The entire universe of IIM internships !

Alright.
Dear IIM Intern aspirants,
I have been asked a gazillion questions related to the internships in IIM. I have written a big blog on landing an internship in an IIM-but that doesn't cover the aftermath of sending emails. Further, I get a lot of queries related to how to select a domain for internship and which professors would be willing to hire interns.

I will try and cover all these queries in this blog.

1. Choosing an area of interest: The academic areas in IIMs are of many kinds which may seem obscure to all the engineers. You might wonder what's the need for Information Systems in a Business School !

The best way to go about zeroing the areas is to start reading about them a little bit. For example,
1. Google Marketing
2. Find out what it means.
3. Find out the latest trends of marketing.
4. Fun Fact: Go and like pages like "Mad over Marketing" on Facebook. Link: https://www.facebook.com/madovermarketing/
5. Write an email to the professors of marketing telling them how much you know about the field and how you can contribute to the same.

2.Choosing the right professor :

Statutory Warning: Don't start spamming all the professors blindly.

Try and find out the professors who may be willing to hire interns. Easier said than done, right?
Nope.
Easier done than said. I'll tell you how.
Let's say we are looking for professors in IIM-A. Here: https://www.iima.ac.in/web/faculty/faculty-profiles/areawise-list

Marketing>>XYZ Professor.
Click on the profile of any random professor. Click on the research row (if it exists). Find out the areas of research for this professor and think of the ways you can help him in his tasks.

So, for example, if he says Digital Marketing- maybe find out the cool ways in which Social Media is being used for marketing. Ask your professor if he has any such project where you can help him with it.

This process will take a lot of time. Let's say- 3 to 4 days. Take your time; Figure out where you want to intern and drop an email.

Relax. You've done your bit.

3.Times when you shouldn't cry and not pull your hair:

It's been 2 weeks and not a single email in inbox apart from Myntra? Don't lose your cool. Calm down.

The professors in IIMs are super-busy and hiring interns may not be on the top of this list for now. This doesn't mean that you give up on emailing and start fretting. Don't get disdained- this process usually takes a lot of time.

I get a lot of messages on Quora asking me if there's something wrong with the applicant's cover letter or CV. It's not always the case. Sometimes, it will take a lot of time before you get one reply and that may also not be positive. Yep, life can be mean.

Wait till March second week. Till then if you don't convert an internship, maybe call up an uncle who has cool contacts in the manufacturing industry to fix you a Summer Internship in a factory.

Tips: Be nice to the uncle. Greet him with a fervent Namaste/Asalaam-O-Alaikum/Hello. Don't forget to raise your right hand to the temple for a cheery Salaam. You're welcome ! :D .

4.Other ways to get an IIM internship :

Your sister's boyfriend's sister-in-law knows an aunty who is married to an IIM professor? Cool. No hassles.

I have been asked this question in varied forms all zeroing to: Is it ok to get the internship in an informal way?

Absolutely. No doubts about that. But the only problem is that the professor should agree that you're working for him formally and not like his own nephew/niece. Get a letter of recommendation for your works.

But then again, don't pressurise the aunty too much. She might get pissed and the professor maybe in your interview panel for that IIM's interview. Just saying.

5.Stipend:

When I interned in IIM A for the summer of 2014, I had received a stipend of INR 15,000 for two months. I think every professor is entitled to a particular amount of sum for granting these stipends. It's possible that your professor may not be aware of this fact. Therefore, you shouldn't start sweating already. If you are in need of the stipend badly, maybe you can ask him/her.

Don't press too hard for the same- he/she might cancel the offer. Be nice.

6. Accomodation:

There were at least 20 interns in IIM-A in the summer of 2014. We stayed at the student dorms until the session for PGP students started in middle June. After that, we were offered accommodation at the old MDP residence. Nope, this wasn't free. It cost us INR 150/ day.

Well, that's not true for every IIM. They may not be able to provide you with a place to stay inside the campus. Don't whine. India is a big country with a lot of safe places to stay for 2 months.

IIM-A is a super cool place. Go live there once. <3

7.Other tiny doubts and feelings:

A Quora user messaged me saying that the professor who replied to him isn't offering him any stipend or accommodation. He sounded dejected and reflected that this could be because he isn't from any of the IITs/NITs/BITS.

Don't let such negative and baseless thoughts come to you. Nobody cares about your college as long as you're delivering them the work they need. IIM Professors won't care if you're an IITian or a Commerce graduate. At the end of the day, if you can find the 10 business policies that he asked you to, he'll value you.

Always keep that in mind. For everywhere.

I'm attaching a few pictures of my good times in IIM-A. I hope that motivates you more. :)

I would like to think that this article covers on a lot of important topics. If you like it or have a feedback, do drop it in the comments: it would make me really happy.

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Dania Faruqui
Dania Faruqui

Dreamer. Reader. Perpetually confused. NIT Bhopal - IIM Indore.