How did I get my first Internship? And What did I learn from it?
Well, I did my first internship soon after my first year. I had started web development at that time. And I did not want to waste my time so I looked for internships applied for a few and got one in the end. Since I was in the first year at that time. So, this post is intended for the first year students who want to utilize their summer vacation but not limited to the first year students only. Anyone who wants to get an internship too may benefit from this post.
- What is an internship?
- Why it is good to do internship in college?
- How did I get my first Internship?
- What did I learn from it?
- About me
What is an INTERNSHIP?
Well, the Wikipedia says,
An internship is a period of work experience offered by an organisation for a limited period of time. Once confined to medical graduates, the term is now used for a wide range of placements in businesses, non-profit organisations and government agencies. They are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field. Employers benefit from these placements because they often recruit employees from their best interns, who have known capabilities, thus saving time and money in the long run.
Well, the above definition says it all. I don't need to explain it further though I would tell you about a few general points which are not there in this definition.
There are two types of internship based on the type of work.
Well, these are not the categorization but this classification helps us to decide the internship which you must opt for based on your future plans.
Types of Internships
There are two types of internship one is focused on research another towards industrial exposure. If you want to go for further studies a few Research Internships at IITs, NITs or any other institute/organization would be helpful. Rather if you want to go for Job, or your own startups or like to have industry exposure then you should work for any good company or startup, organization. There is a difference between the two internships. Let's have a quick look at both.
As the name suggests you might guess that it involves some research. And it is true. In this internship, you work under some professor/scientist or any similar person and do some research work. It may be at an educational institute or any govt entity. The main idea is you will need to have good academic records. Good GPA or percentage is a must. And it depends on the professor as well.
In this internship, you mostly work on any product of the company. It directly involves doing some coding or development or any managerial work. Like it depends on the domain to domain. If you have applied for the web developer. You probably will be working in fixing some bugs, implementing some features in the web platform they have. If you have applied for the design internship you will get tasks to design something. And likewise.
The main thing to understand is that there is no comparison between the two. Both of them have their own significance. The research internship will help you to get into higher studies while the development internship will surely help you to get a good job or industry exposure.
Why it is good to do internship in college?
Well, I have been very big fan and follower of Garyvee. And I totally agree with this. Many of us think or at least I used to think that at will 20 I have to have my life figured out. But yeah figuring out everything is a forever game. And I am not saying it blindly. There was a time when my focus was on something else.
I had not thought of becoming a developer. But eventually, I am one now. The thing is we make decisions based on what we think at that time is right. And as we evolve we become more careful while taking decisions. With time we might make better decisions than the previous ones.
And internships are the best place to find out whether you want to go into that field or not. For example, you might be interested in web development or designing or might not be. But how do we decide whether we want to go further with that career option or not? We try out both. We work with both the choices and while working we get some idea like, "Yeah this is interesting I want to go with this" or otherwise "It is not interesting at all."
So what I mean to say is investing 2 months or 6 months in exploring what you want to do is worth. If you decide not to go with that then, later on, you will never regret that you wanted to do that but never tried. And if it of your choice then it is a perk.
How did I get my first Internship?
After my schooling, I had decided that I want to something in Computer Science or IT field. So I started learning about web development as I had learned HTML/CSS in my school. I had CS as my additional subject in +2. And I had a bit of knowledge in C++. So I went with PHP after some googling as it seemed similar to C++. I bought a book and started learning PHP. It was easy for me as I could relate it with C++. But don't bother if you don't know anything about any programming language.
If there is a will there is a way.
Slow and Steady Wins
There are a plenty of channels in YouTube where you can learn about programming or designing or anything. From scratch or zero. All you need is dedication and hard work. Always remember that, slow and steady wins.
After joining the college I made a lot of friends. And started hanging out with those who knew better than me in web development (Don't judge me, I am not selfish :D). I always asked them for guidance. And I am proud of it. And not just friends I have amazing seniors. They have been guiding me since the beginning.
Ask in your local connections
So I had a few seniors who have their own startup. So I started pinging them that I am a web developer I can develop a web application for their startup. Or something like that. Applied for a few via Internshala. Mailed a few.Lastly, I got shortlisted for one startup of my senior. I had an onsite interview. And lastly, I got that internship. I was asked a few questions about the development and similar kinds of stuff. A few logical puzzles. And the most important thing Whether I could shift to another technology or not? So since then, I had been working with PHP and Laravel. And they used to work with Django (build with python).
Neither I knew python nor Django, but still, I said that yeah I would love to learn them if I get a chance to. And I was not faking it was a genuine answer. So after a few days from the interview, I got an offer letter to join CodeNicely.
Did I say anything about the stipend? No, why? Because it was my first internship at that I was like I just need a chance to prove myself. If I get the money it will just be a bonus for me. So got a stipend as well. But my focus was never at the stipend in that internship.
What I want to say is that "The first focus in any internship would be to learn, At least if it is your first internship. Still, use your common sense while choosing one."
What did I learn from it?
Well, it turned out to be one of the best decision I took at that time. I learned a lot. And since the startup was new I got a few direct work or the entire project. Yeah, obviously the founder of the startup was my mentor and he still is. And yeah I owe a lot to Meghal Agrawal sir. I was given a lot of opportunities and responsibilities to grow.
I used to hate JS because I never learned it. But during my internship, I had to make a dashboard and I had no option other than to learn JS to make a good dashboard. And I loved it. JS is cool. But I could never have explored it without actually being forced to work with it.
We think that we will make some projects in ourselves and it is more than enough. But the reality is totally different.
Anyone can write code that works but writing code that runs a business with a very good user count it a totally different thing.
And you can't learn that without actually working in such projects. And yeah internships are the best source to learn that. Yeah, obviously no one would directly deploy your code into production. But with the time you will learn more and more.
I learned a lot of things, literally a lot. I did not know even a bit but after the internship, I could say that I am a web developer. And once you have some exposure you explore more in the right direction. Like you get to know what not to look.
My internship has taught me a lot like what it is like to work with a deadline with the real clients. Like you can do whatever you want because the customers are paying for your services and you can't play with that.
One of the best things is you that get an amazing mentor whom you can ask questions if you are stuck. Like in my startup I was told to try to solve the problem to how much time I can. And if still, I could not. At the end of the day, I used to ask others. And they literally used to solve it in a couple of minutes. And believe me, they were literally very small things. Like arranging two import lines.
So yeah, I would say that doing an internship or investing your time in something that will help you further is a great thing. Yeah, that also does not mean that stop enjoying your present by worrying for your future.
My name is Kuldeep Pisda. I am a full stack developer, a final year undergraduate student of B. Tech in Dept of CS&E NIT Raipur (and believe me for getting an internship this does not matter). I love participating in hackathons and have won a few as well. When I am not coding I am writing blogs or listening to Spotify. I love reading books, blogs, articles. You might want to follow me on GitHub and LinkedIn. Just Kidding :P