Internships are not easy and definitely not cheap. Often the month-long internships that Indian students are required to complete as part of their law-school curriculum are firstly difficult to secure and come at a cost. And the cost is not always monetary.
There is always an argument made in favor of unpaid internships. And that argument is often that law students as interns should value the work experience in a professional set-up more than anything else. However given the herculean effort that most interns put to secure an internship, it is only natural for interns to feel elated when provided a stipend-even if such stipend be small.
And it is here that platforms like ‘Internship Bank’ come as a fresh breath of air. Started in mid-December 2019 by NUJS alumni, Debolina Saha Narayanan and supported by Shubhaankar Ray and Mansi Meena of the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University and Alice Tsui of Hong Kong University, the platform in a little over two years has secured over 275 internships and awarded scholarships to 20 students!
Yes, you heard that right!
Internship Bank also awards scholarships to deserving students who complete their internships and receive good feedback from their internship offerors. However, the scholarship is only available to students who complete unpaid internships.
Debolina explains that the scholarships are meant to provide motivation to students who take up unpaid internships and in this way, the platform hopes to support students.
Debolina further says that, “At Internship Bank we pride ourselves on our problem-solving skills. We took a step towards helping students of lesser-known colleges secure internship opportunities, then went on to connect young female students with senior female mentors, and most recently in July 2021, we launched the Internship Bank Scholarship Program.”
In just 3 months since the launch of the Internship Bank Scholarship Program, Internship Bank identified and disbursed scholarships of varying amounts ranging between 3,000 INR to 5,000 INR each, to 6 candidates. And in a little over 6 months, a total of 20 students benefited from the initiative, including students from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), New Delhi, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, New Delhi, Government Law College, Ernakulum, Symbiosis Law School Pune, just to name a few.
Meghana Gudluru, who is currently a Senior Associate at Kshetra Centre for Dialogue in Bangalore was the first student to secure an internship via the platform, and went on to secure not just one but three internships via the platform, as well as a scholarship. Internship Bank shared a copy of Meghana’s written feedback about the platform where she writes, “Internship Bank has quite honestly changed the path of my life. I have continuously sought out advice, information and guidance from the founder as well as the dedicated team. They have always gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that meritorious students are placed with an apt internship offeror so that they may get the mentorship they need through a tumultuous phase of discovery to advance and fulfil their potential. I will always be grateful for Internship Bank!”
Another scholarship recipient Anjali Swami, who is a student of USLLS, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University says, “Internship Bank is a very good platform. It is very hard to find internship in today’s time but Internship Bank has made this job very easy for us students.”
In the coming months, Internship Bank aims to give away 20 more scholarships to deserving students. And it would only be exciting to see more students receive the support they need to excel at their internships, through this very unique platform.