An internship is the first thing that you need to do to get a job. Many MBA and engineering students in Mumbai did their summer internships with different companies. At the same time, the Free Press Journal (FPJ) gave these youngsters a place in the newspaper to work on their writing skills and launched Summery - an exclusive writing competition based on individual internships. We had to choose the best six stories from the many that were sent in because of the amazing response.
The FPJ talked to these winners today at the office, where they were gathered to collect their prizes and awards. In a breezy informal session with the FPJ, students were asked to take part in a group talk about their internships.
The Summery winners include Saket Marathe from K J Somaiya College of Engineering, Parag Pande from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Neelima Dubey from Vivekananda Business School, Meet Chande from DY Patil School of Management, Krishna Gautam from IIT Bombay and Divyanshu Kumre from Chetana's Institute of Management and Research.
Below we give a glimpse of our conversation with the winners.
Students in a group discussion with the host Lavanya. | FPJ
What was different about the work experience from what you learn in textbooks in college?
Students said that the theory they learned in college did not match up at all with the real-world experience they gained during their internships.
Putting forward the reason why college is mostly about conceptual subjects. Neelima Dubey gives an example: "In the HR specialization, the curriculum was mostly about motivation theories or what HR management is. However, during the internship, I was in charge of hiring people."
"There's no plan that can teach you how to sometimes just get work done." "It's a whole different experience to learn theory and put it into practice," said K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering student Saket Marathe.
Everyone agreed that practical understanding can't live up to what is taught in college.
Students discussing about their experiences during internship. | FPJ
Did you enjoy your internship? Would you work for the company again if you had the chance?
Saket Marathe did his internship with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He said, "I would love to work for ISRO if I had the chance, but I'm also looking forward to many other opportunities at other companies."
Divyanshu Kumre, who interned as a sales representative at the dairy firm, Amul, said, "Even though I'm more interested in marketing, I was a little let down that I was given a sales job, which doesn't fit my career goals." I'm looking forward to getting more job chances in marketing, which is my area of expertise.
The winners of FPJ's ‘Summery’ also discussed about their future. | FPJ
Do you guys read a lot, given that the language in your essays was of good calibre
After finishing his internship at FACOR Vedanta Ltd. in Odisha in the HR department, Parag Pandey said, "Even though I'm very good at English, I don't think that should get in the way of communication." While I was doing my job, I met people who spoke Hindi better than English. We sometimes have to be open with languages because we need to talk to them in their own languages.
Neelima Dubey, who also did an internship in the HR department of Radio Mirchi in Mumbai, said that she loved reading books, which helped her learn the language quickly.
During my school years, I spent a lot of time in the library reading books, which really helped me improve my English. As an intern in the media business, I knew how important it was to be able to speak and understand the language well. However, my skills only got better by working with professionals in the field, Neelima said.
Do you think AI is affecting how well youngsters write and think critically?
Meet Chande is a student at DY Patil School of Management and one of the winners of our Summery program. He thinks that AI is a big problem for young people because "a lot of students in my college use these AI or Chat GPT tools to finish their assignments and projects, which makes them very dependent on them."
He also said, "Students often use these programs without understanding what they're for, and it's killing their creative minds." Saket agreed with Meet and said, "AI should be seen as a tool, not a replacement. We need to use our brains sometimes, and we can't just copy and paste."
The winners said they liked the Free Press Journal's Summery project and were thankful for the opportunity to have their articles published in the newspaper.