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|June 28, 2000|
The fun internship
Nitish S Rele
Six college students are taking part in 'Summer of Chai', an online set of events organized by www.chaitime.com, a south Asian online community.
The six interns are Sapna Patel from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Siddharth Anand from the University of California at Berkeley, Monica Gupta from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Senthil Ramamurthy from the University of Chicago, Shruti Chandra from the University of Virginia, and Hassan Akmal from the University of California, Los Angeles.
The interns were picked earlier this year after two chaitime.com representatives went on a driving spree in the 'ChaiMobile', an Isuzu Trooper donated by American Isuzu Motors.
They visited south Asian clubs in 26 universities across North America to interview and videotape candidates. Winners were selected on the basis of a combination of personality, experience, skills and videotaped application.
Now the six are sharing a five-bedroom house in downtown Philadelphia as part of their three-month internship. Webcams are located in the Chaitime House and broadcast their lives as part of 'The Young and the Desi' real-life soap opera. The interns are also hosting online chats, venturing on field trips, and working at the chaitime.com office in Philadelphia.
The interns are producing daily video diaries and written journals, which can be seen on the www.chaitime.com Web site. Each intern holds live chats from the house every Tuesday and Thursday.
"We're very excited to be able to provide our global audience with this unique glimpse into the lives of six college students with the 'Summer of Chai'," said Neeta Parikh, president of chaitime's North American region.
"Through their daily journals, personal homepages and video clips, we are bringing their real world experiences into the virtual world... The Summer of Chai interns bring a lot of energy, creativity and fun to chaitime," said Parikh.
During the first week of July, interns from the Summer of Chai, UK, will also move in with their counterparts in Philadelphia. They will stay a week, to live and work with the other interns.
Also, chaitime.com is holding two contests: The Great Summer Giveaway, which includes prizes such as playstations, Palm Pilots, shopping sprees; the second is The Crazy Fan Contest, in which a fan will get to come and stay in the Chaitime House.
The Summer of Chai has been sponsored by Gemstar, American Isuzu Motors, www.teenstation.com and The Body Shop.
Established in May 1999, www.chaitime.com offers the south Asian community culture-specific channels like arts and culture, astrology, Bollywood, careers, college life, cricket, music, news, relationships and weddings. Also featured are services like free email, chat, discussion groups, community calendars and community homepages.
The company has its headquarters in Philadelphia.
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