Pune, pronounced "Poonah," is a perfect blend of old and new. The population is made up of a younger generation of college students and retirees ready to relax. The architecture mirrors this blend with ancient forts staying strong within a city blooming in the tech industry and business. With fewer tourists than many of India's other cities, Pune is a great place to spend a few months doing an internship to jump-start your career.
There's plenty to do both in and outside of the city. Spend your days working in IT, Marketing, Web Development, or HR; and your nights and weekends visiting temples, Gandhi's Memorial, caves, hill stations, and more. You can also go shopping or catch a Bollywood film and experience the wide array of flavors in Indian cuisine. If you're looking for a diverse and interesting internship experience, Pune is a great option.
Although Pune is known for its dedication to education and academia, and has some of the top schools in the country, there are not many internships available in this field. Instead, look to Pune for jobs in Information Technology and Web Development, Marketing and Graphic Design, Business and Sales, and Human Resource. Of course, there will always be positions available in other fields, but these are some of the most common.
Information Technology and Web Development
You will find many IT companies with an informal and open-minded culture. Both startups and well-established businesses might have a mixed crowd of employees in an effort to retain the wisdom from older generations while utilizing enthusiasm and innovative mindset of a younger crowd.
You will use these programs and skills in organization and collaboration to develop and maintain websites, develop prototypes, and work on projects with groups from various departments.
Marketing and Graphic Design
The most common marketing internships in Pune are in social media. Having basic skills in Adobe Photoshop will be helpful but you should know Microsoft Office and all the major social media sites inside and out.
Finding a spot in graphic design, on the other hand, will be very difficult without a high level of skill in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Companies looking for graphic designers might also want their interns to have experience in UI and UX Design and Microsoft Office.
In marketing jobs your daily responsibilities can vary widely based on the company's needs. The position may be geared more toward sales and creating or maintaining partnerships with partners and clients. Or, it could be focused on social media and digital outreach to the masses. A graphic design internship could mean spending all day working on projects in an office, or it could mean collaborating with co-workers.
Interning in Human Resources provides a unique opportunity because all companies need someone to complete HR tasks and duties. This means, even if HR isn't the field you see yourself in forever, you can find a company that aligns with your interests and get an inside look by working as an HR intern.
Financial organizations, trendy start-ups of all kinds, law firms, NGOs, and more are offering spots in HR. The necessary experience is usually limited to English language skills and Microsoft Office Suite. Much of your day-to-day will be busy work like maintaining and processing documents, assisting with the new employee procedures and payroll, scheduling, and general research.
Planning Your Internship
When and Where to Look for an Internship
No matter where you want to go for an internship, it's best to begin planning as soon as possible. For internships abroad, at least six months of preparation is recommended. This includes getting your resume and cover letter to a point of perfection, learning additional skills if needed, and following a few of your favorite companies to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and current events.
There are a couple of ways to go about finding an internship in Pune. If you are currently a college student, you can visit your international office and ask for advice. They might give you information on interning through a third party provider.
This option is more expensive than applying to the internship directly, but chances of getting placed where you want are much higher. Providers will also arrange all travel and housing for you. Scholarships might be available if you choose this route.
Another option is to use an online internship search engine. There are search engines specific to India and ones that find internships around the world. Do as many searches as you can, and apply for as many as you'd be willing to work for. Just check that the internships are not open only to people local to Pune. You can even apply to a few you are not fully qualified for, just in case.
Cost of Living in Pune
After you've accepted your internship, you can begin planning for life in Pune. If you're going to be there in the Winter (October to March) then you're in luck as this time offers the best weather.
Cost of living in Pune is less expensive than other cities in India, and it is possible that your employer in India will provide you with a stipend. However, the stipend will not be enough to live off of by itself. You will need to come to India with money saved up.
In Pune, an inexpensive meal will cost around 3 US Dollars, a monthly transportation pass is less than 16 US Dollars, utilities for one month will cost under 25 US Dollars, and rent for a one-bedroom apartment will be around 220 US Dollars.
It is likely that you will have assistance in finding a place to live. Your employer may even have a system in place to find a roommate as a way to save money. If you do not receive any help in finding accommodation, you can make reservations at a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb before coming to Pune. Then you can search for something more long-term after you arrive.
Work Culture in Pune
Each company will have its own unique preferences and culture, but you can keep a few general tips in mind about working in Pune.
Formal dress is recommended unless you are specifically told otherwise. Women dress conservatively by not showing legs or cleavage. Men, always wear pants versus shorts on the job. Closed footwear in advised all around. Here are a few more tips to get you started.
- The work day will probably start a little later in Pune. Dinner starts around 7 p.m. and the restaurants will be most crowded around 9 p.m.
- Leave early if you're traveling during rush hour. Traffic is lightest in the late evenings. People from cities with incredibly heavy traffic say Pune's traffic is not so bad.
- Keep small bills on you for taxis and rickshaws.
- Talking about your personal life, and listening to others talk as well, is encouraged.
Work and Labor Laws
You will need to apply for an intern visa. This visa will last up to one year or through the end of the internship, whichever is shorter. After you arrive in India you will have 14 days to register with the Foreigner's Registration Office (FRO).
Health & Safety
Because Pune is not as heavily populated as India's other major cities, there is less crime. It has more of a small town feel than nearby Mumbai and is safer for women in particular. Even with this in mind, it is a good idea to take precautions as you would when traveling anywhere in the world.
Keep your belongings close to your body when walking around or in trains. Lock your suitcases even when they are left in your hotel. Lock your windows and doors when you're away.
Have the address of the place you're staying to show the taxi or rickshaw driver where to go. This will eliminate the chance of confusion from differing accents. Don't always trust maps found online to get all the names of streets correct. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be.
In India, Pune included, the tap water is unsafe to drink. Only drink water from sealed bottles, which can be purchased very inexpensively. Crush the bottles after you are finished so no one can try to refill the bottle and pass it off as new. Don't use ice and be wary of fresh fruits and vegetables as they might have been washed in tap water.
If you do find yourself feeling sick from something you ate or drank, the locals recommend Pudin Hara for stomach aches. It's an all natural remedy found in local pharmacies. For bug bites, try Tiger Balm.