This has been submitted as an entry to the Noticebard Internship Experience Competition.
Name, College, Course and Year
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Shrestha, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Sonipat, Haryana.

MBA with dual specialization in Agribusiness and Marketing, Year: 2017-2019

Organisation

NABARD (regional office Haryana, Chandigarh).

Internship Duration

11th June 2018 -15th August 2018.

Benefits of Internship

What role does an internship plays in the life of a student? I think nobody else can be in a better position to answer this question than the regular visitors of Noticebard’s website!

Apart from the exposure and resume building, an internship forces a person to reflect inwards and explore their own strengths and weaknesses, their own dos and don’ts and help them to visualise where they want to be in the coming years. Therefore, securing an internship with a leading organization/company is the first step towards a successful career. 

In 2018, I was fortunate enough to be selected as a student intern in NABARD (regional office Haryana, Chandigarh). I am sharing my experience as an intern in NABARD so that other students can benefit out of it in the future. 

How I applied

Awareness

I came to know about the internship from Noticebard.com. But shortly after, NABARD R.O. Haryana sent a formal letter to my institution NIFTEM asking postgraduate students of Management and Law to apply for internship at NABARD. There onwards, all the formalities of sending CVs etc. was taken care of by the Corporate Resource Division (CRD) of NIFTEM. 

(But if your college/institution does not get an invitation from NABARD’s regional office, it is totally cool. You can still apply. Just follow the internship application procedure given on NABARD’s website. And yes, do not forget to check Noticebard.com for regular updates.) 

The Process

The resumes of interested candidates from our institute was shared with NABARD out of which only 5 candidates were selected for the test and the interview. 

The Test and the Interview 

I still remember the day like yesterday. Five of us booked an Eco cab early in the morning and left for Chandigarh from Sonipat. We reached well before time but after seeing the number of applicants shortlisted for the interview we were scared out of our wits. (At least, I was). Applicants came from various government and private colleges of Haryana. The chances of selection were somewhere around 1.33%.  

After written attendance, we all were taken to a big room where we were asked to write an essay within 15 mins. The topic was given on the spot (so yes, none of us was prepared). The topic was “Problem of Stubble Burning of Paddy in Haryana. Challenges and Solutions.” After the brief test, tea and cookies were served to everyone meanwhile all our academic documents were verified. After some time, the interview began. 

The interview panel consisted of 3 to 4 senior NABARD officials. The questions were asked from applicant’s graduation background, current affairs, NABARD policies and agriculture of that state. The questions were also asked from the essay which we have written. Some questions asked to me were – 

  1. What kind of crops are grown in Haryana?   
  2. What challenges are faced in processing of sugarcane? 
  3. What are some new government policies for increasing income of the farmers? 
  4. Agricultural CAGR and GDP.
  5. How has government decided its tenure for the mission of doubling farmer’s income? 
  6. What do you mean by Good Agricultural Practices? 
  7. Why do you want to join NABARD? 
  8. If selected, on which topic would you like to work and why? 
  9. How comfortable are you in travelling to rural areas of India? 

Finally, the selection!

Almost after one full month, I received a mail that I have been shortlisted for the internship. The internship could range from minimum 2 to maximum 4 months. I opted for 2 months. The internship commenced from 11th June 2018 and ended on 15th August 2018.

Main Tasks

The internship was structured as such that half of the time I was in the office and half of the time I was out in fields. I was given a topic “Social, Cultural, Financial and Institutional Challenges faced by SHGs in credit linkage and role of MFIs.” I had to singlehandedly conduct a full-fledged research on this topic. I reported to DEAR department of NABARD (Department of Economic and Agricultural Research). The internship was further broken into various phases. 

Total – 8 weeks

1st and 2nd week – Induction. Preparation of research proposal and questionnaire.

3rd and 4th week – Data collection from the selected district.

5th and 6th week – Data collection from the selected district.

7th and 8th week – Data analysis, report writing and submission of the report.

After a few months, a presentation was conducted wherein the interns had to present their research in front of the panel. 

Stipend and other benefits

The stipend is Rs. 14,000 per month with other benefits. An intern is reimbursed for travelling from NABARD office t0 the district for data collection. The intern gets Rs. 1000 per day when he/she is in the field to cover boarding and lodging expenses! An intern can avail Rs. 300 per day if he visits other government offices for the data. 

Overall, an intern can easily earn Rs. 60k – 70k during two months of internship. 

Good things 
  1. Good work environment. NABARD employees are generally very helpful. 
  2. Interns are provided with office space, a working computer system with internet and other stationery items required by them.
  3. Delicious lunches at nominal rates. 
  4. Tea/Green Tea twice a day with biscuits. 
  5. During the break, the employees and interns are free to play table tennis, carom, chess etc. after lunch.  
Bad things 
  1. Bureaucratic system is followed. Hence a lot of time is wasted in approvals etc. But the good thing is that it teaches you how to be patient.
  2. NABARD does not provide any accommodation to the interns. 
Some Myths about interning with a government organization
  1. Government organizations are corrupt: False! The corruption rates are reducing dramatically thanks to technology and good governance. In fact, NABARD is known for its transparency and honesty. 
  2. Government employees do not work: This is not the case in NABARD. Everybody is so busy with their work that it is tough to take an appointment. 
  3. There is no learning in government organization: Absolutely false! Interns at NABARD closely get to observe how policies are made and implemented apart from their mainstream duties. This is an experience which only an apex governmental organization can impart.
 Overall Experience

This is a dream internship for anyone who wants to enter into the developmental studies field. A person who wants to run or join an NGO in the near future or wants to give back to society by his/her work, this is the place to be.

The internship not only provides with excellent in-office experience but also eye-opening rural experience. One gets to see the real face of India and at its best, this internship can inspire you to do something good for the society.

Concluding comments

I am a regular visitor of Noticebard, and I am grateful to them for putting all the efforts in listing down the available opportunities and also, thank you for giving us this chance to share our internship experiences. To the person reading this post, thank you for sparing time and reading till the end. I wish you success and happiness. 

 

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Loved my student life, love talking to students now. I am a wearer of multiple hats (wife, mom, cook, chauffeur). My job is my hobby! :)

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