Centre For Civil Society Internship Interview – Research Intern – Pranav Sanga
Pranav Sanga, Research Intern, Centre For Civil Society shares his experience in this brief interview.
Please tell us about your Interview procedure at Centre For Civil Society (Short listing procedure, GDs, Interviews).
I was a Researching Reality (a coveted internship program in its 15th year) intern at the Centre For Civil Society. This is a six weeks internship during the summers. The selection was a two stage process. The first stage involved filling up of the application form, which was intended to gauge the critical thinking and interest in public policy, of the applicant.
The form was pretty exhaustive in itself and required a comprehensive background research. On the basis of the application form about fifty people were shortlisted, who were then called for the interview round. The interview involved a thorough scrutiny of the application form and the CV.
What makes this company different from other firms?
CCS is India’s best think tank and one of the major proponents of free markets and libertarian governance. The overall environment of the office was very friendly and conducive to research. One could just approach anyone in the office even with the silliest of doubts. The people came from diverse backgrounds and were more than happy to share their experiences.
One of the best thing was the diversity within the interns itself. Interns came from varied backgrounds ranging from engineering to liberal arts. We had a mix of both masters an undergraduate interns. Also, one thing that differentiates CCS from its contemporaries are the frequent mentorship sessions organized for the interns, on varied subjects like public policy, research methodology etc.
Elaborate on the type of work in this kind of role?
‘Researching Reality’ stands by its name. The internship involved researching on the contemporary socio-political issues and the identifying the loopholes in the public policy frameworks backing them. The interns were provided with a list of research themes and they had to choose accordingly.
The research areas varied widely both in terms of content and methodology. We had themes ranging from ‘Uber ban’ to the ‘African immigrants in Delhi’. My theme was ‘Livelihood mapping of Urban Villages’. It involved mostly primary analysis due to the lack of secondary data. My frequent visits to my research area, Huaz Rani, were an experience of a lifetime. By the end of the internship each intern was suppose to come up with a research paper of his own.
Would you like to give any general advice to your juniors?
Well, I would say that internships are really important for they give the much required exposure to the real life complexities that one can’t get within the college. Moreover, what is required is that one should explore as much as possible and try to find his interest.
This, I would say, is the most important of all things. The conventional job landscape is rapidly changing and the organizations are becoming more and more skill oriented. Henceforth, the focus should be on skills and their applicability.