Interning in India | The whats, the whys, and the hows
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
I‘m writing this post while laying in the hostel’s bunk bed in the south of India. How did I get here? What am I doing here? Why India?
It all started with me trying to find an internship right after graduating university back in June ‘18. I knew for a fact that I wanted to experience working in the environment I have never worked in before. An unknown country or a far away continent – it didn’t matter. I was so keen on the idea of moving for a certain period of time to a totally unfamiliar place that I immediately started searching for various opportunities online. Needles to say that the first two months did not bring any luck – more than that, the whole process got me feeling frustrated. I started questioning myself and my abilities (which happens naturally in these circumstances).
Over fifty applications and no responses did not make me give up. I wanted it bad enough to keep on looking and eventually did score a few interviews. Not making the cut at the position I thought was the perfect fit for me, it took me a few more tries to be officially accepted to the internship in the place I didn’t expect myself to get to so early in life – Chennai, India.
As for the months leading to me being offered a position in an Indian company, I made a decision to work for a local company in Moldova – both to gain experience in the field and to earn some money. To not sugar-coat anything, I will confess that my job choice was poor. In addition to working for nine hours five days per week, I quickly became uninterested in my everyday activities. Starting with the job position differing from its initial statement and ending with strained relations between me and my boss, I was longing for a change. And, as the most life-changing events tend to occur when you least expect them, I was finally offered a position in a completely different country – India.
It was one of those usual working days in the fall when I got a WhatsApp message inviting me for an interview with an Indian company. Being open to every opportunity coming my way, I instantly agreed. After the interviews was over, I got back to my office and continued working without giving it much thought – I have already had quite a hefty amount of interviews at this point. To my surprise, I received a message saying that I was accepted for the job about an hour later. To say that I was amazed would be an understatement. When applying to this particular opportunity, I did not give it much thought nor consideration. A routine application has worked in my favor. And there I was. Sitting at my work desk not believing my eyes.
Not having much time to brainstorm, I recollect agreeing to it and then coming back home to share the news with my mom. Taking it slow and warming her up to the announcement of an actual country, she at first got scared. A natural feeling to get when your daughter leaves for a third world Asian country, I was patient enough to let that information sink in. What followed the next week or so was me quitting the job I was not satisfied with and starting the visa application process. My mom agreed to accompany me on my trip to an Indian embassy in Romania (for the absence of the one in Moldova) and, as they say, the rest is history.
Did I ever think I will be working in India? I would be lying if I said yes. Did I ever regret accepting the job invitation? Never.
Post Scriptum: I recall reading “Shantaram” written by Gregory David Roberts that same summer and thinking to myself that I will make sure to pay a visit to India at some point in my life. Little did I know my promise to myself would be accomplished only a few months later. The energy you put out in the universe seems to actually come back, guys!