Internships in the COVID-19 era

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Internships

COVID-19 pandemic has put India in front of a mass of challenges. Businesses, schools, working professionals, and every other societal and economic aspect of the country has been affected by the same. We are all dynamically adapting to the situations dictated by the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools and colleges are closed rendering students to stay at home and continue their education virtually. All the companies are closed and forced to either function remotely or stay out of business due to the infeasibility of the job.

The months from April to July are traditionally called the internship season for the student community. However, due to COVID-19, a lot of companies aren’t able to hire the summer interns or onboard the hired ones. Many companies had to either postpone or cancel their summer internship programmes due to the outbreak while many have decided to turn their internship into virtual internship opportunities. Tech giants such as Facebook and Google have also recently turned their summer internships into virtual internship programmes.

This uncertainty around the internships during COVID-19 has affected thousands of college students across India. Many of them had internship offers that are cancelled due to the pandemic while many others were looking forward to the summer season to find internship opportunities. Now, the immediate question which arises is how do students navigate through these times and find the best of internship opportunities.

There are two major scenarios for aspiring interns right now:

  1. They secured their summer internships but were not able to join: As many of the companies cancelled their internship programmes, many students lost their internship opportunities. Here, an important thing to understand is that these are testing times and they will have to adapt their strategies as per the current situation. The students faced with this situation could try to speak with their recruiter and understand if the internship could be turned into a virtual working opportunity. They could make their case in front of the employer as to how their internships can be altered into virtual opportunities and state their competence to work virtually.

If this isn’t possible for any reason, these candidates also involuntarily fall into the second category. Let’s talk about that now.

  1. They were planning to find and pursue internships in the summer season: On one hand, where businesses are not hiring and onboarding new interns right now, many businesses have switched to remote working. They are now hiring and mentoring their interns virtually. Now, it can be extremely difficult for the students to keep a track of all the organisations which are hiring currently. Here, the best bet they have is by finding internships through online portals where they can conveniently find relevant work-from-home internships and apply to them.

Some of the popular work-from-home internship profiles available for students from various backgrounds are as follows:

  • Engineering students — Popular internship profiles include web development, programming, machine learning, data science, data analytics, and Python development.
  • Degree (BSc, BA, Bcom) students — Popular internship profiles include content writing, social media marketing, teaching, business development, marketing, and operations
  • Management students — Popular internship profiles include business development, marketing, digital marketing, human resources, operations, and finance.

Important Announcement – EasyShiksha has now started Online Internship Program “Ab India Sikhega Ghar Se” during this lockdown.

Another important thing to understand is that with the continuously changing circumstances in the COVID-19 era, the competition to grab the best of internships has also increased exponentially. This makes it extremely necessary for the candidates to work harder on their internship applications and make their candidature stand out. Here are a few things they could do for the same:

  1. Customise their resume and application according to the organisation and the internship: Customisation stands true for applying to internships and jobs irrespective of any situation. A custom resume and application represents the sincerity and job fitness of the aspiring candidate. A student can customise her application by highlighting relevant skills, projects, and experiencing for the internship of interest.
  2. Highlight their competence to work virtually: To work remotely, one must possess skills like high ownership and adaptability. In addition to this, they must have a good sense of time management. The candidate must highlight these skills with relevant examples to establish their competence for the virtual internship. In addition to this, they must also cite an example of hard work from their previous internship, a college project, or participation in any competition or event.
  3. Get acquainted with relevant tools: In order to navigate a work-from-home internship, it is necessary that a candidate is well acquainted with tools like Trello, Teamwork, Google Drive, Dropbox, Skype, and other tools like Google Hangouts Meet, Slack, Team Viewer, and Zoom. These tools help one in managing their work and coordinate with the team.

About the Author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and training platform

Top 3 work from home skills employees could learn to boost their career post – COVID lockdown

COVID-19 has brought drastic changes in the learning pattern and work culture. The culture of telecommuting is rising with the biggest organisations of the world successfully operating online. While India was gradually accepting the concept of work from home culture and flexible working hours, this lockdown has made organisations realise that employees could be equally or more productive when they are provided with the liberty of remote working and flexible working hours.

Regardless of the field, the work culture of most of the organisations would change after everything normalises. Organisations might partially or wholly adopt the work from home culture as it helps in cost-cutting, saves resources, and is environment friendly. The demanded skill-set, hiring trends, and work practices would also change accordingly. However, not everyone has the skills required to work from home and acquiring those is not an easy task. Utilising this time to upskill and reskill would help you grow in your existing roles or would help you explore new opportunities with more dynamic and adaptive organisations that can guarantee job security during such difficult times.

Some of the most in-demand work from home skills which can help in your career advancement post lockdown include —

  1. Web development —

Every organisation that operates online trades with its target customers through a website. During the lockdown, ed-tech firms, game makers, online grocery stores, online cleaning services providers, and other home delivery services have flourished. Even the local supermarket chains have now come online to ensure that they could safely deliver essentials in their cities or localities. The trend of choosing online services post lockdown would continue as people would avoid social gatherings. In such a situation, web development will offer great career opportunities as more organisations would want a website to operate.

Learning web development would help you master the art of developing, designing, and managing a website for different companies while sitting at home. Through an online web development training, you will learn HTML & CSS to build well-structured web pages, Bootstrap to develop responsive web pages, SQL to write queries and manage information, and PHP to perform operations and build functional logic. With this skill, you could start sharing exciting inputs with your organisation’s existing web development team, could find opportunities as a freelancer, and build websites for different clients, or could start your own online business from scratch.

  1. Content Writing —

Content writing involves ideating, planning, writing, editing, and proofreading content for the web. Articles, blogs, home page content, marketing campaign content, and scripts for organisation’s videos, radio, or podcasts are a few major things that content writers work on. This is one of the most in-demand skills for which employers mostly hire freelancers and virtual interns. Content attracts the target audience to an organisation’s website which ultimately helps in increasing their sales and revenue. More companies would gradually start online functions after lockdown leading to an increase in the requirement of professional content creators.

Enrolling in an online creative writing training would be the best way to begin your journey as a content writer. You would develop your observational skills and understand how to find ideas to write. You will strengthen your command on fictional and non-fictional writing, screenplay and advertising writing, and will learn to create crisp, coherent, and error-free content. Through content, you could start writing from home for any industry of your interest such as automobile, sports, manufacturing, education, healthcare, and information technology, or could start your own blog.

  1. Digital marketing —

Digital marketing is an umbrella term comprising multiple internet marketing concepts. It is the art of marketing an organisation’s offerings through a blog, email, or social media, and other digital platforms available to connect with the existing and potential customers. It involves pay per click, SEO, content marketing, social media campaigns, affiliate marketing, email marketing, inbound marketing, and so on. It is the easiest, most efficient, effective, and affordable way to reach the target audience breaking all geographical boundaries. Imagining a world without digital marketing is impossible for companies as they could not sustain the cut-throat competition and increase their visibility in the market without it. The need for digital marketers is booming exceptionally bringing great work from home career opportunities for skilled professionals.

You could enrol in an online digital marketing training and can learn multiple concepts such as blogging and analytics, online advertising – search, display, and video, social media marketing, ORM & automation, and mobile marketing. After getting skilled in digital marketing, you could work from home in different roles such as digital marketing manager, social media executive/manager, PPC/SEM expert, email marketing manager, analytics manager, and CRM manager. You could contribute to your existing organisation’s online marketing practices or could also start working as a remote freelancer for different companies.

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