Internship Experience | Abhinav Gerela | Pen Paper & Thoughts and Zomato

Abhinav talks about his two internships at Pen Paper & Thoughts and Zomato which gave no stipend but had a career altering impact on him.

InterFeel (IF): Please tell us something about yourself. Where are you studying currently? What are your hobbies and interests?

Abhinav Gerela (AG): I am Abhinav Gerela, currently studying in Thadomal Shahani Engineering College in 3rd year. I really like to travel around and I have a great passion for photography.

IF: Tell us something about your internships including stipend, duration and place?

AG: (1) Pen Paper & Thoughts – I applied for this internship online. Online application was followed by a simple interview. The duration of the internship was 1 month and I wasn’t given any stipend. There were meetings held either in Thane or Bandra that I would attend.

(2) Zomato – Again for Zomato, I applied online which was followed by a telephonic interview. The duration of this internship was 4 weeks and no stipend. There used to be weekly meetings in Andheri, which I would attend.

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IF: How competitive was the selection process? According to you, which qualities have helped you have an edge in the selection process? Also, what were the key things that selectors were looking for?

AG: In both cases, the competition was quite tough. My prior knowledge of PR skills from the committee that I worked for were favorable to me. It helped me a lot as both companies needed the PR skills. The key factor that Pen Paper & Thoughts needed was the convincing skills and Zomato was looking for publicity skills.

IF: Talking about the requirement of convincing skills for Pen Paper & Thoughts and the publicity skills for Zomato, what exactly you did, to get through?

AG: Well the interviewer of Pen Paper & Thoughts asked me to sell a pen to him and I could successfully do it. That’s how I presented my convincing skills. For Zomato, the interviewer asked me to display my publicity skills in the first week of the internship and if I was up to the mark I would retain internship for the rest of the duration.

IF: Could you please highlight the work/research you carried out during your internship period?

AG: At Pen Paper & Thoughts, I had to convince people to take part in an online event hosted by Pen Paper & Thoughts.

For my internship at Zomato, I had to publicize the new Zomato order app as well as test out the recent updates of the Zomato app for any bugs or errors.

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IF: Can you give us interesting details about your experience – good and bad?

AG: Pen Paper & Thoughts had work from home which was a very unique concept to me which made the work there very effective and efficient.

As for Zomato, the office was as good as heaven cause it had a ping pong table, free Wi-Fi and the most chilled out bosses.

IF: How do you think this internship has helped you grow? In other words, what are your key takeaways from the internship?

AG: Pen Paper & Thoughts helped me learn about the aspects of digital marketing which I had never known.

Zomato helped me improve my PR skills which in turn helped my committee at college to increase the size of the event gradually.

IF: Has this internship had a decision altering impact on your career? Do you now think of a different future path as compared to before doing the internship?

AG: Yes, greatly. I was looking forward to doing Masters in engineering before I had done any of these internships, but as of now I am trying to pursue MBA which is only because these internships helped me understand the real world.

IF: Lastly, do you have any words of advice or caution for students aspiring for this internship and reading this piece?

AG: I would like to say Zomato and Pen Paper & Thoughts are a really great place to start your internship because both the companies show you the real world and hence help you find your true self.

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