I am Tanmay Goyal, a 3rd year UG student from Hostel 9 (I have no idea why I thought it was important to mention this, maybe Sushant’s passing has made me appreciate the important things more in life). I hail from Kota, Rajasthan & I am one of the mad few Dumbledore-ish Civil peeps who actually do wish to pursue a career in Civil Engineering itself. I even did an intern last year for the same in a Structural Engineering firm. All my time at IITB, I had people tell me that explore & you will discover who you truly are! I thought that that intern would give me that but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. So instead, I decided to explore more this year. Having been a member of Insight for a year, I realized that creative & content writing was my cup of tea & I wanted to give it a shot.
I sent my profile (with my content works attached) to many organizations & even applied at many internship portals but did not find anything substantial. One day in April, while surfing through LinkedIn, I came across the profile of a Start-up named SBNRI. And they were hiring! Content writers! I applied there & sent over my profile & they accepted me.
I started reading about the firm & what they did. SBNRI is short for ‘Simplifying Banking for NRIs’. SBNRI is a neo-bank with the target base being the NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) residing across the world! Neo-banks are not banks but banking platforms which provide access to banking services for users from the comforts of their homes at a few taps of their smartphones. They connect the user at the front end to the bank at the back end reducing the contact time, saving the commuting time, avoiding all the hassle that is generally associated with offline banking. I was excited to work there as I had the opportunity to learn about Banking & Finance (which I seriously lacked) in addition to doing what has made this lockdown bearable for me (finding an escape route through writing). Getting an intern I wanted also helped restore my confidence a bit as the lockdown can be a little overwhelming especially with the LinkedIn & Facebook feeds filled with people posting about their interns & achievements left, right & center!
In the initial days of the intern, I was given the task of creating, handling & updating SBNRI’s Quora & WhatsApp accounts. But I soon realized what working in a start-up meant. Having a small team of 12 people when I joined (the team has expanded to 16 now), even the interns were included in all the decisions that were made. There was no hierarchy in the team & my opinion was given as much value as that of my Manager or the Head of the Content Team. The fun thing about start-ups is that there is no fixity in what one does. Almost every day, I’m given a new task & my responsibilities have now expanded to Email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium & YouTube. I have even been on calls with NRIs explaining them the procedures of how to open NRI Bank Accounts in Indian Banks. The only thing that I think is missing in my intern though is the on-ground experience of working with like-minded people in a closed environment. The learning would have been exponentially higher had I gotten the opportunity to work offline at their office under their guidance. But we can only control the controllables.
The good thing about working from home is that I can sleep & wake up whenever I want to (yes, my family also objected to this but now they’ve given up) & don’t need to follow a strict corporate schedule. My mother works in BSNL & thus, we have been blessed with good wifi at our home. So, internet connectivity was never an issue for me. But the whole concept of working from home does feel a bit lonely. Thankfully, things are improving in my city & we will be back to normal soon (*fingers crossed*).
The best part of lockdown for me has been to spend quality time with my parents. We watch movies, highlights of old cricket matches, even a couple of web series, play cards, scrabble, all of it, together. I have even learned to do some household chores. This time is difficult but it has given us this one last opportunity to spend time with family before we are thrust into the corporate world & I want to make full use of it.
All in all, this lockdown has been (& by the looks of it, will continue to be so for the foreseeable future), a long, sometimes boring, time which has turned into an enriching experience ever since my intern has started. I have learned to take responsibility, stay true to my deliverables, understood how to give & earn respect in a corporate environment, but most of all, it has helped me grow my writing from that of a frivolous college student to somewhere close to a corporate content writer.
I’ve been asked to give advice to my juniors (lol, right) on how to get a good intern & other nonsense. But I’d rather urge you to make use of this time as best you like while taking care of your mental health because, ‘Of course it’s happening inside your head, but why should that mean that it’s not real?’