At this time of the year, normally students are seen thronging the corridors, waiting for their turn to be interviewed by organisations for their internships. At RICS School of Built Environment (SBE) Amity University, the beginning of summer is associated with the beginning of the internship process. It is mandatory for all students to go through two months of the internship so that they get hands-on experience and feel of the industry. The institute arranges these internships by approaching the organisations who give them their requirements for interns along with the location, profiles and stipend offered etc. This requirement is floated amongst all the students who then apply according to their field of interest. This is usually followed by the organisations picking out young interns after conducting due interviews whether on skype, phone or in person. And then begins two months of hands-on industry experience which often gets translated to pre-placement offers.
Internships in these unprecedented times of COVID 19
That was a normal case scenario. But this year the corridors are silent as the students obey the rules of the COVID 19 lock down and stay safe at home. How does one go about an internship when you are not allowed to step out of the house because Sars-CoV-2 is devastating the world and everyone is working from home? Safety of the students is no doubt paramount, but it is important to maintain continuity in their education and training. An internship team was set in place to think through and organised student internships which could be carried out from the safety of their homes.
Since everyone is under a lock down situation, it was decided to innovate, and this year give the students research-based internships which they can accomplish from home, without any need to step out. Knowing that the students would be disappointed about missing the opportunity to gain direct industry exposure as they couldn’t go out to the industry, we decided to bring the industry home to them. A lot of thought and effort was put into organizing these internships so that students could get as close as an industry experience as possible under the present trying circumstances.
With the active involvement of industry veterans, the internship team brainstormed and prepared a list of research topics related to issues for which the industry is looking for answers. For this, they reached out to the RICS Research Team, Faculty of Northumbria University, CREDAI, senior industry professionals, etc.
Industry leaders’ mentor the students
Each student went through counselling, orientation and guidance by the faculty so that they could choose an appropriate research topic in line with their field of interest and strength. Experienced industry leaders, the faculty and alumni of the institute have all pitched into a mentor and guide each student in his/her research. Under their research topic, students were aligned with the appropriate industry mentors and faculty members. Alumni were assigned to students for guidance and consultation and to share with them their industry experience. After one month of intensive research, the students will present their report to their mentors who will evaluate and grade the report.
Looking forward to outstanding research reports
As it is rightly said, adverse situations lead to innovations and inventions. In this case, it was an innovative internship which started on schedule on April 15, 2020. It is no doubt a feather in the cap of RICS SBE that it could leverage its contacts with the industry and organised “at home internships” for its students while still giving them an industry exposure. Being mentored by Industry veterans, professors and alumni will also be a good relationship building exercise for the students. After such a strong collaboration, at the end of this Internship month, we are now looking forward to the submission of some outstanding Research Reports.
About RICS SBE:
RICS School of Built Environment (RICS SBE), Amity University is an industry led academic institution which delivers specialized undergraduate and postgraduate programs to students ambitious to work in real estate, construction and infrastructure sector. It also aids as a hub for research and development of technical proficiency in built environment.