A Postcard From: Ashvika Dhir ’18

Name: Ashvika Dhir
Class Year: 2018
Major: International Studies
Hometown: Yardley, Pa.

Internship Placement: Luthra & Luthra Law Offices
Job Title: Legal Intern
Location: New Delhi, India

What’s happening at your internship?

Currently, I am assisting a senior partner with research on the first biosimilar case in India. So far I have familiarized myself with the specific case by reading all the case files that were prepared previous to my arrival. Now, I am researching international case laws, so that I can understand how these cases have been handled abroad outside of India. This might provide certain insight for the case at hand.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I have always been interested in law after reading about major cases in learning about some of the most accomplished lawyers in the field. Unfortunately, I had never had any first-hand exposure to the field besides what I had read about it. During my semester abroad, I had taken a class called “Law from a European Perspective.” I found that course to be very interesting and I wanted to learn about what law is like from an Asian perspective. My aunt is a practicing lawyer in Delhi and she introduced me to this opportunity. I thought that applying for this internship would allow me to learn about law while simultaneously working in the field. That is why I chose to apply for this internship!

Living in a new city? What has that experience been like for you?

During my childhood, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel back-and-forth between the United States and India to visit my family. In elementary school and middle school, my brother and I used to stay with my grandmother for 2 to 3 months at a time during our summer vacations. Usually, we stayed in Chandigarh and then we travelled to Delhi for short periods of time. This year has been much different since I am staying in Delhi for the entirety of my time in India. It took me a week or two to readjust to living here, but now I have found stability in a daily routine. Also, work keeps me occupied for majority of the week, so time has flown by quicker than I was expecting. After a month here, I could not be happier that I made the decision to take up this incredible opportunity.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?

So far, I think the biggest challenge has been adjusting to small differences in the workplace. Until now, I have only worked in the United States, so certain nuances in the workplace did not occur to me. Even though I was given a crash course on conducting business abroad, the only way I could learn about particular differences was by actually experiencing them for myself. For example, it did not occur to me that your superiors are called sir and ma’am here, despite whatever the age difference may be. I was also surprised to learn that most Indian employers expect interns to be able to start working independently on new assignments from the first day on the job. Although these slight differences were challenging at first, I think they have opened my eyes to expectations of working abroad. I feel that this will be a great advantage in the future.