Intern Experiences

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A WRITER’S DELIGHT – KANCHI SHAH, EDITORIAL INTERN AT A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
Interning at an internationally known publication is an unparalleled experience, from the learning, to the practical work. Working with the editorial team and getting to know the process of making a men’s fashion magazine couldn’t be more interesting. There is a lot to learn, not only from my seniors but also from my peers and my co-interns. Needless to say, we also have a lot of fun on the job. Working at this magazine has not only improved my writing skills, but also helped me understand the inner working of a publishing house. Eight hours a day, five days a week is definitely not an easy job, but the ambience makes you feel so comfortable that you cannot help but love it! If you are still unsure of what you want to pursue as a career, an internship is an excellent way to figure it out. It got me some great contacts for the future. Along with writing, there was a lot of research work on photographers and writers. It’s not easy coping with college and exams along with a job, but my organisation made it much easier.

Writing is an art that anybody can develop and working at the magazine helped me connect much better with my own skills. It’s my first professional work experience and there is a lot of excitement entering the corporate world and getting acquainted with fashion editors. The environment here is definitely not the type we are used to; it’s more serious, more focused and filled with workaholics. My internship was highly administrative and interns always keep running in and out of the office. We also have fun Fridays in our office. One Friday in a month, we have a fun party after work with food, music and drinks, after which we go home looking forward to the muchawaited weekend!

At this job, I was able to learn a lot about the workings of a publishing house in general, and a magazine in particular. Needless to say, I am trying to make the most of it. An internship gives a student a whole new feeling and experience, along with inculcating a sense of responsibility. Being glued to the computer screen for hours can be tiring, but the knowledge and experience is worth it all. Sure, at times it can get frustrating, but the connections I’ve made, the work I am now capable of handling and the lessons I’ve learnt in networking are rewards I will always cherish.

‘FOXY’ DECISIONS – YASH BHANSALI, DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE AT FOXYMORON
when I turned 18, I really wanted to start working. I wanted to earn, learn and become independent. Since was doing my BCom and my days were relatively free, I wanted to put that time to some productive use. I went ahead and sent my resume to a few companies, but I guess it was in vain, since I received no responses from them. When I heard of FoxyMoron, a social media marketing company, I was very keen to pursue an internship there. With high aspirations, I sent in my resume for the position of Social Media Executive. For starters, to test my abilities, I was asked to complete an assignment. Once the management liked my work, I was called in for an interview. With no real qualification or experience in place, I didn’t have anything to back me at the interview. Somehow, I was quite confident and I went for it with a positive attitude.

Dressed formally in black from head to toe, when I went to Foxy for the first time, it was quite a sight! A bunch of young heads working, spunky interiors and the chilled out atmosphere. It was simply amazing. I was very nervous about the interview, though. I was made to wait for about 15 minutes and saw the people work in a fun manner. After this, I was called in by Harshil Karia, Founder and Online Strategist at the company. I thought it was not a great start since Harshil bluntly told me that my work wasn’t up to the mark. Initially I fumbled, since I didn’t have much to say. But I quickly thought on my feet and was able to sell my idea and concept confidently. Harshil quite liked that about me, since in this field, no idea is a bad idea. A good online strategist is the one who knows how to sell his idea and not just come up with them. Since I was expecting just an internship considering my resume, I was taken aback when I was made a job offer. It was exhilarating to know that I was the youngest employee appointed in Foxy’s history!
Foxy is a chilled-out work place with brilliant minds working in a light atmosphere. All the four bosses seem to be part of the staff. Everyone is really helpful and exceptional in his or her space.
My average day got tough to get through with college in the morning, then office, followed by tutoring in the evening. ButI enjoyed it and it taught me a lot. The experience helped me change several habits too. Building towards a career at such young age will really help me in the long run and that’s my priority as of now.
The work at Foxy was challenging in the start, but I proved to be a quick learner. Once I got the hang of it, I was really up to the mark. On a few occasions, my work was a bit disappointing to my boss, but I came back stronger thanks to his faith in me. In fact, I learnt the most from my team leader. With his brilliant sense of humour and high-level creativity, he was someone amazing to work with throughout the day at work! My interactions with everyone got me well acquainted and I soon became a part of this family at FoxyMoron. Celebrations of birthdays, completion of a number of years with the company for co-workers and other such occasions have left me with fond memories. One of the most memorable times was when my company won an award at the WAT Awards 2012! Celebrations were at their best and everyone was on a high. It was a moment of pride for everyone who worked at FoxyMoron. Although I have been here for just four months, I wish to go a long way with them. I’m Foxy and I know it!

PATIENCE IS THE KEY – AASTHA SHAH, ARTICLE CLERK, NARKAR AND ASSOCIATES
In the profession of chartered accountancy (CA), all the learning is on the job. Like any other subject, theory is very different from practical life. Very often, when you go for an interview, it is assumed that you have all the technical knowledge that you would have got from books while studying for the Integrate Professional Competence Course (IPCC) exams. So when I went for my interview at Narkar and Associates, I was quite nervous, simply because I knew I did not have adequate information. I had done selective study and cleared the exam, so I certainly did not know everything mentioned in the books!
What I thought would be a hindrance turned out to be an advantage for me! My boss was not interested in technical, ‘bookish’ knowledge. He was more interested in the student’s willingness to learn and to accept any work. He asked for my reasons for wanting to work with his firm. I nailed it since I was eager to learn.

Once I was on board, my boss also urged me to learn as much as I could about the field. It was a great experience since it also helped me sort out difficulties about the final exams. He started teaching me from scratch, strengthening my own ideas. I spent three months working alongside a senior learning the ropes and then started attending client meetings by myself. I always had the security of having my boss help out whenever I really needed it. My decision to opt for articles training at a small set-up paid off, since I got exposure to all the aspects of working as a CA. Generally, for any article it is a choice between taxation and audit, but I got to work on both. I had the advantage of learning about the finer aspects of accounting and taxation in a wide variety of set-ups, including a non-profit organisation, the hospitality industry, corporate structures, individuals, etc. This also ensures that the work does not become monotonous, and there is something new and interesting to learn every day.

The articleship is of three years duration, which is a long commitment. My average day is hectic compared to other people’s since I have exams, college and work. The commute on some days is just killing. But that goes for everyone in this profession and not just me. On days that are particularly tiring, (say four hours of commute and 12 hours of work), I remind myself that I chose to become a CA and no one forced me. What works for me though, is that my firm gives more credit to the efficiency factor than the time factor. There are times when you can’t gauge how long an audit will go on. My senior calls the articles daily to be up to date and to resolve any queries that we might have. There is, however, a learning curve, and no spoon feeding!

Working with Narkar and Associates has broadened my knowledge base and made me more responsible. Entering the corporate world at 19 wasn’t easy, it required a lot of adapting. There is a huge difference between what I would have been (if I were not working) and what I am now.

I AM MORE RESPONSIBLE NOW – DEVANSH LAKHANI, CA ARTICLES, C M GABHAWALA & CO
Every aspirant who desires to become a chartered accountant (CA) has to finish practical training called ‘CA articles,’ under the guidance of a practising and certified CA. Once I cleared my first level exam, I came to know about an opening at C M Gabhawala through an instructor. At the interview, I was extremely nervous, since it was my first tryst with the professional world. I had no clue how to conduct myself at the interview, let alone have any idea of what questions would be asked. That was the first hurdle. My mind dwelled on other complications like not knowing what to do when assigned a task. But I decided to take it one step at a time. I drew my confidence from the fact that I cleared the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) exams in both groups in the first attempt, and that is no mean feat when the percentage of students passing the exams is as low as 20.63.

After the interview, I had a mixed reaction to my performance. Some questions were googlies, which I had no clue about and had to dodge, whereas others went quite smoothly. Apart from my academic pursuits, I was asked about unexpected things, like my interest in sports, my father’s business, my mother’s occupation and so forth. I was overjoyed when I learned that I had made it!
My initial anxiety was lessened by my senior, who made me comfortable by introducing me to the staff. The best part was that I got on the job immediately when I was sent on an audit with a colleague. Within two days, I learnt a lot, including the basics of an accounting software, Tally.
Like any newcomer, initially I did not know anyone, but gradually got introduced to my colleagues formally through work, and informally over lunch breaks, eventually developing strong bonds of friendship with them. My seniors were co-operative and friendly and always ready to step up and teach the articles. The last seven months have been very adventurous with a steep learning curve and experience of the tax deadline crunch around September.

Working in the industry has really changed my outlook towards many aspects in life. It has taught me how to deal with clients, how to talk to them and present myself, how to resolve their queries, and how to take on responsibilities. When I go on audits to large companies, I get to learn about their businesses and get a chance to interact with employees at several levels and with the directors. I learn about working ethically and with coordination and cooperation, which cannot be taught or learnt in theory. Book knowledge is essential, but practical experience takes one to another world in terms of learning. On a lighter side, I learnt a lot about Marathi, a language that I was not well-versed in, by interacting with the employees of different companies. A major personal change that has occurred is that I wear formals everyday!
Now that I think of it, work has become a part of my life. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a holiday if I left my work incomplete. This is the responsibility and organisation that this internship has brought to my life. I must say that it’s not all work and no play. My firm participates in activities like cricket matches and I thoroughly enjoy them!

Volume 1 Issue 11

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