The Internship

By Aparajita and Madhvi 2021-05-07

Is this blog titled after the Shawn Levy movie starring Owen Wilson? Yes!


Are all internships like the movie? Are they even like movies? Probably not.


Typically a movie takes a maximum of three hours to watch. Internships, on the other hand, take about five times that duration! So why should you be picking internships over Netflix and … cereal? Although the college application process is extremely competitive, you’ve got great grades, have published significantly, and are a veteran warrior/conqueror of so many competitions!


However, have you managed to translate all this erudition into action in a professional environment? Remember our constant emphasis on “show, don’t tell”? Well, picture a scenario where you’ve worked really hard for a test. But, if you blank out on D-Day, there’s no way for your examiners to know how much sleep you lost cramming last-minute formulae! The same is true for college applications. If you don’t show admissions officers your best self, how can they tell that you’re impressive?


Internships are perfect ways to distinguish yourself from the rest of the competition, by proving that you’ve channeled interests into hands-on applications that have survived the ordeals of a formal setup. They are also opportunities that reveal tips and tricks of the trade vis-a-vis real human interactions. Certain transferable skills can only be acquired through experience. It’s one thing to read about “bedside manner” and a whole other deal to remain calm when a patient is visibly distressed!


In fact, “distress” is a word commonly associated with school deadlines. However, in the case of internships, your actions have the potential to alter the structure of an organization. Ergo: they are perfect avenues for you to learn the art of taking initiative and remaining true to your word. And in the process of exploring these internships, not only do you develop the exoskeleton of your work ethic, but you also learn to identify and cultivate your niche interests, your brand!


Now, we understand that the process of zeroing in on a consistent brand or theme for your applications can be excruciating given the number of options available. This is why it’s all the more important to experiment with different options to understand what doesn’t work for you in the long run. Fortunately, internships accommodate all sorts of esoteric interests - from classic data analysis and research to unique observerships. So, instead of twiddling your thumbs this summer break (or breaking them over your PlayStation’s controls), consider applying to some that really pique your interest. And if you’re of the opinion that virtual internships aren’t as interesting, remember that they add the same value to your profile but from the comfort of your own homes!


And if you’re feeling the pandemic blues and missing actual human interaction too much, it is all the more reason for you to sign up on these wonderful opportunities to virtually rub shoulders with, collaborate, practically build empires with people who belong to diverse communities from all over the world. (Psst... if you work hard enough, you might just end up snagging a shiny LOR!)


So, I guess, if we’re talking about exploring interests that lead to discovering your place in the world through an action-packed experience that reinforces the value of accountability, collaboration, and learning  … it is kinda like a movie?