In 2018, DLRC hosted an internship fair, wherein, various companies participated and shared who they were, what they did, and what their requirements were. Among the many firms, one of them stood out for me - Robominds. Robominds is an organization founded in 2013 by Prakalpa and Chris Bastianpillai, to provide hands-on learning experience for children through the latest robotics technology. It is their vision for Robominds to be recognized as a leader in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education through robotics, along with nurturing an innovative mind-set.
I began working there in my summer break of 2018, and soon found out that it was more than just an internship for me. I started as a blogger and photographer for 2 weeks, and found it very stimulating. Soon I began coaching 6-10 year old kids despite never having any prior knowledge or experience in the field, and even got the chance coach for competitions!
What did my internship teach me? It taught me how to manage my academics, extra-curriculars, work, and social life. By being exposed to the real world and understanding how to battle and manage real world situations, involving working and communicating with veterans and business leaders, my internship formed an integral part of shaping me.
As students of DLRC, we can participate in two types of internships; a compulsory on-campus internship and voluntary off campus internship. On-campus internships were started to familiarize and equip students with suitable work ethics, which would be an asset and a skill building tool while applying to college or to other companies. They enable students to think creatively right from choosing the internship that would help them gain the best experience, besides being closest to their other interests.
Each internship option is led by a facilitator who guides students in the nuances of delivering quality and timely work. The delegated tasks amplify students’ strengths and interests, alongside work on their gaps. Weekly, students engage for 1-2 hours in tasks that range from tending to the gardens, to creating pieces for outreach. And for those who put their best foot forward, DLRC awards recognition in the form of an internship letter, which helps students stand out in their college applications.
Besides these learning opportunities, the more enterprising students have the option to take off-campus internships with organizations that are led by the parents from the community. These are either long term internships or summer internships, depending upon the student’s zeal to learn and their ability to work under the guidance of people who have done wonders in the professional world.
Through these internship opportunities, students learn the importance of time and task management, which are skills they can utilize to balance their academic, extracurricular, work, and social life. Moreover, it teaches them the business etiquettes and soft skills such as collaboration, diligence and hard work when dealing with senior professionals.
I know I learned all this, and much more. My internships not only populated my portfolio, but they taught me to be more mature, deal with time-crunched issues and find tangible solutions. But most importantly they taught me to be a responsible, mindful, independent, compassionate and critical thinker.
- By Avishi Dalmia