Debolina Saha (NUJS, Batch of ’06) on becoming the founder of Internship Bank

Ms. Debolina Saha (NUJS, Batch of ’06) who is the founder of Internship Bank. She has been interviewed by EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador Mansi Meena.

In December 2019, Internship Bank was created to provide internship opportunities to first generation female professions coming from humble and lesser-well known colleges. Debolina can be reached at debolina@internshipbank.org or visit https://www.internshipbank.org/.

1.Can you please introduce yourself?

I am a dual qualified senior capital markets lawyer, and the founder of Internship Bank. I graduated from the WB-NUJS and I currently work in Hong Kong as a Senior Associate and a core team member of Dorsey and Whitney’s India Capital Markets practice. I also had, amongst others, memorable working stints at Ashurst LLP in London, Allen &Overy in Hong Kong, Amarchand Mangaldas and Luthra & Luthra Law Offices in India.

Further being a first generation lawyer myself I know just how much an organization like the Internship Bank would have meant to me during my professional journey.

2.Please tell us more about the Internship Bank Team?

I have a super star team of three very enthusiastic and extremely talented young individuals! In fact it is my team’s enthusiasm and spirit that keeps me motivated and I could not have asked for a better-team!

Shubhaankar Ray, the only male person in the team is a 3rd year law student of NALSAR University of Law. He has previously been an active participant in various initiatives including the Project Citizen Campaign (New Delhi) and the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative at Hyderabad.

Mansi Meena is also a 3rd year student from NALSAR University of Law who is passionate about social initiatives. She has previously volunteered for initiatives like IDIA and Developing Inclusive Education (DEVISE) and is keen on making Internship Bank a true success!

Bringing diversity to our team is Tsui On Sang (also known as Alice) from the University of Hong Kong. Alice is powerhouse of quick media-content turnarounds and is keen to major in politics and law! She is also the co-founder of the Government and Laws Committee of her University and holds the position of Academic Secretary at the Sociology Society.

3.Can you please tell our readers about Internship Bank?

Internship Bank is a platform with the object of connecting, “today’s successful women to tomorrow’s successful women”. The platform acts as an online repository of internship opportunities extended exclusively by successful senior women professionals to upcoming female professionals. In this way, we provide internship opportunities to 1st generation female professionals coming from humble backgrounds and/or lesser-known colleges and thereby provide opportunities to those who would otherwise sorely lack access to such prospects!

4.Why do you think there is a need of a platform such as Internship Bank?

It is a sad reality that even today, the ratio gap between male and female employees at workplaces remain wide. So, an online platform like Internship Bank can play a crucial role by connecting female interns with female mentors and in the process accomplish three critical goals, namely inspire success, model success and provide support.

So, when you extend a helping hand and collaborate with Internship Bank, you are in fact joining hands to make a difference and bring about positive social impact!

5.Is Internship Bank only limited to offering internship opportunities in the field of law?

It is purely coincidental I am guessing that has a lot to do with the fact that most of the people I am connected to are lawyers. But, Internship Bank welcomes diverse internship opportunities fromany organization in every area of interest that could help shape career options for women!

6.How would it benefit Universities to collaborate with Internship Bank?

A collaboration with Internship Bank benefits your University on multiple fronts. It opens a plethora of opportunities for female students to enhance their skills through practical knowledge and increased exposure. With the forum comes an assurance of safety and security. Moreover, it allows the University to strongly showcase its commitment towards having a deep social impact by attempting to bridge the skewed gender inequality gap in the existing professional field. Lastly, it creates a network by itself of professional women committed to helping each other.

7.How would it benefit Organizations to collaborate with Internship Bank?

Collaborating with Internship Bank sends out a strong message that your organization is keen on bringing about diversity at workplace and creating a network of women who are keen to help each other.

We advertise details of your internship requirements on our webpage and simultaneously advertise your organization on Internship Bank’s other social media platforms to help generate the good publicity that your organization deserves for coming forward to help with this initiative!

Further, organizations have the option to either advertise their requirements on a need only non-committed basis or firmly commit to actively intake a certain number of pre-decided candidates introduced to them via Internship Bank’s platform on a yearly basis. In the latter case, such organizations would get a first chance at our top internship candidates, a profile page for the organization on the Internship Bank website, a picture and bio of the woman who will be mentoring Internship Bank candidates on Internship Bank’s own website and an opportunity to write a quarterly guest blog post for Internship Bank. The blog post will also be included in Internship Bank’s newsletter. Needless to say, the platform of Internship Bank will provide such organizations an opportunity to market themselves as a committed member of Internship Bank and a diverse, women-friendly employer. Lastly such organizations will benefit from regular consultation with myself to maximize the value of the partnership and there would be links back to the organization’s site from our website.

8.How can students apply for an internship through Internship Bank?

You may take a look at the webpage of Internship Bank at https://www.internshipbank.org/find-an-internship and fill out the application form as per your choice of internships (that are available). You may follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to keep a look out for fresh internships opportunities that come by.

9.What is your message to the audience of this Blog? Please spread the work about Internship Bank!

Each effort helps us so if you know of any young female upcoming professional struggling for internship opportunities, please guide her to the website. Similarly, if you know of organizations or people who would be interested in collaborating with Internship Bank, please bring them to Internship Bank’s notice.

Also, I would like to thank all those who have already come forward to help Internship Bank’s initiative!

Lastly, I would especially like to thank “WOICE in Law” (WIL) and its founders Pramita Sen and Tarjana Rai. WIL which stands for Woman of India for Collaboration and Empowerment in Law, is a platform for women leaders in the legal industry to provide a collective voice to empower women. WIL’s members have made substantial number of internship offers to “Internship Bank”!

I only hope that going forward more organizations come forward to join hands with Internship Bank and help the online platform realise its goal of making a difference in the lives of those young women who have dared to dream and trudge forward towards their ambitions!

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