Rodoshee believes a valuable internship is one that values a person for their potential, not their experience. Read her #GBLBlog on her time interning with Good Business Lab, and why she left feeling empowered not exploited.
‘We’re looking for freshers’ — a phrase I ran into seemingly everywhere after I left university. In the months to come, I realized that internships were hard to come by, despite this innocuously warm invitation. Moreover, it also dawned on me that such declarations came with a fair degree of fine print; employers were on the lookout for specific skill sets and solid experience in relevant fields. I needed to constantly update my CV as well as my skills to fit into these job roles, despite the open call for freshers. To be perfectly honest, the process started to get a bit gruesome, and I ended up getting rather jaded with the entire ritual of the job hunt. It was then I decided to take a backseat and reflect on what I actually wanted.
Despite the taboo around lulls or the even more awe-inducing ‘gap year’ in India, this time that I offered myself to ruminate proved to be a rather fruitful one. I decided to enlist in a remote course that introduced me to the world of social impact, specifically focusing on Randomized Control Trials. As an Econ major, I always wondered what lay beyond the safe harbor of our classroom lectures and how any of my training could materialize into something tangible and impactful in the real world. As soon as I completed this coursework, I started applying to various research organizations with a newfound focus on RCTs. This search landed me an internship with the wonderful team at Good Business Lab!
Interacting with the team at GBL it struck me that I had gone about the whole job hunt wrong. GBL made me realize that one shouldn’t upgrade their skills to fit into the rather pithy paragraphs of a job description, the impetus falls on an organization to best realize how a candidate’s talent might best be used to grow in directions that might not have seemed intuitively ‘correct’. Crucially, a good organization invests in a candidate if they express potential over experience, and it does take a good organization to identify such talent right from their screening processes.
GBL also proved to be the ideal place to learn about the practical applications of my economic moorings in academia. I received extensive training on different methods of research in development economics: impact measurement, fieldwork, theory of change, research design, data analysis, etc. It opened so many doors to new opportunities for me even after my 2-month internship was over. The team made sure that I came away from this experience with a great deal of learning and created a stepping stone toward a career in the development sector. On the other hand, I got the opportunity to work with some amazing teammates who treated me like other full-time employees; where my decisions and opinions held weight in the projects that we worked on. For a minute there, I almost forgot that I worked as an intern!
Another endearing thing about Good Business Lab is their sincere focus on people. Whether it’s marketing, people operations, partnerships, or fieldwork, all the teams make an extra effort to put a human voice at the forefront of all their ventures. The same goes for the dynamic within the team, every member makes sure to reach out to each other and create a safe space and provide many opportunities to bond outside of work. The best part about working with this team was having memorable monthly agenda-free Zoom calls. We played games, had the freedom to be listless, and get to know one another a little better!
It was an enriching experience to work with GBL and I feel that anyone who wants to make a difference in this world and has an aptitude for independent thinking should consider working with this amazing team! Their work has a significant impact on the female labor market and I can’t wait to see them grow further in the future. In fact, once you join them, you might have a hard time leaving!