time than males. Why is this so? Something to think seriously about, isn’t it?
Author’s note: Kindly reach out to a career expert if you face extreme difficulties or a mental health professional if you are distressed.
Image source: Elitsa Deykova from Getty Images Signature Free for Canva Pro
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Mirali Borde is a budding writer trying to make it in this world.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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As parents, we put a piece of our hearts out into this world and into the custody of the teachers at school and tuition and can only hope and pray that they treat them well.
Trigger Warning: This speaks of physical and emotional violence by teachers, caste based abuse, and contains some graphic details, and may be triggering for survivors.
When I was in Grade 10, I flunked my first preliminary examination in Mathematics. My mother was in a panic. An aunt recommended the Maths classes conducted by the Maths sir she knew personally. It was a much sought-after class, one of those classes that you signed up for when you were in the ninth grade itself back then, all those decades ago. My aunt kindly requested him to take me on in the middle of the term, despite my marks in the subject, and he did so as a favour.
Math had always been a nightmare. In retrospect, I wonder why I was always so terrified of math. I’ve concluded it is because I am a head in the cloud person and the rigor of the step by step process in math made me lose track of what needed to be done before I was halfway through. In today’s world, I would have most probably been diagnosed as attention deficit. Back then we had no such definitions, no such categorisations. Back then we were just bright sparks or dim.
'Sania denied fairy-tale ending: suffers loss in AUS open final' says a news headline. Is this the best we can do? Is it a fitting tribute to one of the finest athletes we have in our country?
Sania Mirza bid an emotional and tearful farewell to her Grand Slam journey as a runner up in the mixed doubles final. Headlines read –
“Sania Mirza breaks down in tears while recalling glorious career after defeat in Grand Slam’
“Sania denied fairy-tale ending: suffers loss in AUS open final”
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