“ The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

This famous quote by Mark Twain is something one should live by, for any task, big or small. 

Just like jobs, internships also form a part of our life. These are usually the precursor to jobs and getting good internships can lead to better job offers. Not only that, it is the best way to learn and implement theoretical knowledge practically, as a student, and also get paid to do it!

When do you know you are ready to step into the field?

The thing is, you don’t. You just jump right in and learn on the way. Nobody is “prepared” for what they sign up for, no matter how much they learn about it. The best way is to get your feet wet. 

So, let’s first take a look at the different types of internships: Unpaid and Paid Internships. 

Unpaid Internships are a good way to get experience before you graduate. A lot of smaller companies or startups do give these internships and while they may not have a stipend, the work provided is quite educational. This, however, does depend on the kind of work they do and what your position in the company will be.  

Paid Internships, on the other hand, will provide you with a stipend, and if it is a big company, then a few company benefits are added on it as well.

So, how do you get started?

Well, there are a few pointers:

GPA, Branch and Year

One of the first criterias that internships follow is the GPA. Most companies have a minimum GPA criteria which is strictly followed. The other strictly followed criteria is the branch or stream of the student applying, and the final one is the year that the student is studying in.

For example: In a Software Development Internship, the job may only be open to students who have a Computer Science or IT background, with a minimum GPA of 7/10 and is in their pre-final year of Engineering.

Basic Qualifications

This contains the basic needs for this position. Mostly  it would contain topics which you have been taught in college already. The key is to be proficient in those said topics.

Online Tests: 

Next, are the online tests. If you fulfil the first criteria, then the next step is to apply for the position and sit for an online test. These tests depend on the position and the hiring criteria set. Some companies may not have this step, and may directly move on the next step, Interviews, based solely on your resume.


Interviews are solely there to test your skills and to check if you are a good fit for the position. Building projects is a good way to build these skills. They may be solo projects, group projects or those that were made for hackathons. Interviewers are usually interested to know if you have any prior experience, based on the basic qualifications mentioned in the job description. A few good projects in your resume beats having many projects with no value. 

Once you qualify these interviews, you are set for your first internship.

Now, let’s move on where you can find these internships.

There are a lot of applications such as LetsIntern and Mentro, that keep updating with new positions that have been made available for hiring interns. LinkedIn is another good source for finding internships. There are pages that have been created solely for this purpose, and a lot of company professionals also put up posts when internships are made available at their companies. 

Another good way to keep track is to make a list of companies you would like to intern for, based on your own research, senior’s advice and also based on the hiring criteria, and use the search option, on LinkedIn, with the company name and the words, ‘intern’ and ‘hiring’, alongside it to make your work easier. 

I hope this helped make your internship search a little bit easier. Sometimes, it might take longer than it does, for your friends. But persevere, because as G.K Nelson once said, “Successful People are not gifted. They just work hard and succeed on purpose.” 

Wish you the very best for a successful first internship.

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