Updated: Jun 29
The thought of pursuing an online internship must have crossed your mind amidst the Covid-19 scenario. But, here's the story of an XLRI HRM student, Adarsh Agrawal, who thought of helping others get such internship opportunities in these testing times. Adarsh created a website forum called Fighter Interns in 3 hours and posted about 250+ online, virtual, work from home internships for students who were seeking them.
Today, Adarsh has joined us to share about his website because he believes that the members of this blog are more suited for grabbing such opportunities than the MBA graduates out there. I also asked him to share a couple of insights about his XAT journey so that the MBA aspirants stand to benefit from our conversation.
I. About Fighter Interns
Me: Hey Adarsh, why don't we start with a brief background about you?
Adarsh: Sure, I am a non-engineer, a BBA graduate and currently an HRM (Batch of 2021) student at XLRI. I am currently interning with Samsung for the summers. I have run a Diamond Jewellery Trading Company in my undergrad and have been a leader of the World's No. 1 Gaming Team for COC.
Me: That's really interesting! But, what was even more interesting was to hear about the website you created to help other interns. Can you share what Fighter Interns is all about?
Adarsh: Thank you, actually the motivation for Fighter Interns came when I heard about a couple of my friends losing internships. That's when I realized that my LinkedIn account is full of posts of people helping each other find internship opportunities. Initially, I just wanted to collate these opportunities for my batch mates at XLRI. But, later I gave an open access to the file. In order to make it a community effort, I decided to post it on a website, which I created within 3 hours.
Me: As a non-engineer, wasn't it difficult for you to create your own website for this purpose?
Adarsh: That thought definitely made me hesitant at first. I didn't know how to make a website, but it really isn't hard and doesn't cost much. All you need to do is to look online for some ready-made tools and templates. It took me 3 hours and exactly 350 rupees to deliver this result. I feel most of us non-engineers find app development and website design too hard that we don't even give it a try. The only message I want to convey is that nothing is as hard as it looks, it just needs more patience than you think.
Me: Very well said, Adarsh. So, how is your website doing right now?
Adarsh: On day 1, I had traffic from all the top B-Schools and in about 10 days around 3,000 people have visited the post where I have shared a link to 250+ internship opportunities.
Me: Congratulations on the huge success in such a short time! So, did you monetize it?
Adarsh: I wanted to keep it not for profit, so initially I didn't want ads but later I felt that I could use the proceeds from ads for some other causes and make it a sustainable model for me to help people through out my life (I am still just considering it though).
Me: So, what are the future plans for the website?
Adarsh: I'm not planning to make it a full-fledged business. It's more like a side gig for me which in a way might be helped if the community picks it up. I will try to keep posting about things that I find valuable for interns. In the process, I just hope to make some good contacts through it while helping people get internships and jobs.
II. About XAT Preparation
Me: Can you tell us about your XAT preparation journey as a lot of members of the blog are interested in pursuing MBA from the XLRIs?
Adarsh: Sure, honestly, MBA is something that happened to me without any prior planning. A friend actually challenged me with a bet to get over 95 percentile in CAT, so while filling the form I filled XAT as well with him. Without prior preparation I went in for CAT and I realized that my approach was not right. For XAT, I took 5-6 mocks, I had an AIR 1 by the time I took the last mock. I scored around 95 Percentile in CAT and 99.36 Percentile in XAT. I received calls from SPJ Fin, MDI, IIMs, XL BM, XL HRM and few others.
Me: That's great! Did you find any section relatively difficult to prepare?
Adarsh: Not difficult exactly, but I pushed my QA score from 75 percentile to 99 percentile in the mocks. I was good at Mathematics till my 10th as I was into Olympiads. But, in the beginning of my preparation, I used to imagine an unknown X to proceed with a problem, solving it diligently to come up with the correct answer. I changed this approach over time and started using the options more. I used proxy calculations to get an idea where the ball park number will lie in a range, solving with easy figures like 100 for many of the questions and then proportionately distributing. I feel these are the little things that make a big difference in your scores.
Suggested Reading | QA Prep Tips
Me: That's true, a lot of non-engineers actually fear QA. Do you have any piece of advice for them?
Adarsh: It's all about having a right frame of mind towards the QA section. I have seen many non-engineers at XLRI who struggle with the Quantitative and Operations courses. But, I managed to maintain a CQ on a higher side using the same approach I used for XAT. It is the art of visualizing the problem clearly which sets engineers apart from the non-engineers. The engineers are taught about this technique during their JEE preparation. It is not that hard. The fear that I have seen in my friends is institutionalized and a little patience is all they need.
III. Concluding Note
Me: Is there anything else you'd like to say to the people who'll be reading your post?
Adarsh: I'd just like to say that sometimes we don't realise that we have already taken the first step. I would say don't think of the problems you face while solving a problem. Just think of the solutions. Trust me, most things in life are easier than people pretend them to be. Get a learning attitude. I have read Science, Commerce, UPSC material, MBA material, Coding and what not. It doesn't take long to be moderately good at anything.
Me: Thanks a lot for taking out time, Adarsh. I'm sure this will help a lot of non-engineers out there.
Adarsh: It's a pleasure, thank you for letting me share my journey with the blog members.
So, this was an inspiring note for you all so that you realize that no effort in life is small. It only takes a noble thought to differentiate you from others. If you're finding it hard to take that first step, remember that there are people out there who don't feel scared to lose.
You never lose, really. Either you win or you learn. In other words, it's a win-win. This is not the first website I have created. The first one was a disaster, so much so that I wouldn't even mention it. But, I indeed learned a great deal from it, a result of which is the website you're reading right now.
So, never fear to take that first step. Go ahead, find a problem that people around you are facing and start your journey. In the process of helping others, the most amount of benefit will get accrued to yourself only. Remember that the fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose!
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