How I got my first internship by crashing their office!
This story is about how I got my internship by literally crashing their office. No clickbait!
I don't think I need to tell you about how frustrating, and depressing the internship and placement seasons can be. You might do every question correctly. You might be the right candidate for them. But sometimes, as the famous lyrics go,
In the end, it doesn't even matter.
I was in a similar situation at the beginning of my 3rd year. I even did a few tests 100% correctly and didn't get shortlisted. Was there a valid reason? I don't know. I was just depressed and wanted a way to improve.
The Old Friend
Rohan Arora has been my best friend from 2nd class. He was working as a product design intern at Procol at the time (P.S. Rohan is an awesome designer, do check him out). He asked me to give Procol a try, and in typical Rohan fashion, motivated me enough to do it.
I mailed HR. Got an interview because of the cold mail and referral (the 2 most underrated things to get a job). I was extremely excited. For the first time, I could talk to someone. Tell them why I was the right candidate.
The First Round
I was lucky enough to have the first round with Sumit Mendiratta, Co-founder and CTO @ Procol. Sumit has been a guiding light and mentor for me.
We had an awesome conversation about my motivations, what I wanted to do, what I could do at Procol etc. It went well and I got a mail about the next interview, the technical round.
The Technical Interview
I was scared. Look, I'm an engineer. A developer. A tech enthusiast. What I'm not is a competitive programmer. I know my dev, but I hadn't memorised all the DS Algos on my fingertips.
I explained everything to the interviewer, Himanshu Arora, a brilliant senior engineer at Procol. He made an effort to tailor the process to understand the depth of my knowledge rather than checking rote memorisation.
The interview went well, I got an email that I was selected and the next round was just about discussing my stipend and joining date.
And then there was silence. Dreadful. A week passed, 2nd week did. I was waiting anxiously. After the 4th week, I got the response. Although they liked me as a candidate. They didn't have space for an intern on the team and were looking for someone more experienced as they were scaling. A valid point. But I was heartbroken. I went back to being frustrated.
The Random Trip
Rohan was going to Gurgaon to work at Procol's office. We discussed and I tagged along. I knew, there was remotely any chance this would help, but I had to try.
Procol's office is at a WeWork. WeWork offices have community spaces where you can work by buying a pass. I bought one and started working on a freelance project. I didn't know what I was hoping for.
It was lunchtime, Rohan came out, and so did Sumit. They talked and Sumit invited me over to talk. I was nervous. He acknowledged my hunger to work. Then we started discussing what I would work on if I was in Procol. I honestly got too excited about the tech and started scribbling in his notebook with his pen 😂.
And an hour later. I had an internship. I got the offer letter the next day and joined a week later. It has been awesome since then!
Working At Procol
Since then, I've been working at procol. It's been almost 11 months now. Working here has been amazing. Procol has an amazing work culture with people who know their stuff and are cool enough to teach it to you. I've not only improved my skills in tech but also in communication and planning thanks to the amazing people working here. If you ask me, the best part about working here is that you get to build real stuff to solve problems are they don't limit you from exploring stuff.
Procol can be called a business revolution, a B2B software, an amazing startup, all of which it is. But as a part of Procol, it also feels like just a group of builders, marketers, business people etc who know their stuff. People who would rather solve problems than pushing around papers.
What's the point?
Look. I'm not saying go crash someone's office without permission because someone on the internet said so. What I am saying is, that randomness is the trend of this story. Randomness and Serendipity drive a lot more of our lives than we care to acknowledge. If we just keep working on ourselves and try to snatch each opportunity we get. Things work out.
I hope I gave you a different perspective on getting hired and your internships and placements. Best of Luck!