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A Second Chance

Thursday, March 07, 2013

On International Women’s Day, Tata Second Career Internship Program celebrates its fifth anniversary. Dev Goswami finds out more about this women empowering program

Taking a break from your professional career is not a big deal. You may leave because you’ve just become a mother or you might want to satisfy your inner travel bug. Sometimes, you don’t even need a reason. You might just feel the need to take a break from the cobwebs of the corporate world and decide to take a sabbatical. While all that is perfectly fine, women who have taken such career breaks know how hard it is to find a job once you’ve been without one for a long period of time. That’s why Tata Second Career Internship Program (SCIP) caught our eye.

Established in 2008, Tata SCIP provides a platform for women who want to re-enter the corporate sector after having taken a break. They provide opportunities for you to take on assignments with a number of companies that make up the Tata group. What’s more is that the assignments have flexible hours, so you won’t have to dive right back in to the hard, corporate world.

What you can look forward to
The first thing that really impressed us about Tata SCIP is that the programs aren’t limited to a measly internship in accounting or HR. From marketing and advertising to IT and legal and even fields such as engineering and hospitality, they have a wide range of options that we think covers almost every career field.

They also provide you with training and mentorship, helping you brush up on your skills and knowledge, if you’ve been cut off from the industry for too long.
Vice president of management development, group HR, Amit Chincholikar, explains, “SCIPies are provided with mentors during the duration of their assignment. The mentors guide and help them get back into the work environment. Training and counseling enables them to get back to what they do best.”
The program, which is spread over six months, offers you roughly 500 hours of experience and assignments. But, what about once you’ve finished the program? Well, while they do not promise anything, there is a chance that you will be absorbed in the company itself. If you aren’t, then the experience and new skills that you’ve learned will definitely help you snag a job someplace else. Amit tells us, “At the end of the project, most of the participants typically move on to full time roles either within or outside the Tata group. Some of them have turned entrepreneurs while several others have continued in consulting and advisory roles, with flexible arrangements.”

How to apply?
Before you make up your mind to apply, we recommend you check out their website, You will find information such as the stipend that you’ll receive (`2-4.5 lakhs) while you’re a part of SCIP, on the site. You can apply from the website itself, after which you will have to get through a telephonic and a personal interview.

We really like the idea and concept of Tata SCIP. We feel that such opportunities are much needed and if you’re on a break or are planning to take one, you should definitely check this out.

A voice from the inside
Ruma Rao, who took a break in her career to take care of her young daughter, tells us how Tata SCIP helped her. She says, “After being at home for two years, I wanted to return to work but with flexible hours. I wanted to be able to balance work with my personal responsibilities. So, I joined Tata SCIP and I’m happy with the way my career has progressed since I have resumed work. With the flexibility and understanding that it offers, the program has helped me re-enter the corporate world and enabled my transition to be a smooth and positive experience. My family also welcomed the change, as it was gradual and not abrupt.”

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