Internships are prerequisites for jobs in India today. Whether you attribute this trend to increase in competitiveness or blame it on overpopulation, internships have entrenched themselves as precursors to jobs in every field.
Medicine, law, journalism, IT and in fact, every private sector job opening requires the completion of one or more internships before the offer of a job comes your way.
I know this because I interned at two national newspapers, two magazines, a regional television news channel, a web news channel and a Public Relations agency before landing my first job. That’s seven internships in five years of my under-graduate and post-graduate studies. I don’t mean to brag but these internships are what put me ahead of the competition at the various companies I applied to.
My grades, which one would call less than average in this age of 98% and 99% requirements, waned before the versatility I exhibited through my various internships in the media industry.
Today, the requirement of industries are not marks and grades; it is the ability to multi-task and perform roles above and beyond what one is hired for. And it is this test one has to pass.
Of the seven internships listed above, I had a disappointing experience at only one. And this too was only because my potential wasn’t fully realized due to mismanagement and faulty delegation of authority.
This account may sound one sided but it is diluted by the fact that I received recommendations by every other place I went to. You see, that’s why I actually have a job as a journalist today.
Yesterday, one vengeful intern, whose job included purchasing stationery equipment for the company and brewing a cup of coffee, left a brutal note for his former boss. The post has gone viral on Reddit and doesn’t strike me as a very palatable idea.
Bad experiences are part of internships but one has to learn not to overreact to them in the spectacular way that this person has, whose note to his/her boss speaks of unmitigated hatred and revenge for unrealized potential.
The only thing such behavior does is damage one’s reputation in the particular industry, especially if it is a regional one.
Today, all professionals as well as managements of industries are connected to each other like never before. It doesn’t take time for word of such unprofessional behavior to reach the ears of a prospective employer.
I have seen more than one career destroyed by such revenge tactics and lack of self-discipline.
That the management fails to realize the potential of an intern is one thing, getting revenge for the same is another. There is no excuse whatsoever for an intern, who hasn’t yet stepped into an industry, to behave like he/she knows better than the boss, even if they might.
Interns are known to be treated like second-class workers in many places but you don’t hear of incidences such as this one taking place.
Patience is a virtue that many bosses like to test in their prospective employees and tactics such as these are not novel.
What an intern has to learn is to bear the burden of the internship with as much grace and poise as one can, talk to the boss or just go intern somewhere else if the situation doesn’t improve.
Retaliating like this does not affect the employer in any way; in fact the intern just proves that he/she wasn’t right for a place at that company. But it can and usually has a huge impact on their future prospects.