Internship Experience @ Akosha, Delhi: Consumer Complaints Work, Rs. 2000 Stipend

Name. College. Year of Study

Rahul Bajaj. Dr. Ambedkar College of Law, Nagpur. 1st year.

Name of the organization. City.

Akosha. E40/7, Okhla Ph-2, 2nd floor, above Wipro, New Delhi-20.

Duration of the internship

July 01 – July 27, 2013 (4 weeks).

How big was the office? Team strength?

The office is reasonably big. They have a reception area, a conference room and a cafeteria. The main office has a bank-like structure. Interns are assigned their own desks. The office is big enough to motivate you to work hard without intimidating you.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

You have to send your CV along with a cover letter to [email protected] or [email protected] The selection process is very transparent and purely merit-based.

However, it is very advisable to call them once after sending the CV.

I was asked to fill an application form which mostly consists of very general questions. I received a call from their legal manager after a couple of days who gave me a brief idea of what the internship would encompass and asked me some basic questions like what I was expecting from the internship, etc.

I know this sounds incredibly cliche, but my experience has taught me that the key is to answer such questions as honestly as you can instead of trying to give textbook-style answers, as such questions never have a right or wrong answer. Okay, enough of my blabbering. ūüėČ

Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings

The internship was for 4 weeks. 6 days a week. Only 2nd Saturdays are off. On other Saturdays, one can engage in other recreational activities in the office after 4-5 P.M. The timings were 10 A.M. to 7 P.M. Interns can leave early with prior permission if they finish their work.

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

I stayed with my grandparents, so accommodation was not an issue for me. Otherwise, it is not hard to locate good PGs in NFC, Lajpat Nagar, Kailash Colony or GK. You can visit www.asklaila.com or www.rentals.sulekha.com to get more information.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

I reached the office early on the first day by around 9:30 A.M. As it turns out, that was the only day when I reached the office early. The office isn’t very hard to locate.

The nearest Metro station is Govindpuri (on Central Sect-Badarpur route). I was introduced to the different team heads of the organization and was asked to read some material in order to get an idea about the kind of work that I would be required to do.

Thereafter, an extremely informative orientation session was conducted for the new interns in which we were informed about the intricacies of the work that we would have to do.

As this was my first ever internship, I totally felt like a fish out of water for the first couple of days. What didn’t help my cause was the fact that I was suffering from a particularly nasty bout of flu at that time (talk about getting off to a perfect start ;)). However, everyone in the office, especially my co-interns and manager, were exceptionally courteous and took great pains to make me feel comfortable.

I happen to be visually impaired. Everyone was more than happy to make all necessary accommodations for me and to help me whenever I stumbled, figuratively and literally.

Main tasks (in detail)

Broadly speaking, Akosha is an organization which seeks to resolve consumer disputes. Their main aim is to try and resolve a dispute without going through the rigours of the court system.

Consequently, we were required to draft legal notices in the form of business letters which had to be sent to the brand which was responsible for providing a defective good or service.

We were also required to draft consumer complaints for our clients which had to be submitted to the different consumer dispute redressal agencies as prescribed by the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. When a government institution was involved, we even had to draft RTI applications.

In addition, we were required to do a lot of research on topics pertaining to consumer laws. We had to prepare 3 comprehensive research papers on different topics during the course of our internship. Our legal Manager was incredibly helpful and used to patiently and diligently explain everything to us whenever we used to face any difficulty.

We had to give a PPT presentation in the last week of our internship to the entire office. Moreover, they even asked us to come up with constructive ideas to improve the system at Akosha. They were genuinely interested to know our views and discussed all our suggestions in great detail.

Our work always used to be scrupulously reviewed. Work environment, people Akosha has a set of vibrant and competent young people, so the work environment is professional but chilled out. You can discuss the intricacies of a complex case as well as anything else under the sun with the same people.

Everyone was more than happy to give us any kind of generic advice for attaining our future goals.

The CEO of the organization, Mr. Ankur Singla, is very jovial and witty. He spent time with us whenever he could and shared his experiences with us.

He has worked at law firms like Linklaters, so it was a great learning experience to interact with him, and I learnt many small but significant things through these interactions.

You can also order food from nearby areas.

Best things?

Akosha offers you an unparalleled opportunity to improve your drafting and research skills.

I don’t think that a 1st or 2nd year law student can possibly intern at a better place than Akosha, as it is a perfect place to hone your professional and social skills. If this wasn’t enough, it even helps you to get the hang of the corporate environment.

Bad things? (Nothing is all good)

It’s honestly hard to find a bad thing in such an internship experience. However, if I have to pick 1 thing, I would say that the only bad thing is that interns have to work on Saturdays as well, but this is just my lazy self talking, I guess.

What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues.

The entire team of Akosha was once taken for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. This provided an excellent opportunity to interact with all the employees. As one might expect, we generally used to have a lot of fun during lunchtime.

They generally offer you lunch in the cafeteria, but you can bring your own stuff as well. They have a terrace on the floor above the office where one can go to take a break from work and play table tennis.

We used to have a farewell party whenever anyone used to leave. Even the interns were given a farewell party. On Saturdays, everyone used to really let their hair down after work and we used to play musical chairs, etc.

Stipend

Rs. 2000

Anything else you’d like to tell.

One thing that is worth mentioning here is that my work was evaluated in the same way as all other interns. Thankfully, I wasn’t given any special treatment beyond the reasonable accommodation that was necessary. This, to me, clearly reflects the maturity, compassion and sincerity of everyone at Akosha.

Biggest lessons 

You don’t need to be from an NLU to stand out. Although that undoubtably helps, you can surpass that limitation by your perseverance and determination.

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