How to get internships in the early years of a degree?

Answering the most asked question from college students with the most short and crisp content possible.

2/16/20243 min read

In the first year of my degree, I started making money by finding an opportunity. My peers were hanging out all the time because it was online mode enabled (year 2020). Lockdowns were everywhere, and education took a back seat for many, especially their self-interest. In the second semester, a subject gave us an overview of 3D Modeling. I started digging into it more, which resulted in some NFTs and projects I built myself. When we had our class assignments, my peers used to panic and we usually get only 20 minutes to build a 3D model and showcase it in the next 10 minutes.

I got an opportunity and started charging people to design their 3D Models and safeguard them from class assignment lower circuits :)

On this road, I got a triggering point to test myself more now, I should be in a startup gaining experience in how a startup is run. There are only 2 ways to get something out of your life: own a product or build a product.

I started scrolling down by which I built the product closely and also got more one-on-one conversations with the founders. I started researching about high return on time investment internships and got one in the first year of my degree.

Fast forwarding it to my last year of the degree, 7 internships completed, a startup with fundraising, 30+ projects core involvement. I have curated platforms and strategies to get internships in your early stage :

  1. Decide what you want.

    If you are more finance-oriented, you must not to internships right away, first gain knowledge and then sharpen it to your skill set. After gaining a strong skill, polish it with your projects and shoot for a high-paying internship.

    If you just want to learn, bet on the Indian Startup Ecosystem. Get an internship in a super early startup, where you will be building something from scratch and you will be gaining a hell lot of experience.

  2. Platforms/advice to get internships in the early days

    • LinkedIn: You can prefer LinkedIn network over job options because you don't even have half of the requirements fulfilled listen under Job sections, there are jobs flooded in LinkedIn job options and millions are applying for it. I prefer whichever university you are in, start connecting with your alumni over LinkedIn and ask for referrals (you must have a singular skillset to get hired)

    • Campus Ambassadors: Check out campus ambassador internships, the job role is not that vast but you are early in the corporation and you need to learn and grow. Campus Ambassador is just a role where you promote a company's services and products in your college while learning how to form a community and engagement. This will give you high-end clarity about the business you are promoting and the WHY behind it, WHY my college students should buy it. Where you will get this kind of internship: Internshala, Hirect, and LinkedIn. Go to LinkedIn and search campus ambassador + company name you are looking for

    • Organizations and clubs: Join clubs in your college/university. The majority of clubs are shit, don't focus on volunteering more into it, and don't invest time in college communities because there will be like-minded people like you and the same stage as you are in. You are hunting for an internship in the early days because to escape the queue, you must not invest more time with the same crowd as you more, you must invest more time with people who have more experience than you. So why I am stating that you must join a college club or organization? The main reason for it is - 'Any of it's alumni must be in a good place where you want to be', expand your network and get into any organization for just a reason - LEARN!!!!

    • Mail direct CEOs: Yes, but wait for a second, let me explain how and whom: Look for early startup founders, for example, if an IIT alumni started a startup, he must look for high-quality people on the above panel and because it is a startup so budget may be tight, rather than hiring a fully time marketing people, he must shoot for interns or an agency. You can check out Crunchbase to keep a check on which company has been established in the past 1 or 2 years and LinkedIn can be used to get their mail IDs and profiles. Start sending them emails and your USP so they can get aware of your contribution and the importance that can play a role in their company.

    • Check Market Winds very well: When I was hunting for an internship it was 2020, and I was very well aware of where the money was flowing - EdTech and FinTech. I was an early intern of Fello - India's fastest-growing saving platform today and was hired by the School of Accelerated Learning as a student partner. You should know where the money flow is happening, wherever the long-term money flow is coming from FIIs, it must be a growing area for the next 2-5 years and if you join now then your growth can be incredible.

I hope you got some insights and wish you the best in getting an internship.

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