Name of the Student, College, Year of Study
Kareena John, 5th Year BA.LLB – Shankarrrao Chavan Law College
Name and Full Address of the Organization
Repos Energy Private Limited
Duration of Internship
1st June 2020 – 1st September 2020
Oh —-! I’m An Intern?
The year is 2020, a dreadful year for most people considering the then situations of employment, education and health. Like most students I was also getting frustrated because of the situations we interns have faced in terms of landing an internship, especially a paid one. Unpaid internships and menial work are a regular norm in a law student’s life. Everything was just going about as usual during that complete lockdown period like in every other household.
The lockdown became a crash course on ‘Jhaadu, pochha, bartan aur safai’ catching up on my daily reading, cooking became a new hobby, the absolute feverish phase of making Dalgona coffee! ,self-pampering and pursuing my hobbies of painting and dancing, until one day when I decided to speak to one of my mother’s ex-student who runs her successful business and I spoke to her about my keen interest in doing an internship under her. She wasted no time in patching me through to her Senior Talent Acquisition Associate and offered me an internship opportunity as a Legal Assistant at Repos Energy Private Limited…..
To give a brief insight about Repos – It is a Ratan Tata backed startup that is in the energy distribution business of Doorstep Diesel Delivery. The founders Aditi Bhosale Walunj and Chetan Walunj who are also spouses began this company with the aim of changing the entire concept and face of energy distribution and with the vision of empowering more people in India to begin their own startup and collaborate with them.
I had been following and keeping a track of this company and the work that they do because even I firmly believe that the future of India will be bright if we have more startups emerging from here itself. I wasted no time in applying for the internship and sincerely prayed that I get in to be a part of this company. Two days later I got a Whatsapp text from the senior HR Dimple Prasad. She asked me basic protocol questions and a call was scheduled for the telephonic round the next day.
I was eagerly looking forward to it and the next day no call came! To be absolutely candid, I was a little disheartened since I was expecting the call to happen. But as they say, good things have their own way of happening in their own sweet time – so I still kept hopes.
I got a call the next morning and it was the most informal telephonic round I must tell you, because we didn’t discuss any education qualifications and the stereotype question of – ‘So why do you want this internship and why should we consider you?’ We spoke as if we knew each other all our lives! about our families, hobbies, dreams and goals. She even asked me to send in my paintings for her to see it herself and truly liked all if them! The conversation lasted for 42 minutes – not even joking!
While concluding the conversation, I was given a very positive feedback and was told that they would soon get back to me and I happily acknowledged. It was a mini-win for me because small victories as such really help me in staying positive throughout my journey!
4 days passed and there was no further news as such from the team and then I got the next text from Dimple – “You are selected for the next round. Aparajit Subramanian – the senior under whom you will be expected to work shall get in touch with you for the further round of the interview.” To which I replied, “Sure thank you, looking forward to it.” Within the next few minutes I got a call from Aparajit. He kept the conversation brief, simple and to the point. He asked me why I chose law. And I still remember my exact response which was, “A lawyer can do the unimaginable and anything which seems impossible and is also one of the people whose signature matters the most in documents as a verification of nothing illegal being done!”
He liked my response and said that he would give the feedback to Dimple and then further steps will be taken. I was very happy on hearing that and then awaited the final good news! 2 days later a zoom call was finalized with the Co-founder Aditi Bhosale Walunj and even though I knew Aditi even before the company was started, I was still nervous. Because I wasn’t just going to speak to Aditi the person whom I’ve called ‘didi’ lovingly since I was a child – But I was speaking to the Co-founder of Repos Energy, a leading company. So personal emotions and feelings aside I had to be extremely professional.
The zoom call went as per schedule and Aditi Ma’am asked – what is your goal Kareena? And my instant response was to set up my own firm before I turn 30! She had a proud smile across her face and then she said that it was a good strong goal but why would I want to run my own firm when I could work with bigger companies and earn more and how would Repos help me in achieving my goal, to which I replied that I do not want to be an employee my own life, but I want to run my own firm so that I generate more employment for our own people just like she is doing. And every organization plays their own important role in shaping their candidate by molding them into much stronger and confident versions of themselves so that when they plan on leaving and beginning their own, they have gained much more knowledge than they previously had.
Everything went smoothly and I was told that soon I shall receive a confirmation whether or not I am selected for in the role. Now the wait for the final news was the most terrible one. It’s that tension that I could feel when an athlete is just seconds away from the finishing line and in those final moments it’s a win or lose situation and fate decides the rest.
The next morning, it’s 16th May 2020, I get a call at 10am from Dimple. “Kareena congratulations you have been chosen for the internship as a Legal Assistant. Your training shall begin from 19th May for a week after which you shall officially join work from 1st June. Your stipend will be Rupees 10,000/- per month and we are glad to have you onboard!” I was on Cloud 9 and every other paradise that one could think of! I thanked her immensely and then broke the news to my parents who were very happy and proud of me!
Trust me I couldn’t sleep the night before my onboarding, because I was so excited! The next day the journey began! Believe it or not, there were 72 other employees and interns together that were being on-boarded and I was the youngest among them all! Just 21!
Initially, it was slightly intimidating, but eventually, it became fun. During our training session, we were taken through the entire journey of how Repos was born and its motto to serve people and give back to the nation, while changing the entire face of energy distribution. They also had the daily ritual of having a meditation session from morning 9 am to 9:45 am – only after it would the team start working towards their goals every day.
Initially because the pandemic was in full swing then, it was all work from home and all I could see were digital faces! Not real people! Not actual work buddies ☹ Yet the training went well, interacting with the others was great fun and learning about the organization.
Finally my training period got over and now it was time for some real action! My first task given by Aparajit was to understand and learn the different types of companies that can be formed and what are the differences between them. I religiously did my homework and made note of everything, presented to him and it went really well! He then explained me the procedure that has to be followed for the company formation and it began with important documentation. The dos and don’ts of it all. I made sure to note down each and everything so that I wouldn’t forget any minor detail too.
Initially when clients approached us, they had not much clue about how to go about deciding the company name, so then sometimes when I would speak to them I would kindly suggest some names to them and guess what – today there are 17 startup companies that have actually taken my suggestion and gone ahead with naming their company!
I feel so happy and delighted when the clients are genuinely satisfied with the small details too! Sometimes the clients would forget to send in many documents and the chase I had to make after them was nearly killing! Because the entire process would be on hold just because 1 odd document wasn’t submitted. When their companies would be formed the next step would be to register them as Startups and that had a whole new lengthy procedure as well.
I had to make sure that their official company documents were all in place while also keeping their private information. Drafting the agreements became a part parcel of my life then and also making the startup pitch for each company separately! I had no time to breathe, but I liked the workaholic nature that had become and grow in me!
Just like every day cannot be a Sunday, I had some bad days too while learning each day. Sometimes the documents would be delayed and hence the client would get really frustrated because they’re losing out on time to complete their procedure. At times I would have clients call me at 4 in the morning asking me for updates on their startup while there were some kinky men who left no stone unturned in flirting and passing lewd remarks or just randomly calling/texting. It was an actual reality hit! How to deal with all sorts of pressure while keeping your cool!
When I completed my first month as an intern and my stipend was credited, it was the happiest day of my life! My first earning in the legal sector and it was my own hard-earned money! The moment I got it, the first thing I did was text my senior lead – “Aparajit, today I have received my first stipend! My first salary and I wanted to share this joy with you. Thank you for being so patient with me and guiding me throughout my journey! I promise to work harder each day and not let you down” to which he replied – “Hi Kareena, congratulations on your first salary! Keep it up and shine all the more! Spend your money wisely and always stay the same hard working and joyful girl that you are! I am proud of you!”
I felt so happy reading his message! I was jumping with joy! That night I took my parents for dinner and they never felt more proud than that moment! It gave me such a moment of pride when I swiped my card and paid for the entire bill. I also bought them new clothes – a dress for my mother and a shirt for my father! They proudly wore it to a family function! I was so happy!
My two very fresh memories from the entire internship were with two clients – a client from Kolkata – he was literally the most short-tempered human I have ever seen! He never picked calls and was available only on text. He texted in broken words which I found really difficult! He had a problem with every suggestion that was made for his company. He wanted all the work to be done within time but didn’t want to briefly get on a call and understand the entire procedure! I struggled 2 weeks and 5 days with this particular gentleman and when all his procedures were done, I heaved a sigh of relief!
The other client was from Bangalore! And he was the most amazing and the best client that I had the pleasure of working with! He never took stress about his work neither did he over stress us about his work. He was always open to suggestions and very knowledgeable too! The gentleman is 65 years old! Being a child who’s never had the joy of ever seeing her grandparents or spending time with them – he became a role model for me!
When I first spoke to sir about the company procedures, he realized that I was a student and was startled when I told him that I was 21! He said you are my granddaughter’s age! So from now on, you are also like my granddaughter! In south, girls are fondly and lovingly called ‘amma’ by their grandparents! He saved my name in his phone by that name itself and also introduced me to his wife, children.
He even spoke and interacted with my family and expressed his happy and proud emotions. My parents had a teary eye that day. He wished me for my birthday and also gave me 10 thousand rupees! I immediately told him that I cannot accept it! His blessings were all that I wanted! He said, “Amma, I am your grandfather. You should not argue with me! If you do, means you do not respect me as your grandfather and I will feel very bad! Please use this money and buy a beautiful saree for you!”
I humbly accepted it and when I bought a saree, I showed him the picture and he loved it! I call him “ajja” meaning grandfather in Kannada and till date we still keep in touch! Oh! And he’s also waiting for me to start my firm so that he can invest in it! (Got myself a grandfather and investor all in one! It’s a win-win for me!)
And that’s how 3 months went by! It went off so fast like a bullet train! There was a great farewell party organized for me and they hoped that I would join them again after my education! Everyone left me lots of letters, chocolates and other goodies! I got my certificate and letter of recommendation!
The key points that I learnt while working here at Repos –
- You never say ‘No’ to any new learning experience! There’s a lesson to be learnt from every situation and every task assigned to you!
- The entire world will put you through immense pressure, that’s their job – but whether to take that pressure/stress or not is our choice and nobody can take that power away from you!
- When you keep your calm and relate to clients problems on a one-to-one basis, they appreciate your efforts and really feel valued.
- At the end of the day, it is very important to be happy of all the small wins and accomplishments that we have achieved!
- Taking breaks from work is seriously important!
During my tenure at Repos, I was alone in the legal team and I successfully managed to form 95 companies and startups! It has been a rollercoaster ride but I have had the most enjoyable time! I didn’t even feel like an intern, to be honest! I was welcomed warmly and made part of the repos family instantly!
Who knew that corporate life could be as exciting as this too? All I heard was that it’s a sick market to work in – I bet can prove them wrong ☺
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