|Smell the coffee: Cafes often offer summer jobs to students
Oyeeshi Ghosh took her board exams in March this year and her results will probably very soon. Instead of spending the two-month break in leisurely pursuits, Oyeeshi decided to take up a full-time job at Music World in Park Street, Calcutta. “It’s not just an issue of earning some pocket money. I can always get that from my parents. This job has given me an exposure to work life and has helped me grow as a person,” says the 18-year-old from Modern High School, after a hard day’s work at the till.
Oyeeshi is just one of those career-driven youngsters of today who want to start earning early in life in whatever little way they can. They are willing to grab any opportunity, be it a part-time job or a summer internship, which will help them achieve their career goals and earn some fast bucks.
Take 22-year-old management student Saurabh Gupta who’s doing a summer job with the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Delhi, for a modest Rs 750 a month. But money is hardly an issue for this Delhi University student. “I am getting a real corporate experience interacting with clients, attending meetings and making drafts,” says Gupta, who is working in the regulatory division of TERI. His work in the department mainly deals with pension reform funds, a subject that is related to his course ' master in business economics at Delhi University.
Ritu Tanwar, 20, too chose to work as a volunteer with Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), for the kind of exposure it offers on environmental issues. This final-year undergraduate journalism student feels her experience of working with the natural resource management wing of CSE will be an asset while pursuing career options in environmental journalism and development communication.
So if you are interested in taking up part-time jobs or summer internships, there are many options to choose from. Several companies offer summer jobs and they often visit campuses to recruit students. Basically, you have to keep your CV ready and keep your ears close to the ground. Sometimes companies place ads in newspapers for part-time jobs or internships.
For instance, Barista offers summer jobs and placements to students pursuing professional courses in all its offices across the country. “We generally select candidates from campuses as well as those who apply for such jobs. These students work with departments in our organisation like marketing, HR, supply chain, operations (which includes work in the cafes) and business development. These projects span six to eight weeks,” says Partha Dattagupta, CEO, Barista Coffee Company Ltd. A trainee at Barista gets a stipend of around Rs 3,000 a month.
At the end of the training period, students are given project completion certificates while those who have worked hard receive ‘Letters of Appreciation’ and a few lucky ones even get placement offers, says Dattagupta.
“For our two-month summer internships, we pick candidates for sales and marketing research. We select electrical or electronics students for hardware support or hardware manufacturing. We also select students for HR and information systems,” says Vivek Punekar, associate vice-president, HRD, HCL Infosystems. Based on performance, such trainees may be taken in as employees at the end of the projects, he says.
Postgraduate students seem to be at an advantage when it comes to part-time work. “Postgraduate students can apply for our summer jobs that last for a couple of months. Generally, we prefer students with finance backgrounds. Also, we look for MBAs with specialisation in marketing or finance,” says Sushmita Shaw Nag, assistant HR manager, IMRB, Calcutta, a market research organisation.
Insurance companies could be another option for all those interested in landing summer jobs. “We look for graduates. But students who are doing professional courses can apply for part-time jobs as advisors,” says Sanjib Roy, associate partner, Max New York Life, Calcutta. Before you start working at the insurance company, you will be given an 18-day training and you have to pass the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority test before you can sell an insurance policy. Roy says that for the first few months, an advisor can get a stipend of Rs 16,000 per month provided he or she sells 13 policies.
If you are interested in journalism or creative writing, you can work as freelancers at newspapers and TV channels and also check out publishing houses.
If music is your passion, you could work as a part-time DJ at a nightclub. “I took a course in DJing at Bhowanipore Education Society College. It helped me to get part-time work as a DJ at Underground, the discotheque at Hotel Hindustan International, Calcutta,” says Ranu Jain. As a part-time DJ, you can earn as much as Rs 5,000 a show at any private party, says Jain.
Call centres are also a popular choice for students keen on keeping busy during vacations and making some money in the bargain. Take 17-year-old school girl Aditi Uberoi who wanted to earn some quick bucks this summer. A 45-day stint at a call centre helped Uberoi earn Rs 17,000. The added perk, of course, was the work experience in the customer care department. “The friendly and co-operative atmosphere at my workplace broke the myths I had heard about call centre jobs,” says Uberoi.
So what are you doing this summer'
With additional reporting by Tessy Koshy in New Delhi