You could cut the tension with a knife. Feet shuffling around; hurried footsteps going from one room to another. Animated conversations in the hallway, the common refrain being, “What did they ask you?”
The scene repeats itself every year at Delhi Technological University in New Delhi, India for summer internship hiring. And in 2017, it was no different for Prabhav Gupta, who was studying Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology.
“I remember this period as one filled with rejections,” reminisces Gupta. “We were all keen on the best companies for an internship, but I wasn’t selected. I tried my hand at cold calling. I even wrote to all the big-name global companies, not bothering about visa issues. I had given up hope and started thinking about my Masters in the USA,” he reveals.
But fate decreed otherwise.
“As luck would have it, a friend shared a link for ’LinkedIn-MTV Get A Job‘, a reality TV platform for students and young professionals to land an internship at some of the biggest companies in India,” adds Gupta. The rest is history.
Gupta was shortlisted and made it to the show. He was among a select group of five from across India who went through interview rounds at the Microsoft India Development Center in Hyderabad, India.
He remembers the day vividly. “It was April 16, that I stepped into the Microsoft campus at Hyderabad. And was I blown away,” he exclaims reliving that moment. “I had this impression of corporate offices being boring places to work. But this was a big eye-opener. A human chess garden, a stream of water that welcomes you. At that moment, I decided I had to crack this, come what may.”
“After 12 hours of grueling interviews, I was chosen for an opportunity of a lifetime. It was a dream come true moment!” he reminisces.
For thousands of students like Gupta, an internship offers a great opportunity to learn how a business and industry operate. But, landing one is not an easy feat. How can students segue into some of the most sought-after opportunities?
Playing now: LinkedIn-MTV Get A Job
For LinkedIn, the collaboration was a strategic decision in line with its endeavor to cater to its fastest-growing segment – students.
“We wanted LinkedIn to play a key role in empowering students to get a job and be a platform where they find expert opinion and professional news, views, and insights. Keeping this in mind, we partnered with MTV, the biggest youth entertainment brand in the country,” explains Srividya Gopani, Director – Brand and Consumer Marketing, LinkedIn – APAC and China.
As the cultural home of millennials, the genesis of the reality show was a natural progression for MTV.
“MTV India is the universe of the young. It boasts a dynamic and vibrant blend of music and pop culture and is a cultural home to the millennial generation. The same millennials who are ambitious and have dreams of landing the perfect job or internship right after college. We saw an untapped opportunity there. So we dug deeper into the psyche of the generation to figure what it was that they were looking for while looking for a job,” shares Ferzad Palia, Head – Youth, Music & English Entertainment, at Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd., the entertainment network that broadcasts the TV channel.
“MTV across different show handles on social media has a 39 million fan following; something that has made the brand the number one in social influence as well. LinkedIn, as a platform, has thousands of young aspirants who compete to get their hands on the biggest companies in the country. We just knew that this partnership would strike the bullseye. This is how LinkedIn-MTV Get A Job was born and over the years, we scaled it up into what it is today—one of the best branded content creations of MTV,” Palia adds.
Microsoft’s association with the show began during season three, in 2017.
“At Microsoft we are always keen to invite talent in our search for a diverse set of people who are passionate about our company’s mission of empowering every individual and every organization on the planet to achieve more. LinkedIn-MTV Get a Job helped connect us with millennial talent who are not only excited by our journey, but also passionate about making a difference by empowering others. We look forward to subsequent seasons and the talent that it will attract,” says Ira Gupta, Head of Human Resources, Microsoft India.
Lights, camera, flashback!
In 2018, Rishabh Bharti, a Computer Science student of Bachelor of Technology in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Dhanbad, realized his dreams on season four of the show.
Unlike Gupta’s experience where the selection process was more about gauging one’s personality and ability to think on one’s feet, Bharti had a coding round for initial selection. Then came a multi-faceted challenge to test critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. The final phase was a discussion on career paths with a senior leader at Microsoft.
For Bharti, the eight-week internship at Microsoft was a valuable learning experience. “The internship gave me a great deal of exposure in cloud development, machine learning, and how production-level businesses are managed,” he shares.
The latest addition to the Microsoft family through LinkedIn-MTV Get a Job is Aditya Kolsur, the season five winner. Currently a student of final year Bachelor of Electronics and Communication in Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Kolsur says, “During my internship, I was a part of the Notes Team India, under Microsoft Research and Development. I had to add accessibility features to the existing app, based on user feedback. It was a new exposure for me, and I tried my best to figure out how the codes work and how I can add value to my work.”
The highlight of Kolsur’s journey was the team’s inclusivity and openness. “I never felt like I was an outsider or someone who’d just be here for two months. I was treated just like any other full-time employee,” he adds.
All three of them won full-time pre-placement offers at the end of their internships.
Fast forward: 2019
Gupta now works as a part of the Azure team. There’s a lot of learning, but his dreams are much bigger. “In seven to ten years, I see myself heading my own lab on Computer Vision, right here at Microsoft,” he confidently states.
Bharti is now a part of a team that helps boost agility in data engineering. “At Microsoft, we have a lot of learning opportunities. Everyone helps you to grow and the team collaboration is commendable. You have a voice in your work. You have to take responsibility for your work and take decisions,” he shares.
For Kolsur, slated to join Microsoft full time by June 2020, time can’t move fast enough! “I loved the work I was doing during my internship. It was so exhilarating and fun that the time in college seems to be going slow now!” he exclaims.
Zooming in: The growth story
Today, LinkedIn-MTV Get a Job is the top choice of more than a million millennials seeking professional opportunities.
“From expanding the number of college campuses we reach–on ground and online, to the number of cities, LinkedIn-MTV Get A Job is always growing. This year, we connected with students across more than 400 colleges in India,” beams Palia.
LinkedIn and MTV came together to give students a foot in the door to some of the largest companies in India, year on year. Five seasons down the lane, LinkedIn-MTV Get a Job has grown as a platform for students. Its LinkedIn group is a forum for students to interact with other students and explore opportunities throughout the year.
The end? Not really!
If you or somebody you know is passionate about technology and empowering everyone to achieve more, watch out for the upcoming Season 6 of LinkedIn-MTV Get a Job.
If you haven’t applied already, what are you waiting for? The internship of your dreams is just a click away!