A. Sneha is a 4th year student studying MA(Development Studies) at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras.
Interning at the Wadhwani Center for Entrepreneurship Development under the aegis of the Indian School of Business was a splendid experience. Applying to the ISB is not of great procedural complexity, and neither are they very keen to turn away aspiring interns. There are numerous centers at the ISB and each Center has its own rules and regulations regarding the entry of interns every summer/winter. Wadhwani Center for Entrepreneurship Development is particularly open to experimentation and encourages youngsters to learn from their repository of knowledge and experience.
The WCED required from me my Curriculum Vitae, some samples of academic writing and a telephone interview to seal the deal. Apart from providing an atmosphere of creativity and learning, there is also decent stipend that you receive at the end of your internship period making it a sweeter deal altogether!
As part of my internship there, which lasted six weeks, I worked on a project that dealt with critically analyzing the parameters used by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in classifying countries based on the rates of entrepreneurial activity in each nation. My report was titled “Beyond GEM, Within India” and a theoretical framework that pointed out deficiencies in present-day models of mapping entrepreneurship levels in the country and also proposed an alternative model to a certain extent. It was well-received and is currently being used as a resource for further projects.
What I learnt from this project was invaluable, in terms of the general work-experience and personality development. A couple of specific things strike me as I write now: one, their approach to work is totally out-of-the-box! I loitered on 3 different projects for 3 weeks before finding my match in the GEM report; two, their focus on presentation was something unheard of by me! The attention to detail – in both, content and presentation – was remarkable. I learnt to format reports to make them more conducive to reading and also understood the impact that a well-formatted and designed report can have vis-à-vis one that has groundbreaking things to say but is presented in a shoddy manner.
The researcher under whose guidance I was stationed is currently toying with the idea of writing a book on Entrepreneurship Education in India. Our brainstorming sessions were some of the most fun experiences in my life. She believes in taking life with a pinch of salt and this kind of an easygoing attitude really cemented our rapport manifesting in a friendship that has lasted beyond the contours of ISB!
I would recommend WCED to my peers for many reasons. The space you get in ISB allows for creativity and innovation in research and project-writing; the mentoring is not iron-clad and allows you to maneuver through the density of research in whichever way you please (provided you get the job done!); the working hours are reasonably flexible; their networks and contacts help you a long way (apparently); the working atmosphere is a mixture of work and play – something that really makes you look forward to come to work every single day.