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Stories from the experienced about How to get First Internship, First job, First GSOC, Win Hackathons


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Thank you, Nishtha - for doing this! Here’re some questions that I believe could add value to someone who’s looking at this post.

What is your background and What are you currently doing?

Besides being a full time learner and a curious soul, I am Nishtha Sethi, a junior year student at the University of Delhi. I am majoring in Economics with a minor in Computer Science. I am a voracious reader and a startup enthusiast.

Tell us about how did you grab your Winter Internship @ IIM A and what was your experience with that?

I stumbled across an opportunity to attend Winter School 4.0 by RTERC(Right To Education Resource Centre), IIMA in December 2017. The selection process was highly competitive with over 250 applicants from all over India. I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the 65 candidates invited at IIMA. The theme of the Winter School was Public Policy and Affirmative Action. The discussions around participatory research, reforms in primary education, alternative learning pedagogies and emancipation of the poor really fascinated me and drove me to pursue a practicum on understanding the schooling preferences of households. It was a really enriching experience as a fresher!

Tell us a bit about HPAIR and How did you become a delegate in that?

HPAIR (Harvard College Project For Asian International Relations) is an international student conference conducted twice a year with the objective of inspiring a global narrative. It brings together students and young professionals from as many as 90 countries. The conference strengthens the ties of the Western World with the emerging Asian economies.

A friend of mine whom I also consider to be a mentor was a delegate at HPAIR 2018 Asia Conference. His takeaways from the conference were so inspiring that I wanted to apply too. I applied as a Delegate in the Global Markets and Economy Track for HPAIR 2019. It was a matter of profound pride to be accepted as a delegate at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA.

Do you think there’s any change in your worldview after becoming HPAIR delegate?

Ofcourse!! HPAIR has challenged several stereotypes I held about the west. It has enabled me to develop a better understanding of capital markets and sluggish giants. I had the privilege to interact with delegates from China and debate on the future of East Asian economies!! The speakers were industry leaders, renowned academics and young founders. Each of them brought something new to the table.

Do you recommend College Grads to join HPAIR program?

I strongly recommend every aspiring leader to attend HPAIR. It’s truly an experience of a lifetime :)

While your graduation is in 2020, You’ve done another Internship in Business Development. What motivates you to constantly go beyond your academics and look for things?

Although I am a staunch believer of studying hard and smart, I have come to realise that textual knowledge alone is not enough to produce employable individuals. It is extremely important to keep learning new skills and adapt to change. As students, we all have ample time to explore domains and discover our true calling. My way of exploring is through internships and attending bootcamps.

How do overcome when your Internship applications are rejected if any?

I have discovered a simple formula-Apply Reject Apply Reject Apply Reject Apply Select. There are many occasions when I don’t hear back from companies or get rejected but I take that in my stride and work upon all of my shortcomings to get better someday :) It’s a journey of trial and error. I am still figuring out and I believe everyone can if I can.

Who’s your inspiration? - If any

I am a huge admirer of Steve Jobs for his tenacity, shrewd business acumen and marketing genius. He had an uncanny ability to be brutally honest and unapologetic simultaneously. It enabled him to do away with B players and create a team of A players. I hope to emulate that….

What’s the road ahead of you after Graduation?

At 19, I have a broad vision of my future goals. I want to be a part of the entrepreneurial circuit. However, I am not sure if it would be as a founder/consultant/advisor or maybe a manager. I want to take my time and test my ideas before I zero in on a career path. I had started a venture that aimed to create self cleaning toilets. It didn’t work out but the experience is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. I also advise my batchmates to keep experimenting with fields before taking up a job!

Do you have any other message to send out to other College Students like you?

“You’re you and that is your unique power.” Please don’t settle for mediocrity. Hustle to find opportunities and hone your skills. Dream big and work consistently. There’s no goal that’s unachievable. Decide and give it your all. You would be surprised by the results…..


On behalf of FreshGrads.Info Community, Thank you very much Nishtha for doing this, This is an enormous learning and inspiration. You can contact Nishtha Sethi on Linkedin.

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