Know It All - 101 Questions About Internships

Is doing an internship mandatory? Would you be paid as a first year intern?

Internships form the crux of our graduation and career. But we all have certain questions that remain unanswered regarding internships. So here’s your go-to guide for internship related questions - from your pay to your documents, we have it all covered in this 101 Q&A about internships.

Students working on internship project

Q.1 What is an internship?

A. An internship is work training for a temporary period of time at an organisation.

Q.2 Who is an intern? A. Anybody who works on a temporary tenure with the organisation is an intern.

Q.3 What do interns do? They work for the organisation, as per the role or project given to them.

Q.4 Can you be an intern? A. An intern needs to have the essential skills required for the successful completion of the project assigned. If you have the requisite skills, go ahead.

Q.5 Do interns get paid? A. Yes they do. Unpaid internships are an exploitation of an intern's effort and time that they invest in an internship.

Q.6 What is a summer internship? A. An internship you do in the summers, May-July is termed a summer internship. It is usually pursued after completing your even semester exams.

Q.7 What is a winter internship? A. Winter internships are pursued in November-January, when the temperature drops and the odd semester exams end.

Q.8 What is an internship project? A. An internship project is the one you work on during your internship tenure.

Q.9 How to find an internship? A. Use SwitchIdea if you are looking for verified internships as per your custom availability, location and domain. Else, you can browse online, contact HR managers of companies or seek your friends/neighbours/relative's help.

Q.10 As a first year UG student, can you get an internship? A. An internship is meant for students enrolled in a university programme, having relevant skills for the position. If you have the skills, you can get an internship, irrespective of the year of studies.

Minimum grade requirement for internship

Q.11 What are the minimum grade requirements to apply for internships? A. Irrespective of your academic performance, internships can be applied for as long as you have the requisite skills. For example, Candidate A has a strong CGPA but no knowledge of WordPress. Candidate B has an average CGPA, and knows the go-to-essentials about blogging and Wordpress. In this case, Candidate B will be preferred by an employer over Candidate A.

Q.12 What are some common skills required for internships? The skills required vary from role to role. For example, you may be required to know HTML/CSS for a web development internship, while SEO knowledge and language proficiency can help you with a blogging internship.

Q.13 Where to acquire these skills from? A. While you may learn some at your college, due to syllabus and time constraints you may have to look for other options. Otherwise, you can look for nearby meet ups in your city (recommended), or you can try online courses at Alison, Coursera etc, among various MOOCs from MIT and Harvard.

Q.14 Where to look for internships online? A. You can consult with your Training & Placement department about getting an internship in your course, or network with your college alumni to search one. Additionally, there are a number of online portals for helping you get an internship. Use SwitchIdea if you are looking for verified internships as per your custom availability, location and domain. Or you can create an account on other free portals and look for internships.

Q.15 What do you call the person you intern for? A. Employer. As an intern, you work for the employer who offers you the role in the organisation.

Q.16 Do you have to pay for your internship? A. No! The employer pays you for the work, you do not (and shouldn't).

Q.17 Do interns who are still pursuing their degree get paid? A. Yes. Interns are mostly college students, and they get paid for the work they do.

Q.18 What is meant by internship details? A. Internship details brief about the duration, dates of application, stipend, location of work and the position offered. (See example below)

Internship Details

Q.19 Where does an intern go to work at? A. As an intern, you get to work from the office of the organisation (recommended). While 'work from home internships' allow you to stay home and work on internship project virtually.

Q.20 How long is an internship? A. The duration of an internship is usually 4-8 weeks. The duration is usually mentioned in the internship’s details.

Internships in India

Q.21 Is an internship a job? A. No, an internship is not a job. An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called interns, to work at a firm for a fixed, limited period of time. Interns are usually undergraduates or students. As an intern you are offered this position to work for the organisation for a short period of time, while job is a full time commitment.

Q.22 When can one apply for an internship? A. Internship applications are rolled out usually in the months of September-January for winter internships, and in April-July for summer internships. However, many internships can be applied to during other times of the year too, depending on the availability of the student.

Q.23 Why should you be an intern? A. In July 2017, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar stated that it is mandatory for students in technical courses to be involved in at least 3 internships during their course also otherwise an internship helps you in getting the necessary exposure from the industry.

Q.24 Do you need permission from your college for doing an internship? A. Yes, you need permission in the form of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the college, signed by the HOD or training and placement head.

Q.25 Which documents do you need to submit before an internship? A.The NOC from college, along with your CV needs to be submitted. Additionally, you may be asked to submit a letter of recommendation and statement of purpose.

Q.26 What is a CV? A. Curriculum vitae (CV) is a brief account of your grades, skills, courses, work experience etc. over the years.

Q.27 Should I add my phone number to the CV? A. Yes you should. The employer can contact you for the internship on the contact details provided. So make sure the you mention your correct phone number and email address.

Q.28 Should there be a summary about myself? A. Yes, preferably. When adding a summary about yourself in the CV, briefly mention about your grades, courses, skills, work experience etc.

Q.29 Should the career objective be related to the position applied for? A. Yes, write the career objective which is identifiable with the position you are applying for.

Q.30 Do your class 10 grades need to be specified? A. Mention your class 10 grades, year of passing and the board in CV.

Q.31 How about the class 12/diploma grades? A. Yes, you should mention class 12 grades, year of passing and the board.

Q.32 I have done some courses. Should I add them? A. Definitely! If you have certificates which can be verified, they add value to your CV, so yes, add them.

Internships in Mumbai

Q.33 Should I mention the grades obtained in them? A.Yes, write the grades and the year you pursued the courses in.

Q.34 Do I need to add the work experience as well? A. If you have prior work experience, write about that. Do mention the dates along with it.

Q.35 I have done voluntary work. Should I add that? A. Yes, voluntary work should be added to the CV as well. For example, if you were a part of the c