Mona Gandhi, Founder, Upraised

With over 10 years of Silicon Valley experience building consumer tech products that reached 100M+ users, Mona Gandhi took the plunge in 2019 to start her own company – Upraised. At Upraised, she’s tackling the problem of employability for the youth of India. Prior to this, Mona was at Airbnb for 7 years, splitting time across US & APAC markets. Fun fact: She joined Airbnb in 2011 as the first female engineer. She’s also an active angel investor. Mona holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from DJ Sanghvi College in Mumbai and a M.S from Indiana University.

 

The dynamics of corporate culture have changed manifolds in the post COVID world. The Indian startups industry is ever evolving and has raised a record $10 billion in the first half of 2021, with 16 additions to the club of unicorn companies, valued at $1BN or more.

With the future of startups so bright there is a constant need for talent that is skilled and ready to learn on the job. But getting that dream job and a fat-paycheck is not as easy as it sounds.  Skills are today as pertinent to the growth of an individual as having an impressive degree or a portfolio. However, just having a good degree is no longer sufficient to secure that important job offer in today’s world.

When it comes to building a strong career, the very first step for any individual should be to learn while being on the job. And that is only possible via internships that not only allow you to deep-dive into the corporate culture but also instills a sense of self-confidence before you take that first step towards growth in a job.

1. Internships prepare you in advance for the real world

The concept of internship started a long time ago but has drastically evolved over the years. When you send your CV to a company today for a job, your work experience, even if it is for a couple of weeks, matters. Hands-on knowledge alters the probability of getting the job to a large extent and internships help you gain that real-life exposure and determine whether you are in the right career field. Additionally, it is an excellent learning curve since it allows the young graduates and students to work with professionals and create networks that will be helpful in the future.

2. Networking is critical and internships make it possible for you

For a strong career foundation, networking is critical. Internships help you make acquaintances with the right set of people even before you graduate. For many, it can be a stepping-stone in securing a real job in the same organization where they have interned. Different people have different ways of working in an office, and regular face-to-face communication allows you to understand people better and craft your skills as per the requirements of the team. You will also get to understand how they tackle challenges at the workplace, what strategies they use to churn out effective output and get the job done. You can make use of their strategies, change them according to the situation in the long run.

3. Want to learn more about your professional self; internships help you do that

Being a team player is as critical as knowing your job. Today organizations are judged on their working cultures and many of these ensure that they have a conducive working environment. Learning people skills is essential because eventually, you will be part of a team while working in an office. If you are not a good team player and do not know the art of collaborative work, you won’t stand a chance to succeed in your professional job. Internships allow you to understand people and yourself effectively since you will be facing new people and new challenges every day. The experience you will get from handling challenges as an intern will be very useful to talk about in future interviews and showcase your abilities to the employer.

4. Internships help you get that competitive edge over others

You can easily up your game and stand out from the crowd if you have learned well during your internship. Getting the right and required hands-on knowledge gives you a competitive edge over others. Today the market is competitive and also evolving at the same time. Employers want smart and multi-skilled candidates who are eager to contribute effectively in the growth of their organization. An internship is the best way to provide you with an experience that will help make employers notice you as well as making them realize that you will be the right fit for the job.  It also helps in showcasing your professional side and your passion to acquire experience outside the college or university.

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