10 things I learned during my internship

(Not too long ago, I was searching around in my computer for academic material when I stumbled upon this. I had noted this down after a ...


(Not too long ago, I was searching around in my computer for academic material when I stumbled upon this. I had noted this down after a particularly exhausting audit season to remind myself why I was where I was.)

One of the prime conditions in the Chartered Accountancy course is that all students are mandatorily required to undergo what the Institute terms a "rigorous articleship", to "prepare the student to tackle professional challenges head on." There's an important lesson here - DON'T BELIEVE THE PROSPECTUS. But we'll come to that another day. So here's what I learned about internships the last three and half years of my particularly, er, rigorous, articleship training.  

10. Making/getting coffee is also part of the job description:
Sure, you've topped school, your classmates are industrial scions and you drive the same car as your boss. Unfortunately, that doesn't make you the boss. Expecting to be given challenging assignments the second day you've joined doesn't really happen, no matter how shiny your academic record is. Getting coffee and learning to operate the photocopy machine will definitely be a significant part of your first few months in the office. On the plus side, your mother can now include "Makes excellent filter coffee" along with that part about you being the perfect blend of traditional and modern values on your tamilmatrimony profile. 

9. Networking and friendships:
It's important to make friends with the people you work with. Even if you're not going to be exchanging "Frendz4ever" bracelets every August or sending each other "Oram-nnu peru vechavan Nera podraan aana Nehra-nnu peru vechavan Orama podraan" type SMS forwards every morning, it's necessary to be cordial. Remember that you'll be spending 8+ hours at work, 5 days a week, so apart from the fact that life would be that much more painful if you don't get along with the people you work with, you never know who's going to end up where. That checked-shirt full naamam Varadu boy the rest of you made fun of might just become the Commissioner of Income Tax. Or worse, your husband. 

8. Dress well, dress appropriate. 
I worked in a typically conservative tamil brahmin office where the youngest partner was about 52 years old and the oldest, 80. So I didn't really have much of a choice when it came to adhering to the Salwar-Kameez-with-Dupatta dress code. It's not very likely you'd be under similar constraints, but if you are, I'd recommend you embrace your inner housewife. What? We both know what you want to do after you finish your CA is to become a housewife. Seriously. I know. 

7. There will be times when you feel like jumping out of the nearest window.
It happens to all of us. Hang in there. And no, whatever you do, don't try to push your boss out of the window. They almost always survive. 

6.Mistakes WILL happen. 
And no, it's not the end of the world. In fact, it's the very purpose of your internship. You're there to make mistakes. Goof ups are an integral part of the time you spend there, and the more the merrier! Ofcourse, there's something about learning from your mistakes. Or something.

5. Be grateful to your boss.
The man is literally paying to let you screw up on his behalf. 

4. Remember that there are people who're going to be better than you at work. 
Deal with it. In fact, ask him/her for help with your assignments sometime. Happiness comes from triumphing over your ego. Greater happiness comes from seeing other people do your work. 

3. Never regret the choices you make here
There's no going back, anyway. You don't have a degree, do you? 
And even if you do, there's no going back. HA!

2. You ARE going to get yelled at.
Your brain's exact whereabouts will be questioned, as will be your general ability to locate and extract hair follicles. Also, part of your job description. 

1. You ARE going to get better at the job. 

You Might Also Like

46 comments

  1. This post explains your long break from blogging

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay, finally a chutney-worthy post. Well done. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I now can relate to wat my CA intern colleagues go through :) very well written.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very mature chutney post :p I liked #5 on the list. Good advice - I see a commencement speech in your distant future :p

    Bhel

    ReplyDelete
  5. Reminded of the old PJ: CAs go to heaven when they die. They have already seen hell during articleship!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Are Sarees too Hindutva now or are modern women slobs?

    ReplyDelete
  7. pwahahah! I can relate to this post not coz i am anywer near the CA course. but i am a LAW ISHTUDENT... Oh crap!!

    New in here..wud love your feedback on my blog post. :)

    http://anuglyhead.blogspot.com/2011/03/we-dont-speak-no-americano.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Finally a post! Very entertaining as usual!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awesome post :) This applies not just to internships though :P

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oye Ms. Lavanya...
    I have waited and waited long for this post.. long enough visiting everyday for the past 3 months that your blog shows up in one of my top visited pages in my chrome homepage.
    And you have grown from this fun filled youngster to a mature (women) should I say, but your sense of humour and sarcasm hasn't changed a bit. Good job and great post after a long wait.

    From,
    An ardent fan of your blog who feels you should really spend more time here and less in twitter (Dont you realize your productivity rate has been on the decline ever since you joined twitter)
    And especially coming from a Tambram family, jokes are meant to be elaborate, vambu sessions runs hours and our emails still have 2 subjects. I sincerely feel 140 characters isn't enough, pls get back...!! We miss you :(

    ReplyDelete
  11. 7. There will be times when you feel like jumping out of the nearest window.
    It happens to all of us. Hang in there. And no, whatever you do, don't try to push your boss out of the window. They almost always survive.

    Survive and they come back to push you .. Seriously, never ever corner your Boss or make them look stupid. They find a way to get back at you.

    Its what a management Role does to you - like Rajnikanth says "Adhu andha padhaviyin Vyadhi"

    ReplyDelete
  12. nice post...
    but experiencing this as an intern is way better than doing it at the job as a fresher...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brilliant! could recall the lame advise some seniors gave me prior to interviews in BE. :P. Great post Lavanya!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very mature! .

    P.S. Ni edavdu summara ezhudina kooda jannanga konjam overa feel panni paraataranga.

    ReplyDelete
  15. long time eh!
    Loved the oram'nu pervechanvan part. been getting that msg daily from people-with-whom-i-last spoke a decade ago trying to renew the lost fraandsip through a punny sms.
    and hey! say hi to the varadu guy on my behalf, or should i say would-be ;-)
    --
    rkarthick

    ReplyDelete
  16. hair follicles and brain's whereabouts ... lol never knew such hard hitting vesavu/thittus can sound so sophisticated in English

    ReplyDelete
  17. nice post. truth be told, you are just getting started.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think CA is one of the few jobs today that still requires an apprenticeship. How well you turn out, and your overall professional philosophy depend significantly on your mentors here. The tam-bram setup might just be parochial and ill suited for the accounting world of today.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Paaint nember 8 - haahahaha!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Oram-nnu peru vechavan Nera podraan aana Nehra-nnu peru vechavan Orama podraan" that was awesome.

    thanks for the post and all the best for your exams.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Been a long time lurker at your blog. I love the way you bring out the humour in your posts!
    All the best for your exams and hope to see you writing often!

    ReplyDelete
  22. that oram-nehra thing was awesome. was ur creation? Nice to read ur post after a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. A nice post from you after a long time. Specially liked number 9 and 7.

    ReplyDelete
  24. yaaay! most of this chutney applies to not just CA but almost any job! that oram - nehra forward made such a round on FB, that i felt like killing eveyrone of them.. anyhoo.. inilerndhu new year, so resolution will be kept up nu vechukalama? :D

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Greater happiness comes from seeing other people do your work." gud one!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi

    Totally loved ur post. As a recently qualified CA from Chennai I could relate so much to ur experience. But though articleship has lot of negatives as pointed by you, I still think it toughens you up and once you step into the professional world u are ready and set to start working from day 1 itself

    PS : I did my articles from 3 different firms across Chennai & Mumbai. Even the partner in my firm was 70+

    ReplyDelete
  27. You know the adage Chutney! "When the Going gets tough, the Tough get Going!". The Internship toughens the steel in you to equip yourself against the daunting demands of the clients and to do your job as the Guardian of Society.

    ReplyDelete
  28. :D My appa is a CA practicing in Chennai.. but I went on to take up engineering, giving up all these small pleasures that life has to offer!
    But I can relate to your post! Super post as usual! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. 9. Namam varadhu becoming either Commissioner of IT or husband is typical Lavsmohan writing.

    Every professional TRAINEE goes through it.

    All the very best to come out with flying colours in your exam and a best career.

    ReplyDelete
  30. An awesome post.. You just seem to have penned the thoughts of almost every CA.. Specially me (jumping out of the window was too good..) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Practical tips for all professional course students to be remembered forever. Good one.

    ReplyDelete
  32. insanegal very well wriiten :) it will be very useful to everyone ...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Nice one. Actually pretty awesome!

    But you left out the possibility of the youngest partner being a salwar wearing 22 year old, some day soon.

    ReplyDelete
  34. awesome.... loved ur forwarded sms... lol...

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ivlo rules nyabagam vechikanuma CA la? :) ...But many of these apply to the software jobs as well.. Ellam ore kuttai la oorina mattais than!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hmmm I guess articleship is kind of a no-man's land to get stuck in -- you don't have a degree without it and you're not fully into your job yet either, and I'm guessing the naamams and pattais talk your ears off with area vambu and stuff like 'Pulla Americcaa la irukkan' :-P

    ReplyDelete
  37. I checked out your blog solely because I was hungry and coconut chutney sounded
    very appealing :D But it turned out to be a great read! Cheers! :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Errmm, is this really by Lavanya Mohan? The girl has matured n all.

    ReplyDelete
  39. this is the first article i read this morning, and it just brought me some peace in life! :) I soo totally agree with your ten commandments.

    ReplyDelete
  40. one of the best personal blogs that i have visited so far and a great post too.

    ReplyDelete
  41. How do I even thank you for keeping me entertained without even a single rupee!!
    :D u rock

    ReplyDelete
  42. Starting from the bottom is soo crappy. True, every word!

    ReplyDelete
  43. This post explains your long break from blogging

    Internship in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  44. Engineering students who are interested in inplant training in chennai can contact us. We provide real time inplant training in chennai for aspiring students.

    ReplyDelete

Cancel Reply

Disclaimer

Please note: The views expressed in this blog are the author's own. However, she is not responsible for the comments that have been left on the page and the same need not necessarily reflect her viewpoint on the same and are entirely the commenters' own. Ok, now read the rest of the blog already.


Follow me on Instagram