I was graduating from high school this year and apart from the college admissions I had nothing worthwhile to do. So I thought maybe I should look for some content writing internships in the city. Hold that thought, who would give an inexperienced 17 year old a decent job in India? Hmm, the chance are extremely thin. Regardless, I applied for a couple of internships half heartedly online, thinking what's the harm in applying! But I was surprised when one of the start ups called me for an interview, bubbling with excitement I broke the news to my parents and headed for the interview on the following day. Hurraayy, the interview went well and within no time I was a content writing intern for a start up website. Finally, I got my dream summer job. I had to practically live on the internet and surf all day to come up with ideas for articles and write them. What more could I ask for? As easy and fun as it sounds there is so much more to learn and working from office gives an unique touch to this experience. I am the youngest at my work place and it is a very laid back and fun environment to work at.
Nobody forced me to get this job or informed me about this. I hunted for this out of my desire for a summer job and to make some pocket money. Not many people look for this kind of opportunity after their high school in India. We are all busy attending college interviews and running the rat race. Instead we could take a break in the summer before college starts and get to know what the real world feels like. And trust me, getting an internship fulfils most of it.
Our education system is such that we are spoon fed and taught things that are mostly not relevant in the real world out there. All the more there is zero impetus given to mistakes. Teaching of real life vocational skills are sidelined in our education system. Nobody cares If a 17 year old doesn't know how to open a bank account, write a decent essay, drive a vehicle or pay the bills. But how else are we going to prepare these young adults for the future if they are not taught how to survive the brutal world out there, instead we keep them busy with getting straight A's in subjects that won't matter 5 years from now. As kids we are not told that a few years from now there wont be anybody to watch out for us and it is up to us to make way for ourselves in this world.
We brag so much about our demographic dividend but are we economically utilising the youth of India today? The reality is that few of them commit suicide from all the study pressure and the rest are forced to take up courses in college that they don't like. What we really need for the youth today is more than just what the formal education system has to provide; we need vocational training, internships and summer jobs for teens in India.
Abroad, teens getting summer jobs is quite a common thing. They work in supermarkets, hospitals and gas stations to make some pocket money for their vacations. But getting a summer internship is a little more than just making some pocket money, it is about independence,better perspective judgement and a sneak peak into what the real world out there looks like!
I am not dismissing the need for a formal education system neither am I bragging about my dream summer job! All I am saying is that, I was lucky enough to get an amazing opportunity and I want more and more teens to start looking for internships that broaden their skill set. Honestly, I am no expert at this but I feel the need that more and more companies and start ups must take in 17 and 18 year old young adults because they have to learn at some point since our education system has stopped focussing on real things and everybody needs a start, the sooner the better.
My summer has been extremely fun, I look forward to learn new things everyday and brainstorm some creative ideas.
Let me know what fun and productive thing you did this summer in the comments below.