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L.Srikumar Pai
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By S. Sowmya: Interning while studying is the best way to learn about sectors you are passionate about.

This summer was one of the most memorable ones for me. For one, there were no exams or assignments to worry about. And two, it’s not every day you get paid to do the job you love.

Money-Wizards is an IIM-B alumni start-up, which imparts financial literacy to all. It conducts summer camps in Chennai for school children, wherein they learn all about money management.

Everything from budgets to business strategies are taught to the kids by a competent camp trainer. And yes, that was me.

After an informal interview with my mentor cum boss over a cuppa, I was selected. And that was my cloud nine moment! I couldn’t wait to brag about it to my friends. But there was more to my internship than I had ever imagined. It was not merely an opportunity to boast about, but it meant responsibility. Shouldering real responsibility and taking initiatives.

Reporting on time (unlike bunking or turning up late for classes in college), presenting myself as a professional (instead of coming across as the usual happy-go-lucky-student), effectively teaching kids about financial planning (unlike messing up during seminars) — the transition from a carefree college student to a responsible intern was life changing.

Teaching was one of my passions and my stint with Money Wizards honed my teaching skills. I also gained many insights into the world of finance and business, and that has enriched my own financial knowledge and understanding.

Apart from the learning, this internship gave me friends for a lifetime and some happy moments.

The thrill of receiving my first stipend, feeling over the moon when being appreciated by the mother of a student, laughing and cracking jokes in class with my students…Such moments made my internship.

Following are some tips which I believe will be useful for students looking for internships:

* Firstly, identify the sector you want to work in. If you are an engineering student, go for app and web development internships. In case you are a student of law, then intern at a legal consulting agency. You could also take up internships in sectors, which are different from the one you are in--Like pursuing a fashion designing course and working as a content writer for an online magazine. Remember that this gives you an opportunity to plunge into hitherto unexplored avenues.

* Most of the internships require the applicants to take a written test and/or an interview. So, do enough research on the designation and the organisation you want to work with, beforehand, apart from being well versed in your stream.

* Interning while studying is the best way to learn about sectors you are passionate about. They help you to discover your interests, strength and weakness. No doubt internships look great on your resume and might even double up as a pre-placement offer, but they should mainly be seen as a platform to learn rather than merely a chance to earn.

Good luck, folks!

III Year B.Com, SNDB Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai

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