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InternshipDesk

About

InternshipDesk Career Development Programs encourage students to take control of their future by offering a structured program aimed at providing them with the skills and experiences necessary for a successful international career. Whether you want to work in the USA or internationally, InternshipDesk programs will help you get there.

InternshipDesk offers programs in Shanghai (China), New Delhi (India), Chicago (USA) and Tel Aviv (Israel). Programs are offered in the spring, summer and fall terms.

Founded
2007
Headquarters

United States

Reviews

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Lee
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was part of the summer of 2011 India immersion program. It was an exciting program because although InternshipDesk has a lot of experience with sending interns to China, India was kind of a brand new venture and to be part of the first group was a really exciting experience.

It was the summer of my sophomore year and it was one of the first times I have really gotten to travel by myself. I really didn't know anyone else in the group so naturally I was a little nervous going to a country across the world with a group of other interns that I have never met before. But one thing that InternshipDesk did that really erased all those feelings was that first weekend trip to the Himalayas that we all took as a group. Business and professionalism set aside, when we were trekking the Himalayas together we instantly became a family. I got to know each and every one of the other interns on a personal level and it gave me a small community in India that I grew to trust.

I worked for Medsave, a TPA that handled healthcare and medical insurance. After gaining a little info about the company, they had me going out to enrollment camps to help setup and actually get some hands on work in the enrollment process of the RSBY healthcare program designed to give healthcare to the millions of people living below the poverty line. The experience was unbelievable and really helped to put everything I learned in the States in a different perspective, especially as a sophomore in college.

Other than just the work aspect, there were plenty of cultural experiences that helped make this one of the most unforgettable summers of my life. We had weekly business talks with leaders of a wide variety of different industries, one even including one of the leaders of the World Bank! There were also trips to Agra, Jaipur, and Amritsar to see places like the Golden Temple, the Taj Mahal and handicraft emporiums that really helped submerge me in an Indian culture that I never thought would be so beautiful.

Some tips I would have for anyone going on this trip are:

1) Definitely be aware of what you are eating and drinking! Always eat fruits that you have to peel yourself, always drink bottled water, and make sure the food you are eating is hot and fresh (Aka not been sitting out for a while). Although it might take some time for your stomach to get used to the food, the combination of herbs and spices used in making some of the dahls and currys are absolutely delicious! Chicken Korma and Paneer have become two of my favorite foods.

2) Make the most of your off weekends. You are going to have weekends that you have free, definitely take the time to travel around the beautiful country. Not only because every region has an entirely different vibe to it, but because riding the train across India is a whole experience in itself, not to mention incredibly affordable! Just make sure to plan a week ahead or so in order to get everything organized. The staff is really good at helping you set trips up.

3) Soak in the culture. India is a country so rich in culture that once you finally leave your comfort zone enough to see it, it truly is amazing. Go out to a park, play a pickup game of soccer or basketball or their favorite – cricket. Go to a local coffee shop on open mic night. Listen to walk people have to say, it’s incredible how friendly the natives are. They love to hear your stories as well as share theirs (while practicing their English). The majority of them want nothing more than to show you how “brotherly” they are (and maybe take a picture with you).

What would you improve about this program?
Although this was no doubt the most exciting experience of my life, if I had to change a couple things they would be:

The entrepreneur project that we were assigned to do by the end of the trip had no real deadlines or clear guidelines. I would say make it a more structured project or get rid of it entirely. It almost became an unnecessary stress by the end of the trip

More Hindi language. Although we did learn some basic words and expressions, it would have been nice to be able to communicate with the locals on a basic level.
Default avatar
Juan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The internship program was very well designed an the support from the India host team was incredible, they made you feel very comfortable and taken care of. I personally learned a lot from the scheduled professional talks and the hosts since they provided us with an opportunity to get to know the Indian culture in depth and from within.

Further I think the trips we took while in India were incredibly enriching, like going to the Golden Temple in Amritsar or down the Ganga at Varanasi on a little boat.

What would you improve about this program?
I would be more careful in the options offered for technical fields since I found that the level of training I received was not on par with American standards.
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Richard
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The program was amazing from start to end. A few days after arriving in India, we spoke with critical members of the program. The program was very well organized. We had a schedule for the entire program and everything went according to plan. Obviously there are language barriers when traveling to other countries. For someone to complain about a language program is ridicules. We work 30-40 hours a week and we are housed with natives who love to share their culture. In fact, my coworkers attempted to teach me two languages and I had to stop them. The only difficulties that I noticed was with adjusting to food. The program is designed to make assimilating easy. There were very few complaints from my end. I enjoyed the trips to the Taj Mahal, as well as going to the Himalayas in the first week of the trip. The housing location was well accommodating. The elephant ride was unbelievable. The work experience was critical to my professional development. Having to produce real time results imitated a real working environment. Having the ability to see a real work day is amazing.

What would you improve about this program?
If I would change anything, it would have to be the monthly review of the business plan. I believe that organizing a monthly review will make for a better overall presentation. Possibly inputting the deadlines on the schedule. This will put a responsibility on the team as a whole.
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Zororo
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The culture series was a fantastic component of my internship and one that really enhanced the overall Indian experience. It exposed the interns to the local language, art and culture. I was able to communicate with taxi drivers and order food because I knew basic Hindi. I was reminded that I am not the most flexible person when the team organized a Yoga session. We discovered the secrets of the Indian Kitchen and it was interesting to learn about Tandoor. - an Indian style oven used for baking flatbreads and cooking certain meat dishes. We got to express our artistic side at the Henna session. A Henna artist explained the process of applying Henna and the tradition of doing so.

My favorite part of the language and culture series was when we visited the 'Indian Handicraft Emporium' - It houses one of the best pieces of Indian Handicraft items, varying from ivory, wood and silk. It helped us appreciate Indian Art and it was a great place to buy souvenirs for family and friends.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the program would have been less stressful on students as well as the admin if we used the metro since we all finished work at different times and often moved between offices
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indianadventure
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to travel or study abroad while they are young. Personally, never having a chance to leave my home country, I became worried when would I have time to travel and see all the wonders the world has to offer. Luckily I found out about this amazing program and never looked back; I had the opportunity to not only work on my career but also to see the world while I am young and my mind is still open to new things. It was amazing and I am so glad I did this program. If anyone is unsure about choosing or accepting a program like this let me reassure them by saying this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you do not want to pass up.

What would you improve about this program?
(1) I would have liked to see more actually language training programs. I was very excited to learn at least something of a new language but the language training we were offered was pathetic. Even immediately after I left the language training I did not feel like I learned anything about the language and that should change. Try to care more about it and not just treat it like a checklist.

(2) Recommend lunch of dinner places for individuals. Every now and then our group would go out for a group meal where we would joke around about work and just enjoy each others company, but that happened infrequently. Other then those few times I was searching the food court for something close to my hometown food because I was tired of eating India food. People are excited to try new things and I loved trying India food in the beginning but not only will we get emotionally sick of it but our bodies will also get sick of it. There was times where I was in the bathroom forever because my body was not use to this new culture food and all the bacteria that was in it. Try to look up where the individuals are coming from and see if you cannot offer some type of area or even a restaurant that could offer foods that they may be use to. I think this gesture will go a long way.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you decide to intern abroad with InternshipDesk in India?

Christiaan: I chose InternshipDesk because I knew that I wanted to go abroad but I also needed work experience. This for me was the perfect fit because I did not want to study abroad while I am in college. India seemed like a great place to go because of their rapidly growing economy and the new opportunities that present themselves daily. I knew that if I went I would learn a lot about business as well as a different culture and how things are done differently on that side of the world.

Christiaan with his new friends in India

What made this intern abroad experience unique and special?

Christiaan: Everything about this internship was great and I have so many memories from that summer. Not only do you see new things and sight but you also meet amazing people, many of which I have kept in contact with since leaving. I also got to trek in the Himalayas multiple times which was probably my favorite part of the trip.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Christiaan: This experience has given me new insight into how different things can be within a business. There are very few things that can be standard all over the world so you must adapt to the market. This has given me experience with a new market and challenged my by putting me out of my comfort zone working at Aviva. My one piece of advice to anyone who is thinking about interning in India would be to go into it with an open mind and be willing to do things out of your comfort zone. I think if you do this it will help you to get the most out of the experience.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Maninder Kohli

Maninder is currently an entrepreneur and is on the Board of three companies including InternshipDesk. In terms of interests, Maninder is an outdoor lover and was drawn to the mountains at an early age inspired by his father, Captain MS Kohli, who led India's path breaking climb of Everest in 1965. Over the years, his travels have taken him across the Himalaya and to several locations around the world, climbing, trekking, skiing, rafting and mountain biking. Maninder has found that outdoor adventure is a great way to unwind from the stress of modern corporate life.

What position do you hold at InternshipDesk? What has your career path been?

Maninder: In 1988 I completed my Master's in International Management at The American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) located in Glendale Arizona. Subsequently I joined Citibank's Consumer Bank in India where I served for a period of 20 years. In 2005 I was elevated as Senior Vice President and invited to serve on the Management Committee of the Consumer Bank. In 2010 I left Citibank to become an entrepreneur. At that time I joined the team which was working on building InternshipDesk, and currently serve as a Board Member and Executive Director of the India Program.

Interns visiting the Taj Mahal

What are the core principles InternshipDesk strives to achieve?

Maninder: At InternshipDesk, our focus is to encourage participation in International Internship Programs. We feel programs of this nature are a genuine value add for participants preparing for a corporate career. While an international internship on a resume certainly catches the eye of recruiters, it should not be looked upon as the sole reason to participate. In my mind, the key is to get an opportunity to work abroad at a relatively young age, which exposes participants to international markets and cultures, and shows how both aspects are connected in a diverse fashion. Thus, my recommendation to students is that over their university career, one of the internships they chose should be an international one.

What separates InternshipDesk from other internship providers?

Maninder: While we take great care in offering a "personalized internship" to each participant in an industry of their choice, we feel the sole focus on the internship itself does not give full value to participants. We have thus added several "program pillars" that work together in creating the outcomes we desire. Apart from the internship, one of the pillars is the academic component provided by Jindal Global University. Other pillars include a weekly lecture series and cultural series. Also part of the program is a Himalayan trek and lots of travel. Additionally, the fact that participants are part of a group also supports the learning process. We thus value the contribution of each of these pillars and feel that this format sets InternshipDesk apart from other internship providers.

What does the future hold for InternshipDesk?

Maninder: At InternshipDesk, the focus, year after year, continues to be the enhancement in the delivery of all of our program. In 2013 we will be offering our International Internship Programs in four locations around the world and the intention is to add an additional location every year. Feedback from our programs has been extremely positive from all stakeholders, participants, parents, educators and companies, which has encouraged us to further, build on what has been achieved.