No laptop? No job!

Published: May 21, 2011

Instead of encouraging students and helping them, our professionals are busy demoralising them with baseless demands.

How would you react if you received a call from your favourite organisation telling you that you have been selected to join them as an intern?

It would make you ecstatic and jump with joy.

But what if, the next minute, they put in the condition: Only if you have a laptop.

What would your reaction be then?

Many may be fine with this sort of condition – every organisation has its own set of rules and regulations and if they have a certain requirement, there is nothing wrong with it.

I, for one, was really taken aback however, especially because it was coming from one of the oldest and largest publication houses. The notion that such organisations do not have computers available for interns really puts me at a loss for words. It is absurd!

Maybe I am overreacting but I want to know how, when you are student with no means of earning money, could you be expected to afford a laptop?

I have always maintained that I will only buy a laptop once I start earning myself.  I will not burden my parents to buy me one. I know that many students do have laptops but they are given to them by their parents. It is also true that there are certain students who earn through tuitions and other means, but if you do not have the knack for teaching, what are you supposed to do?

With summer holidays around the corner, many university students will be trying to get internships in their respective fields. Sadly, the laptop demand is a demoralising factor for those who are talented and hardworking but don’t own one.

Students should not be refused the chance of achieving their dreams because of such a ridiculous condition.

I don’t mean to offend anyone with this post, but in a country where the unemployment rate is increasing daily, and as it is, students see a gloomy picture for their future, instead of encouraging and helping them, we seem to be busy demoralising them with impossible demands.


Madiha Akhtar

A freelance writer, an avid reader and a blogger, she has worked as a field reporter for a brief period and has written articles as a freelancer for different publications. She tweets as @mistful83 (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fahad Raza

    Err… what about ur own convince …. was it asked in the interview or was it so mandatory they didn’t even ask?
    They ask it to screen people simple.Recommend

  • parvez

    Sympathise with your point of view. Can’t you rent a laptop ?Recommend

  • a.a.younes

    Well laptop deal is quite surprise for me. The bottom line is, In pakistan if you are not rich, and don’t possess some strong references, life is pretty much harder than those who are rich and have references. specially pointing out towards internship. A person cannot get internship until and unless someone knows you there.Recommend

  • http://London Hasan

    I, for one, was really taken aback
    however, especially because it was
    coming from one of the oldest and
    largest publication houses.

    The offices of the ‘one of the oldest and largest’ publication house’s sister company were burnt today. Next they would want cameramen to have their own cameras and newscasters to bring their own prompters. Sigh.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed

    Please don’t get upset. Its a minor problem, borrow from a friend until you get your paycheck or get a loan from your parents, but don’t miss this opportunity. Also don’t show resentment on these rules. Big organizations don’t change their rules for one individual and these rules are there for some reason. You are lucky, they are demanding one laptop, my employer put a condition of a car, when I did not have a license to drive. I accepted the offer. Reaching at work was not a problem because I could get public transport at that time, but at the end of shift after midnight, I had to walk five kilometers to main raod, where I could find some transport. I had to do it for few months before I got my license and a car. During this time I did not let anyone know about it. My employer put condition for his own benefit, becasue he did not want to provide conveyance or take such responsibilty, also he wanted me to be on time. When I did a good job and was always on time, he did not care, whether I have a car or not.Recommend

  • Madiha Akhtar

    Thanks for the sympathy but the answer to your question is no:)Recommend

  • Asim

    This is unbelievable … just thinking about the concept of internship now in the minds of these organizations, it seems they donot understand that Interns are supposed to assist these organizations so providing them the right tools to fulfill their duties should be the responsibility of the organization. If they dont value the input from these interns then why bother having one?Recommend

  • Majid Ur Rehman

    I had no mobile and I went on bicycle on my job interview which got materialized in 2005. I remember how difficult it was for me to manage my applications without a mobile and the feeling of moving on bicycle for my interviews and other activities. Now I am manager middle east and north Africa in Dubai. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds. I can understand what are you going through. May God help you.Recommend

  • parvez

    @Madiha Akhtar:
    OK. There are other options like beg, borrow, lease a laptop. Bottom line is how badly do you want this internship ? If you really want it, you will find a way to make it happen.
    @Nadeem Ahmed has given very sound advice.
    Best of luck.Recommend

  • Maroof Moulvi

    It is undoubtedly appalling that possessing a laptop is a prerequisite for getting an intern-ship. However, let me assure you that in the long-run such organisations will cease to exist if they fail to take social responsibility. I wish you luck in finding a better organisation that values skills over objects.Recommend

  • ravaba

    really madi m agree with you ….it is so hard to get an internship then how we possibly be optimistic for jobs. i my self was shocked by hearing this ..but answer for thoses people is that mam i am a student not from behria or lums …the saddest part is we need money for every thing and for it we find out jobs but job require experience and now for experience we search out internships and internship require money (lap top) so in short you have to be rich for eligible for a job……..but really i must say that organisation you are talking about have lost a talented person…Recommend

  • Dinesh Chetti

    I live in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. Our state government is going to give free lap tops for higher secondary school children (1.4 million students). I am just trying to convey the attempts made by TN government across the border. I hope similar attempts at least for meritorious college students in Pakistan would be great.

  • Ahmad

    there is nothing companies can do,

    its all because of “WAPDARecommend

  • WhoWasThatMaskedMan

    Oh well these demands by dream organizations. sighs I did my internship really because I had my own laptop or it was no internship. You know what my dream organization demanded later for job; a degree from XYZ university while I had already graduated from ABC university. Worse?Recommend

  • Vcitim

    Great read, I for one have been a victim of this absurdity. A company called me and we went through all the points. At the end he said you may join on this coming Monday. The next moment he called again inquiring if I have a laptop. I said no and his answer was simple, ‘ then there is no need for you to join, kindly get a laptop and then contact us,’ leaving me completely dumbfounded. Recommend

  • I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Pakistan

    You could have named the company name to humiliate the company so that they don’t repeat this mistake which may dishearten many others.Recommend

  • Arsalan

    I will relate it with the requirement given for some marketing jobs that you must own a motor bike. Such ads are flooded in newspapers & job sites. The Recommend

  • Maleeha Khan

    awww its really discouraging!! hope u get an internship where there are no such stupid conditions!!Recommend

  • Kevin

    It’s cruel of them to do that, but practical. As 1. a college student 2. someone seeking a job and 3. an internet-competent writer, you simply cannot do without it. And if there is ONE thing your parents can do for you, it should be get you a laptop! I said the same thing to myself for years, and it means many, many hours of lost productivity and missed opportunities. While I don’t love my Chinese-made PC laptop, it works. I got the idea to get one because a friend of mine from India, studying at UChicago, and one it it worked for her. And since then she’s done quite well for herself.. Laptops are pretty much the default for college students in the US, even those from modest circumstances. I would suggest a used Apple from a supplier or friend who seems reliable, but I imagine in Pakistan there must be a good supply of new Chinese laptops also. And also if you can get yourself this gig, you can get yourself other ones.Recommend

  • Saad Ahmed

    I have been part of Pakistan’s top business school for the last 6 years and have interned at some of the best companies in the country, all MNC’s. Never have i came across such an issue where they have asked me to join only if i have a laptop. This is for sure a one off incident and the author has absurdly generalized it.Recommend

  • Madiha Akhtar

    Thanks for the suggestions and the comments.Recommend

  • Narjis+Wasim

    Ironic, see the organistaion is certainly at the other side of the bridge no pun intended, so how would they know that buying a laptop for a bourgeois is not all roses.

    yahoo detector, daemon toolsRecommend