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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