Updated: August 18, 2016 2:59:12 pm
There was a time when students looking to earn a few extra bucks used to work in restaurants or cafes or wrote content but youth these days demand more than just summer jobs. While pursuing their studies, they want to work in an environment which will enhance their career prospects or give them the kind of exposure a college degree cannot equip them with.
Shubhangi Nag, a vocalist with a Bengali folk-western fusion music band called Rangrez, also conducts food tours with Delhi Food Walks across town. A student of Delhi University’s Ramjas College, Shubhangi has a keen interest in learning new languages and is therefore, pursuing a part-time German course from Miranda House as well. After all these engagements, does she gets time for friends and above all herself?
“These things don’t tire me. In-fact they help me focus more. I do get to go out with friends as well. If you love what you are doing then everything is manageable,” says Shubhangi.
Like her, there are many students at universities and institutes across the country who are managing work and studies side-by-side. Some work because they are passionate about their projects while others are focused on their career and wish to land the right opportunity on the completion of their internship.
Wayne, a student of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, currently works part-time with film critic Anupama Chopra while pursuing Bachelors in Mass Media. “I worked at the Mumbai Film Festival and got an offer for an internship. They liked my skills and asked if I was interested in staying on,” he says.
Working full-time with internshala.com as a UI/UX designer, Pratyush Benjwal is pursuing an animation course from a multimedia institute as well. Both of his parents are published authors and he used to design pages for their books, he says, which is how he got into web designing.
“There’s a lot more you can learn practically. I started interning in my second semester and adjusted my classes according to my work timings,” he says.
Wayne’s batchmate Avinash Nongrum is working as a graphic designer with fizyou.com, an e-commerce portal for gaming merchandise. “I’ve always been artistically inclined and designing was a good break from content writing internships,” he says.
Unlike Pratyush, though, Avinash did not go to an institute to learn animation. “I learnt it from the internet. Youtube, mostly. You don’t exactly need to go to an institute to learn animation,” he says.
While Pratyush and Avinash found comfort in their web world, people like Joel Mathew found interest in working for the environment. Therefore, he joined Greenpeace India, an NGO focused on saving the environment. He is in his second year of Bachelors in English Literature from Christ University, Bangalore. Interested in pursuing a career in psychology after graduation, he says the internship helped him garner speaking skills, how to approach people and how to collect funds, as his job was to collect resources for the organisation.
“The NGO does not take funds from corporate houses or the government as sometimes they have to go against them (for the environment). I approached individuals, NGOs and non-profit organisations for donations, which is what helped me sharpen my communications skills,” he says.
Maintaining balance between the two
When it comes to managing studies with hectic work schedules, Shubhangi, currently in her second year of B.A. History (Hons) says that she’s able to manage her studies and her work as she makes sure she does not take too much of a work load during her semester exams in November and May.
“Since the past two years, I’ve been managing pretty well. But this year it’s a little haywire as I’m preparing for my entrance exam for Masters in International Relations,” she says.
Avinash attends classes from 8 am to 12 pm after which he goes to work from 1 pm to 6 pm. His work is more project-based which gives him flexibility in work hours, unlike advertising agencies where they have to adjust work timings according to the demands of the client.
“I’m not the kind of person to sit in a classroom,” says Wayne, adding that the industry he’s attached with does not look for people who have good report cards. He attends college till noon after which he heads to work and stays there till the night. He also has the option of working from home.
Earn and learn
At fizyou.com, Avinash makes Rs. 12,000 a month. “Its a small startup and they mostly have interns,” he says.
Wayne informs that a job profile like his can get you around Rs 10,000 in hand per month, whereas an internship commands a stipend of Rs 5,000.
Shubhangi plays commercial gigs with her band which happens about two to three times a month. “As we are students, we don’t get to say yes to every event because of our timings,” she says, adding that the money that the band makes depends upon the location of the event, the sound systems provided, whether it is an accoustic set or an electrical set.
“The band makes about Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 per event which is divided equally among all the eight members. So in a month, I make somewhere around Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 while the food walks fetch me about Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per tour.” she says.
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