Sitting for the Civil Services Exam: What Internships Should I Do?

Question: I am in my 4th year and have at least 2-3 internships left. In one of your articles you mentioned that internships at this stage should be more career oriented.

I am preparing for the Civil Services Exam and would like to pursue a career in Indian Administration.

My query is what type of internships should I pursue?

By Tanuj Kalia

Answer: There could be three ways of looking at it:

1. The Civil Services exam requires single-minded, intensive study. So, do you really want to do an internship? Or would you want to spend that time in preparing for this exam?

The first priority should be doing well in the exam and that might require skipping the internship altogether.

You might even want to join a good coaching institution (a small one, which can cater to your needs) instead of doing the internship.

At the same time, a good internship experience always adds a lot to your personality. The experiences and the lessons you gain might be of immense use in the interview or even later on in life.

2. A research based internship should help. This should be an internship where you read and research a lot on some subject which is is included the the Civil Services’ Exam syllabus.

With this you get 1-2 months of dedicated study time for the exam and also have an ‘internship experience’ on your CV.

NALSAR or NLSIU might be where you’d want to work. Just sitting in any of these libraries might activate the 16-hour-nerd mode in you!

At the same time, some organisation in Delhi might actually be a better bet. Because in Delhi you’ll feel [and feel it strongly] the competitive vibes of the 1000’s of students studying for the IAS exam.

3. You might even want to intern with some Government Organisation and actually work with the Civil Servants.

That will tell you a lot of what a job in Civil Services entails and will demolish any unsteady castles or undue fears you have about this.

These are the 3 options I guess: no internship, a research internship, an internship under a babu.

Do you agree with these 3 points? Comments are welcome.

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Comments Till Now

  1. I’ve completed my post graduation in science. Am i eligible for internship program under Government of India??

  2. Saurabh Sharma says:

    I would be grateful if you could tell us more about the research based internship (specially, how to grab one?).

  3. Internships are a really important component of any professional undergraduate course.
    I would suggest that an internship in any of the Public Sector Undertakings shall give you a mixed flavour of law, corporate world and yes the administrative work thereon.

  4. kriti Kumar says:

    I agree with you. Nicely put.

  5. Akanksha says:

    What if one is keeping law as a back up option if at all he fails to clear IAS? Then what should ne done??

    • if someone fails in clearing IAS then he must go for judiciary exam as it will be very much easier for him to clear it. And also it will be an effortless task for him.

  6. Concerned says:

    all the points said by you is agreeable sir
    and i think research based internship are the ones which the person(aiming for civil services) shall opt for.

  7. UTKARSH PANDEY says:

    One should not underestimate the importance of internship at the cost of civil services exams. The service is of such a sort where you are checked of your efficiency in handling any assigned work. The exam pattern are so designed that they just not check your knowledge but application of brain in any unrelated issues. Internships are very important. I am in second year and have earlier done internships at ICRC and also under District Commissioner and such internships have been very beneficial for me in understanding the basics of administration.
    One can apply for internships at HRCs and DC offices (though in my case they didn’t provide certis). these two are best options.
    After all CS is what requires all-rounder, one should not end-up merely being a book burner, field experience is equally important.
    #NLU, Assam

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