Career in NGO's
Career in Development Sector

The Best Advice to Follow In Order To Get an Internship at an NGO

Internship is a great way to get your foot inside the door of the corporate world. However, the competition is so fierce that you need to always keep yourself updated and on the toes in order to have any real chance of getting selected for a respected internship in a good NGO. The good news for you is that there are many things that you can do to increase your chances of landing an internship that others can only dream of.   This post is about the same.

A search on the Google regarding tips on getting the best internship opportunity will return more than thousands of results with each result pointing towards a webpage full of information about how one can land an internship. Most of this advice you have already read before, whether it is the importance of editing and proofreading your resume or dressing up appropriately for the interview or the usual thing about how to follow up after an interview. However, such advice is too generic and may not help you much in getting the most awesome internship out there to get as like you many others would already be following all these tips.

For instance, it is compulsory for every job seeker to reach the venue in time in order to not mess their first impression on the recruiter. In order to get the best gig out there you need to put some extra efforts than others. The best internships are not found in the local supermarket store or pizza store which anyway would let you work for free. These internships are found in top companies and NGOs and act as a gateway to an excellent career and economic growth.  Getting an internship at a not-for-profit organization is particularly easy as they do not seek a very high level of expertise in their recruits. In addition, if you are straight out of college and looking to gain experience for free, no better place than an NGO.

The following piece of advice will help precisely in getting such an opportunity and that too right after your college days come to an end.

Remain Flexible

As an intern you might not get the best work in the department, but that doesn’t mean your contribution will not be valuable. Sometimes, you may have set job duties while at other times interns are used as ‘gofers’. However, you need to take everything in your stride. Remember, you are not going to remain intern throughout your life. So if, during the interview the recruiter asks you whether you would be okay handling petty tasks your answer should be a positive one as it might be a way to check how flexible you are.   Again, if you are asked to come at odd times, provided the NGO offers reliable commuting services there should not be a problem at your end in accepting such a role.     The more flexible you become at the start of your corporate career, the greater will be the pace of your growth.

Holistic research

Doing research does not mean going through the NGO website and mugging the important milestones, awards and dates of the NGO. Research not only the NGO but also its services, its products, its various offices, and its leadership. Know what is their business model, from where do they get funding, have they been in news recently, and what sort of work culture pervades at the NGO campus.   With better preparation, you will be in a better shape to answer the questions of recruiter when he or she asks your opinions about the NGO. Recruiters value such candidates who are good at voicing their opinions without getting intimidated from the interview or the interviewer. However, in order to have an opinion one must be informed as well.

Show some passion

Many candidates obtain good marks because they have an extremely academic bent of mind. However, doing good academically and translating the same into success at work is not one and the same thing. Most NGOs these days value talent over academic excellence, and if you can also show some passion along with talent than nothing better than it.  A simple test of passion is if you will be able to deliver your duties and responsibilities with the same dedication and gusto if you were not paid a single penny for the same.

If you are going for a writing job, there is no way that you would not have a blog where you write in your past time. It DOESN’T matter whether you write a mathematical journal or a funny story, the critical thing that recruiter will notice is your passion for writing.  The easiest way to show that you are passionate about the work is to highlight some side projects that you have worked on or are currently working on in that field.


Saurabh Tyagi

Saurabh Tyagi is a writer, social media enthusiast and a keen observer of latest job trends. He is currently associated with Naukri.com, a leading online recruitment company in India. When he is not writing, you will find him brushing his knowledge about the latest jobs and digital marketing news.