The 15 best summer internship stories of 2012


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The 15 best summer internship stories of 2012

  1. 1. The Best Summer Internship Stories of 2012 Volume 1.0 By
  2. 2. Message from Internshala Dear student, At the core of Internshala’s idea is the belief that internships, if managed well, can make a positive difference to the student, to the employer, and to the society at large. Hence, the ad-hoc culture surrounding internships in India should and would change. Internshala aims to be the driver of this change. We believe in the power of meaningful internships and we understand that in order change the mind set surrounding internships, we need to build an eco-system where every possible help that a student may need to land a good internship and to make most of it is available at one place. Your Internship Story contest is one of the many initiatives that Internshala undertakes every year to build this eco system. As part of this contest, thousands of students from all over India share their summer internship experiences with Internshala with the primary objective to help YOU. Our hope is that reading through these stories would help you realize the importance of internships, make you more aware about what to expect in an internship and what not to, what kind of internship culture exists in an organisation and how it can add value to your career. Armed with this information, you can not only identify the right opportunity for you but also know someone who has done the same internship before and whom you can reach out to for more fundaes. In following pages, we present 15 Best Summer Internship Stories of 2012, that have been handpicked among the ~1000 entries that we received this year. These stories cover spectrum of academic disciplines (Engineering, MBA, Law, Degree Courses, Media etc.) and a variety of internship experiences across Corporates, NGOs, Startups, Universities, PSUs and many more. The stories are in no particular order and there are definitely equally insightful stories which could not be accommodated in this book due to space constraint but are available at the Your Internship Story link. Internshala would also like to thank the contest sponsors Education in Ireland (Main Sponsor), IBM The Great Mind Challenge (Associate Sponsor), and Youth Ki Awaaz (Online Media Partner) for their support. Hope you have a fun read! If you have any feedback, please do write to me at Wish you all the best! Sarvesh Agrawal Founder & CEO www.internshala.comMake your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 2
  3. 3. Index1. Summer Internship with Perfetti Van Melle — Kavya from IMT Ghaziabad.............................................42. Summer Internship with Hyeworth — ‘Sara’ from IBA.............................................................................73. Summer Internship with Hanyang University — Shubham from IIT Guwahati.......................................104. Internship with Adhunik Group — Surojit from IIT Kharagpur...............................................................145. Summer Internship with Johnson and Johnson Ltd. — Swati from JBIMS..............................................176. Summer Internship with IIM Ahmedabad – Tarun from IIT Bombay......................................................197. Summer internship with SWACH — Divya from Christ University..........................................................228. Summer Internship with Kshitij Horizons — Abhishek from KIIT University...........................................249. Summer Internship with ConAgra Foods — Mohammed Shahbaaz from IIM Indore............................2610. Summer Internship with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd – Mayank Savla from IIM Ranchi......................................................................................................................................................2911. Summer Internship with IITian’s PACE – Aditya from IIT Gandhinagar...................................................3112. Summer Internship with Bajaj Auto Limited – Pranav from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology.......3313. Summer Internship with BHEL — Namesh from NIT Allahabad..............................................................3514. Summer Internship with Kings XI Punjab — Karthik from Faculty of Management Studies...................3715. Summer Internship with Money Wizards – Sowmya Swaminathan from SDNB Vaishnav College for Women....................................................................................................................................................40 Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 3
  4. 4. 1. The Art of Selling 50 Paisa Chocolates Kavyas internship took her on a journey through rural Maharashtra. Her story makes you feel as if you are part of her journey, discovering Kotlers theories holding true even in the countrys smallest villages, her struggle with Marathi, and the ultimate gain of a broadened outlook! Institute: - IMT Ghaziabad Organization interned with: - Perfetti Van Melle Box Office Report Part 1, Act 1: Dimaag Ki Batti Jala De: BCG Matrix, Ansoff Matrix, BTL vs. ATL, Marketing Mix, 4 P’s , 5 C’s and STP cramming up later, finally, THE day. Interviewer: I see the enthusiasm in you to land an FMCG summer but are you sure you are ready for the grind? Me: Absolutely sir. Moving out of one’s comfort zone is where the real learning is in life. Blah..Blah.. Interviewer: *heavy cough* So you mentioned you don’t know Hindi. Now consider I post you in Punjab or Uttar Pradesh to sell candies. You are up for it? Me: (:O Hindi-nahi-maalum-hai-Madrasi trying to keep a straight face) Language shouldn’t be an issue sir as long as one has the willingness to explore boundaries. I have half a year before my summer starts. I am sure I will pick up the language by then. 6 months later, DLP Canteen: Bhaiya do bada chai de do. Yes. That was all where my Hindi stood :( Part 1 Act 2: Dobara Mat Poochna: I call my Granny after the interview to let her know that I have landed an FMCG summer internship. Me (toning down the MBA jargon): Grandma, I am going to do work with a chocolate company next summer. Grandma: Kanna, so you are telling me, after 4 years of engineering, a year of work life and a year of MBA later, you are going to sell fifty paisa chocolates? Me: Spot on grandma :| The endless wait for job location to arrive now starts. Part 1 Final Nail: Zubaan Pe Rakhe Lagaam: Month of April: The much awaited mail lands up in the inbox.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 4
  5. 5. Project Scope: Rural Van Operations. Project Location: Rural Maharashtra. You keep staring at the screen for 10 minutes; come again, rural van operations? A quick search and even mighty Google doesn’t return anything motivating. Sample search result: “To enhance awareness of our product in the interiors of the country, wall paintings & rural van operations are in full swing. Unique localised trial generation plans will be implemented through Haats, Puppet shows and pilot salesmen.” Wall paintings, Haats and puppet shows? I’m hysterical now thinking about the summers. Part 2: Bade kaam ki cheez: After endless sleepless nights wondering how I was going to survive the rural experience sans the language, Nashik district calling it was, to get my hands dirty! Clichéd as it may sound, little did I know that those 2 months in rural Maharashtra were going to change the way I looked at life. A state bus from Nashik bus sthanak takes me to my Super Stockist’s warehouse 30 km away. Enter a guy with fancy ear studs, pressed formals and weird pointed shoes, “Maa-daam I am your assigned Pilot Sales Representative (PSR) for the next two months.” “Maa-daam”, in that weird tone – a word I am likely to not get over any time soon. Innumerable Maadaams, “Maa-dam aaj kahan chalna hai”, “Maa-dam naashtha karna hai”, “Maa-dam yeh maal kabhi leta nahi, woh dukaan pe try karte hain.” And to be fair to him, “Bhai-yaaa” is a word he isn’t likely to forget any time soon either :) A normal day usually consisted of loading our beloved red Maruti Omni with every SKU (Stock Keeping Unit – me trying to show off my acquired MBA jargon) of chocolate boxes available, me, my PSR and driver in that order, squeezing ourselves into the front seats of the overflowing van; sunscreen — check, dupatta — check, oversized sunglasses — check; off to wilderness! Niphad, Satana, Malegaon, Pimpalgaon, Dindori, Baindali — all to assess sustainability of rural confectionary distribution among wholesalers, distributors, retailers, chemists, stockists! My PSR was a 10th graduate hailing from one of those gaons around. He had an unapologetic view about every topic in life. Compensated for the lack of FM Radio in our van! One of the foremost things I learnt in my internship? Formal education isn’t everything. Here was a guy who could offer deeper insights about sales and marketing in plain brash terms than what my Marketing Management books I & II could teach me. “Maa-dam a formal degree is the only thing that’s holding me back with regret in life. See the demand for bottled water? People spending hard-earned money on something that is freely available, that is what marketing does. I will open a bottling plant bigger than Bisleri one day.” Lesson No 1. The Great Indian Rural is an oxymoron. Rural is actually no more rural. DTH takes Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson to their homes these days. Vodafone Chota recharge, Dettol’s 50 gm 6 Rs. soap bar, Chota Coke , PnG’s 1 Re Pantene sachet, every MNC is vying to capture their attention. Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid is indeed a loot. All said and done, Rural Branding is a starkly opposite battle ground. Sample? Parachute’s competition in rural areas? Blue- bottled Parachun. Big Babool’s competitor: Big Bamboo. And Ariel/ Surf Excel’s competitior – not Wheel/ Rin but Ghari detergent. Philip Kotler tells us that that every brand aspires to be “known for the product category it represents”, like what Xerox is to Photostat or Adobe Photoshop is to image editing. In the rural context, you discover how this thought has permeated deep through to include Pepsi denoting the 1 Re freezed orange stick, Kurkure denoting any oily wafers/potato chips sold and Cadbury denoting any chocolate sold. Lesson No 2: When you realize that people after a hard tiring afternoon at the field consume two Parle-G packets as their lunch or use Lifebuoy for personal hygiene as well as washing clothes, you understand how tongue-in-cheek marketing efforts would take you nowhere in rural but rather brands that form emotional connect with the people have been the ones surviving. Sales isn’t just “I have a product you need, you have the money I need, let’s exchange it.” Sales is also about the people. Me: “Namaste dada hum Alpenliebe company se aa rahe hain. Bolo aap kya kareedoge aaj?” Shopkeeper: Yeh lal wali chocolate kitne ka hai? An over-enthusiastic me: XX chocolates XX rupees. A visibly frowning PSR: Madam aap mera kaam mat karo. English pe bolege to kuch faida nahi. Ego hurt. Message Marathi friend, “Quickly translate the following numbers in Marathi” He is like, “What’s up?” Next day armed with mugged up Marathi knowledge, I begin showing off Ek she thetis, Shambhar, Ek she bechaalis. My PSR is a little confused about how do to deal with my interferingKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 5
  6. 6. over-enthusiasm. Sales complete at outlet, we proceed in our van to the next village for a stopover. Part of my routine? Noting down villages’ names, so that when I complete my summers, I can hand my PSR the optimum beat list or the route plan of sales for a particular day. So I ask “Bhaiya yeh gaon ka naam kya hai?” PSR: Bajula Thambav. I write down in CAPS on my Daily Market Report “2nd town visited BAJULA THAMBAV.” Both my driver and PSR burst out laughing. I’m confused :/ After the tears have rolled down, they tell me he had directed the driver to go a little to the side and stop the van, and it wasn’t the village name. Trolled! Lesson No 3: Ego gets you nowhere. I recollect how I was sceptical about drinking pot water a shop keeper offered. Half my expenses till then were on bottled water. The shop keeper said something that cut across sharply, “Madam I have a 4 and a 6 year old here. They don’t fall sick drinking this. And I wouldn’t give this to you if I thought you would.” Kotler may term it CRM , still, Sales is indeed about relationships. A 60 year old shopkeeper to me – “You are a South Indian girl speaking broken Hindi roaming about in rural Maharashtra in a van filled with chocolates with two guys who look suspicious and you tell me your mom at home isn’t worried about finding you a groom?” Summer Internship in FMCG Sales is a difficult experience to explain — Loved it? Check. Hated it? Double check. 3666 km of broadened outlook? That is what I gladly took away! P.S. The article is a tongue-in-cheek look at my summer internship. Mr. Nilesh Deore, my Radio- Mirchi PSR, Mr. Deepak, my seedha-saadha driver and my cribbing-companion & co-intern, Ms. Radhika, thanks for making the two month journey the experience of a lifetime!Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 6
  7. 7. 2. Redefining Stupid – By Employee of the Month We are glad Saras (that is the code name the author goes by) less-than-competent stint at Hyeworth happened -- it gave us a laugh like no other. Our teams first reaction to reading this entry was, "What a story!" Youll regret missing this one; after all, it won the Most Hilarious Story award! Institute: - IBA Organization interned with: - Hyeworth Box Office Report While this could serve as a warning to both my current and potential employers, I wish to stay pseudonymous so the former does not know what I’m really capable of, and the latter figures it out it in his own sweet time. I have no desire to make it easy for them. ‘Redefining Stupid’ — By: Employee of the month. Warning: Some content of the article may cause readers to experience severe urges to facepalm themselves. To avoid severe bruising and/or concussions, please do not continue. Other side effect effects include grinning idiotically and flashbacks of foolish incidents. I wouldn’t define myself as ‘stupid’ but recent events have forced me to question my beliefs, claims of sanity and reconsider the idea of stamping the word across my face. After graduation, I wisely opted to wiggle my toes in faded over-size pink bunny slippers while my fellow graduates strutted around in kitten heels (monkey suits for the boys). I was quite content dreaming the dream rather than living it but the call from the University’s nosy placement office on a lazy Tuesday afternoon was the sound of the first domino falling. My groggy hello answered the question he had called to ask. He could have spared me the dignity and hung up right then but I suppose ‘The University’ wanted to ensure that unemployed-disappointments knew (and verbally admitted) that they were a waste of space. As if this message wasn’t reinforced every day. The nightmare of ending up at school in your underwear was replaced by one where I ended up at the graduation without a job. The defence mechanism kicked in and the CV spammer rose to the occasion. A few companies wrote back annoyed emails, others simply exercised their blocking rights. Fate, or whatever equivalent we soulless materialists believe in, finally led me to a small cubicle in an even smaller company — as an intern. But that last detail was conveniently left out. My professional ambition in life, okay, maybe just for those 6 weeks was to make it to my desk before my boss, the ‘Drama Queen’ made her entrance which was mostly around noon. I managed to do so the entire first week but with time, the task became harder, and the snooze button easier. The 5 minute drive to work was then spent engaged in intense prayer and promises that were forgotten at the sight of her empty parking spot. I tried. Caffeine, hidden alarm clocks, a screaming mother. All failed and all I was left with were new definitions and degrees of stupid. Smart: What you think of yourself as you crawl back in to bed at 7 am after gulping down a big mug of coffee/tea convinced that the caffeine will work its magic and effortlessly drag you out of bed fifteen minutes later. (See Clever) Smart-ass: What you realize you really are when the caffeine finally kicks in at eleven am(also see Super late).Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 7
  8. 8. Just plain stupid: Dozing off while waiting for your wake up beverage to cool down a bit (See reflection in mirror). Before you throw a dictionary in my face, admit that it was a good idea. However, HR seemed to have a better one. They installed a face recognition attendance system which not only told me I was late but also captured how horrible I looked every morning. Hoping to gain some sympathy from my own mother, I whined about cruel labour laws, the 9-5 timings, and the harsh no-lazy boy working conditions emphasizing on the FRD (Freaking Retarded Device aka Face Recognition Device). Things didn’t go exactly as planned. My mother’s sympathy was restricted. Her sense of humour –not so much. “Just be careful, sweetheart,” she chuckled. “If you actually show up at work with your face washed and hair brushed, it might refuse to let you in. “ I learnt a couple of other things over the span of the next 6 weeks — apart from the fact that my mother had been right. The guard had to let me in that day but not before I insisted I worked here and managed to pull out a crumpled business card. Other skills included implementing Dilbert’s look-busy expertise, tab-switching skills that could put a Ninja to shame, and all current food deals based on distance, mood and budget. Other key learning included ‘I got bored’ doesn’t justify taking a nap at conference table. The ‘B’ in BM clearly did not stand for ‘Brands.’ I soon realized that my corporate future and my boss’s sanity hung by a loose thread that was endangered by my new found blondness. It wasn’t permanent but these blonde moments did seem to escalate in to ‘prolonged periods of limited brain activity’ and had an inverse relationship with caffeine levels. My first mistake was forgiveable. The second almost cost the company a client. The third, my dignity — or whatever was left of it anyway. And since I was determined to prove my lack of common sense, the fourth cost my job. Well almost. She still doesn’t know about it and I wish to keep it that way. So strike one may have been setting up a meeting in the wrong city. Clueless Co-worker, who happened to be equally dumb, should be partially blamed for this one. Here’s how the conversation went: Client: “So we’ll see you at ten?” Really-smart me *patting myself for my quick thinking*: “Yes. We’ll be there. You’ll be at the I.I. Chundrigar branch?” Client: “No. Gulberg. You’ve seen Pizza hut next to the Chowrangi.?” Not-So-Smart-Anymore-Me *slightly confused but having blind faith in Google Maps and co-worker’s knowledge*: “Yes, yes. Of course, I have” Client: “Great, It’s the grey building tenth floor.” Me: “Well see you in half an hour.” So I turn around to Clueless Co-worker and ask him if he knows where Gulberg is to which he replied, “That’s really far. We should leave right now if we want to be there on time.” (In retrospect his answers make me feel like the smart one and do function as an ego-booster.) Annoyed-smart Me: “Yes, but do you know where it is? Clueless Co-worker: “Even further away from Nazimabad…we should Google it.” Our insane Google skills told us that ‘Gulberg’ was in a completely different city. Now he had two problems to tackle (Co-worker graciously decided to take one for the team. And I may have used a little blackmail at some point but that’s not relevant right now). It was effective damage control and it saved me another trip through the portal.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 8
  9. 9. Strike two taught me the importance of caffeine on a Monday morning, and practicing ‘This is Sara* calling from The Company**’ before calling up potential clients. Messing up the order (The Company calling from Sara) and muffled giggles doesn’t exactly sell it. I did what seemed to be the most reasonable thing at the time. I hung up. Fortunately, when the forty something client called back to enquire, it wasn’t my boss but another superior he got through to. I spent the rest of the day in search of a paper bag and then resorted to hiding behind the junk that had piled up on my desk. With the probation period coming to an end, I was due for a review. Turned out, I didn’t need a competitive back-stabbing co-worker to prove I wasn’t fit for the job, I was taking care of that myself. I tried to point out that I had single-handedly managed what was clearly a two-person job but they wouldn’t listen. But by far the worst incident was running in to college professor I admired and looked up to and who after that meeting thought that I was the biggest and (to a good degree the worst) liar in the world. That or I truly made him question the quality of graduates his school was producing. I introduced myself and told him I was a graduate of his school – the only smart thing I said throughout our conversation. Then as any Professor would, he asked if I was working somewhere. I managed to choke an inaudible yes. The next question was simple and yet my star-struck brain was determined to embarrass me couldn’t recall ‘The Company’ I had been working at for the past 6 months. For a full 30 seconds, I just silently stared at him while my grey cells struggled to locate this precious piece of information. And then I said the dumbest thing ever. “Err…’s at the back of my mind somewhere.” He smiled an awkward smile and took a step forward while I mentally smacked myself. With a boot. The paper bag is yet to come off. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tell the finance department to transfer my next paycheck directly to my therapist’s account. *Sara is not my real name. Go ahead. Google it. Even if this comes up, there’s plausible deniability.Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 9
  10. 10. 3. Love in South Korea What happens at an internship when your professor asks you if you have a girlfriend? You almost date his daughter! Read about the rest of Shubham’s experiences in South Korea too: including eating chutney and octopus for dinner. Institute: - IIT Guwahati Organization interned with: - Hanyang University ERICA Box Office Report “SOUTH KOREA!” – I chanted. These words were on my lips for almost a week before I departed for the same. The journey to ‘The Land of the Morning Calm’ was itself breath-taking. The trip was scheduled to commence from New Delhi to Incheon, South Korea via Shanghai. I later found out that I had the privilege to go from the mind-boggling T-3 terminal of IGI airport (New Delhi) to IIA, Korea – the world’s no. 1 airport, voted 7 times in a row. My first experience in Korea was that of the callous indifference of the general public. Almost all the people had huge smartphones. From the big bureaucrats down to the bus drivers, everyone was hooked to large-screen portable gadgets and I perceived that they had scant interest in foreigners, very much opposite to what we find in Indian culture. I contemplated that my 2 month stay would be difficult and sadness loomed over the horizon. I took a bus to Hanyang University ERICA, the institution where I had been offered summer internship. I disembarked and quickly realized that I had no clue where the students’ hostels were located. I located a university map nearby, but to my utter dismay, everything on that map was written in Korean. By then, I was aware that only a handful of people knew English. An eerie sense of loneliness gripped me. There I was, in the midst of the largest city in Korea, just outside the university gates, with no one to reach out to. I turned around feeling low and noticed that a young couple were coming in my direction. I mustered all my courage and asked them the directions for the hostel in English, slowly repeating the words. They didn’t seem to understand what I was saying. I frantically tried to explain but to no avail. Finally one of them directed me to wait using hand gestures. I stood rooted to my spot. After a few moments, which seemed like an endless wait, I saw the couple coming back with a middle-aged sturdy man along with them. The man told me to come with him in broken English. My heart sank on hearing this. Following a stranger in a strange land was the last thing I had thought of. I was carrying a lot of cash and other valuables like my laptop, cell phone etc. I managed a weak “Ok!” probably because I didn’t know what else to do. On our way, the person proudly told me that he was pursuing a PhD. in the same university and that most of the students knew English. I thought toMake your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 10
  11. 11. myself “People know English. Now that’s a big relief! But, isn’t he too old to purse a PhD?”, but kept quiet and just gave a small smile. We walked for about ten minutes, him telling me about his experiences and places to visit in Korea. Finally we reached the hostels, and he bade goodbye wishing me good luck for the internship. Suddenly, I realized that I hadn’t even ask his name nor had I express my gratitude to him for helping me out. I reprimanded myself for being so prejudiced. I promised myself that I would be stronger and would never let fear get the better of me. I later realized that Koreans were one of the sweetest and the most helpful bunch of people I had ever met. The next morning, I went to meet my professor – my advisor for the project I had undertaken. The meeting with the professor was a pleasant surprise. A few excerpts of it were: Prof: “Hello Shubham. Welcome to Korea! I hope your journey was pleasant. Did you have any problem coming here?” Me (smiling): “No Sir! Not at all. The instructions you sent me were crystal clear.” Prof: “Well that’s very good. So I think you’ll be here for 2 months. By the way, do you have a girlfriend?” Me (utterly shocked but composing myself so as not to express it): “No sir! Not yet.” Prof: “Well, since this is your first time in Korea, you must get to know about the culture. Meet new people. Get to know some of them.” Me (almost gasping): “Oh! Thank you very much, Sir! I’ll surely keep that in mind!” Prof: “Ok then. Also, since two months is a short time, you need to work hard for your project and if possible get a research paper out of it.” The conversation then drifted to my research project, but my mind was still revolving around his statement: “Get to know some people.” Just couldn’t help winking. Within a matter of days, I became accustomed to my life in South Korea. The best part was the abundance of girls in the university. Being a student of IIT in India, I was certainly deprived of this luxury and I wasn’t going to miss this golden opportunity. Also, be it their culture or the almost equal sex ratio (almost since I seriously think that the number of girls were much more), or my English speaking skills (which were great as per their standards), the people there weren’t shy of talking to me. I made some friends, got to know about their research as well some places to hang out. Almost all the Friday nights in my two month internship were spent in pubs – drinking and dancing. I had never tasted alcohol before, but I felt that in a land where the pub culture was embedded deep within the society, I could afford to unleash myself. I was a quick learner. One night at the pub, I made a bet with of my friends regarding our capacity to drink. I challenged him to play the “Last Man Standing” game. Tequila was ordered and I made sure I didn’t down it instantly so as to prevent myself from puking and to keep the excitement intact. After six tequila shots, I was totally out, but to my amazement, my friend was standing with another filled glass with a wide grin on his face. I puked twice or thrice (more because of the astonishment that I had lost) and was thrown out of the pub. I woke up to find one of my friends shouting in my ear, and the others picking me up. I realized I had been totally out for the last three hours lying on the roadside. I had lost the bet, was thrown out of the pub, had slept on the roadside for three hours, had a big headache and had become the laughing stock of my friends for almost a week. All this for a stupid bet!Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 11
  12. 12. Things took an interesting turn when one day (after one month almost), satisfied with my work, my professor asked me to dinner at his place. I replied positively and got dressed up a bit formally for the occasion. As I entered his house, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Standing a few steps away from me was the most beautiful girl, about my age, that I had ever laid eyes upon. I was instantly attracted to her but kept my distance as I found out that she was my professor’s daughter. She greeted me with a smile that lit my heart and exclaimed, “Wow! You are handsome!” I was flabbergasted. I silently wondered, “How come I never heard this before in my native country? She said this in front of her father! Oh! I just love her!” I had a sudden urge to propose to her right then but I could only manage a “Thank you!” and sat on the sofa. To my utter surprise she came and sat right next to me. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. But lo and behold, there she was, sitting right next to me asking me about my country, my college life and the usual part – my girlfriends. The professor didn’t seem to mind at all. The dinner was exotic but gave me a series of stomach spasms. We had greyish-black sticky rice; a potpourri of different tree leaves, cabbage and shrub; Kimchi (the traditional food of Korea); fishes in a big pot of boiling water; pork mixed with strange smelling chutney and an octopus for dinner! But her illuminating presence was more than what I needed as I was ready to go through anything to know more about her. The next few days passed in a jiffy. I added her on Facebook and though I didn’t get to meet her, I was content that I had made a new friend who held a very special place within my heart. Just when I was beginning to feel restless to meet her, I saw her message on Facebook and my eyes bulged in anticipation. The message was a one-liner and went like this — “Would you like to go to Everland this weekend?” I hastily replied yes. I contemplated whether or not I should tell the professor about our meeting, and finally decided it would be best if matters were left in the hands of Xue (his daughter’s name). The day at Everland was one of the best days of my life. Everland is the biggest amusement park in South Korea comprising of a myriad of roller coasters, carnival, rides, restaurants, tattoo shops, rose gardens and a jungle safari. Plus the fact that she didn’t bring any of her friends along, thus giving us the time to spend the complete day with each other was great. The most thrilling experience was that of the T-Express. The T-Express is the steepest wooden roller coaster in the world and the mere sight of it made me cringe. After much persuasion from Xue, I finally decided to mount in. I found the ride enthralling and for those five long minutes, I clutched on to Xue for dear life. While exiting the ride, she burst out laughing looking at my dizzy state. I joked that I would never again go to any amusement park, making her laugh hysterically. We were back by late evening around 9 o’ clock. I looked at her shining face for one last time and wanted to kiss her, but chickened out, afraid that it might spoil our friendship. We hugged and bade each other goodbye. I silently thanked her and wished her luck. I knew I didn’t have time to meet her again. In the last week, I got busy with my project, working day and night to complete it. I toiled hard and succeeded in submitting two conference papers. My professor was extremely happy with my results and gifted me a memento. I wished I had something from his daughter too as a reminiscence of my wonderful days in South Korea. I am still in contact with Xue and miss her a lot. She was angry in the beginning as I had left without informing her about my flight. I didn’t want her to come and say goodbye. I couldn’t picture myself crying. She has now let go of the anger and is back just as before.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 12
  13. 13. We talk on Skype whenever we find time. Maybe someday I can go back to Korea, and relive the days I had once savoured. This time, when I come back, I’ll bring her with me!Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 13
  14. 14. 4. Legen-wait for it-dary! The City of Joy means different things to different people -- for Surojit, it was all projects, conferences and cursing web filters. Read as he explores a steel plant for the first time, travels in the scorching heat, makes friends and finally leaves the city with a heavy heart. Institute: - IIT Kharagpur Organization interned with: - Adhunik Group Box Office Report It was in the midst of my final semester examinations and on the eve of the toughest paper, I got my internship confirmation letter from Adunik Group. Suffice it to say, there was hardly any scope for celebration and I just had a glance at it before drowning again in the hopeless pursuit of making some sense out of the book open in front of me. The beginning of a sojourn: Finally it was the 30th of April and now I had to leave for Kolkata as my internship started the very next day. All my friends had already left. It was only with a tremendous amount of determination in the face of extreme lethargy that had set in the day my exams got over, that I finally managed to throw the minuscule knapsack on my back and started for the great city of Kolkata. It all starts here: It’s the 1st of May and I am sitting in the office lobby of Adhunik Group while my friends are increasing the footfalls in malls and pubs thanks to the holiday they call ‘Mazdoor Divas’. After a restless one hour I am ushered into the room of the Group President- HR where I finally get to choose my project and voila! I am officially an intern here. The rest of the day is spent in running between their two offices a hundred yards away from one another, soaking in the whole atmosphere of the company. What goes on within the four walls: The next week of my internship went in planning the entire project and receiving excruciating phone calls from home asking for every minute details of my stay in Kolkata — whether the office was good, how the food was, where I was staying and so on as if I were in Siachen being constantly bombarded by mortars. Anyway, it was a novel experience for me as it was the first time I was officially sitting in a conference room in formals devising new strategies at the drop of a hat as if we were going to war the next day. I was staying at a friend’s place and needless to say, “out of the office and straight into a mall” was our motto though we hardly ever bought anything but that is another story altogether.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 14
  15. 15. So where was I again? Yes, the conference room. I spent some lonely days in there as no other interns were visible in the vicinity and Facebook was an alien word (damn those web filters!). At last the planning was done and it was time for the plant visits. Off to the city of steel: One night just after I had shifted into the guestroom that was finally allotted to me, the dreaded call came. I had to leave immediately for Rourkela and visit the plant the next day. So after a quick dinner, I found myself dozing off in the 3rd AC compartment of my train. I reached Rourkela the next morning and the next phase of my internship started. The HR guys were great there, very warm and cooperative, a welcome change from the monotony of the conference room. It was the first time I was visiting a steel plant and just as the gargantuan structures in there left me spellbound, the heat inside left me breathless and not in a good way. I spent a good 10 days there making much more headway in my project than I had ever expected and before I could say wow, my next call came. Tatanagar, here I come: I left for Tatanagar on a very uncomfortable afternoon in the third week of May where the next part of the adventure awaited me. I had had enough of guesthouses by then and decided to put up at my aunt’s place. I arrived in the evening and after having a home cooked meal after a zillion years, fell into a deep slumber getting ready for what lay ahead the day after. The company had two plants there about an hour’s distance from where I was staying and I caught an auto early next morning, having missed the company bus; a habit I could never get rid off since my school bus days. As it turned out, the road to my El Dorado was hardly a road and by the time I arrived at the plant, being constantly thrown up and down in the auto all throughout my journey, I was pretty sure my kidneys had changed places and my appendix was stuck in my throat. But it was all worth it as the employees there were as much, if not more friendly as those at Rourkela. I spent the next week and a half there before dropping anchor at the adjoining plant which was still under construction. Without boring the readers any further, it would be enough to say that my days there were spent mostly meeting and collecting project related data from the executives, rushing between different units of the plant with the scorching sun beating on my head and with an afternoon trip to the canteen to satisfy my gluttony. I met the deadlines I set myself with aplomb and having satisfied myself that my job there was done, I finally got on a train that took me back to Kolkata. Back to the four walls: I was overjoyed when on returning to the four walls of my conference hall, I found two more interns who had just joined and the dread of another three weeks in captivity vanished in a jiffy. The nine hours at office seemed less what with all the project work and my next couple of days were spent compiling and streamlining the information I had collected so far. Then one fine morning, my mentor asked me to take up another small but vital project as I was almost done with my core one and that only added to the workload. If there was one thing that saw me through it all, it would definitely be the two great friends I had made there. For once we were out of the office, there was no looking back and the “adda” and the tomfoolery that we were a part of were legen-wait for it- dary! All good things come to an end: At last, the two months of my internship were over and I submitted the project report. I got exceptional feedback from my mentor on both my projects and I was more happy than proud as the two months of hard work had finally borne fruit. I left a couple of days early as I had completed the projects before time and while I was delighted on one hand, I was sad atKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 15
  16. 16. having to leave the “City of Joy” and my friends behind. But the experience that I had garnered and the memories that I was taking with me more than compensated for the same and with dreamy eyes and a heavy heart I finally boarded the flight to my home town saying goodbye to the wonderful city…. until next time.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 16
  17. 17. 5. Intern, Confidante and Optimist An office tucked away in the corner of an old street, a change of projects midway, and hours spent in the library -- Swatis internship at an MNC was far from what she expected. Read how she became emotionally attached to both her company and its clients. Institute: - Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies Organization interned with: - Johnson and Johnson Ltd. Box Office Report “An optimist is a guy that has never had much experience,” — Don Marquis. So, I did not know how optimistic I should have been as I stood in the HR conference room of Johnson & Johnson Ltd., waiting for the panel to arrive and evaluate me on my summer internship: it was my only internship, so much for experience! To make an intriguing read, I would like to say that waiting there was an extra- sensory moment, where my entire internship flashed before my eyes in a matter of seconds. But that was not the case really. It is only now that I reflect and look back at the experience that was called ‘My Summer Internship.’ The first thoughts go back to my interview, where I believe I flattered the panel saying that Band-Aid is the favourite Johnson & Johnson brand of injury-prone me. For a long time I always believed the answer stood out because everyone at Johnson & Johnson is used to hearing ‘Johnson’s baby’. I really never have understood how babies remember the powder that was dusted on them before they even learnt to say ‘Mama’. Nevertheless, the selection for the internship was only the beginning. As the temperature rose in sweaty Mumbai, it was time to go to the cool little head office of Johnson & Johnson tucked away in a corner of an old street. There was the usual delight of meeting the other interns, listening to snapshots of life at and the history of J&J, but most importantly finding out what project I would be working on. Back home when I mentioned that I will be working with the beauty franchise of Johnson & Johnson (Consumer), it was met with nippy response, “They obviously did not see what you look like when they gave you that project.” The second day sent us on a little trip to a school for the challenged to lend a hand to J&J’s community service programs. That certainly made my internship stand out from others. Unfortunately, for JBIMS students, there was a short break after this, and we returned only after exams that seemed dull in comparison to what lay ahead. Don’t things change very fast in MNCs? When my summer buddy (let’s just call her Ketak for short) and I stepped in again, we were quickly assigned new projects, with new deadlines. I was a little disappointed considering all the time I had already invested in background research for the old project (Although the beauty counter advisers at various malls over the city would have been relieved not to hear from me again). Now I was involvedKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 17
  18. 18. in a Marketing Research project for the women’s health franchise. That got me back to the good old JBIMS library (revisiting Gilbert Churchill and Naresh Malhotra) and made me go through scores of previous documentation, almost making my eyelids succumb to gravity. Days and weeks passed with field work and reporting. Especially long days were made lighter with chats with really old employees and trips to the solitary vending machine with Ketak (we always hoped against hope that it never ran out of chocolate chip cookies). Finally I found myself waiting in the HR conference room. Just like anyone who had worked hard for the two months, I was optimistic, hoping for a good review. And just like anyone else I received both positive and negative feedback. Now, if I think of highlights of the internship; there would be so many: the excitement of working on a live project, speaking to the who’s who of a great company, the warmth of the secretaries’ smiles that ease you into company, the translation of classroom learning into real world learning, the struggle with external agencies to get them to live up to our high standards, the new friends and celebrations, the burning sensation when a consumer says the competitor’s brand is better than yours, my first trip to the baking hot capital city, amongst so many others. Even the cute baby calendar I got home, that earned another stray comment, “Wow, it’s just like the Kingfisher Calendar, for ages 0 to 3!” But one statement in the review made me realise what was the true highlight of my internship: “It is rare that we see such passion in summer interns towards her consumers.” It reminded me that every business, big or small, runs because of its consumers. That each one has a need is what generates the topline. Each of the consumers I spoke to; whether it was adolescent Sneha who was egged on by her mother to speak, or Amina whose three kids took up all her time, or Nilima who had just started playing athletics at the national level, even wheelchair bound Preethi; all had shared with me what they really expected from me*. They shared their struggles with health and hygiene, and sometimes the relief that products from my company give them. It was truly the most beautiful part to be a confidante of the fairer sex, the members of which fight to be born in this country, and still are fighting everyday issues. It is such a profound experience knowing that they believed I was doing something for them; though in reality I got my first stipend because of them. The last few days that followed the review were well worth remembering. On the last day Ketak and I went and thanked everyone who gave us the opportunity of the summer internship. The alumnus who interviewed us on campus told us that we had stood out from the start, the interview only reaffirmed it. That was the best note to say goodbye on: a lovely disenchantment with the belief that a wound dressing got me there. However, whenever I reflect back on those thoughts of the internship, I very much wish to once again pack my bag, take a train ride with a dear friend and head towards that cool little head office tucked away in the corner of an old street. Even after an experience, one can still be optimistic. *names of respondents have been changedMake your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 18
  19. 19. 6. Ek Internship Ki Kahaani! Tarun Gangwars internship helped him realize that India truly lived in her villages: he asks us that if 70 percent of Indias population is rural, is progress to be measured in terms of glitzy malls? Those arent his exact words, because hes written his article in Hindi. Very commendable, and a delightful read.(Upfront apologies for mistakes in Hindi transcript at multiple places in the article) Institute: - IIT Bombay Organization interned with: - IIM Ahmedabad Box Office ReportKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 19
  20. 20. Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 20
  21. 21. Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 21
  22. 22. 7. Beyond Books: The Status of India’s Sex Industry Divyas internship with an NGO led her to discover the nuances and complexity of the sex industry in India. Research and talking to sex workers helped her form a clear picture through individual stories. Her account is truly moving and an Editors Choice award winner. Institute: - Christ University, Bangalore Organization interned with: - SWACH (Society for Women and Children) Box Office Report In the summer of 2010, I and a friend of mine in Panjab University, Chandigarh were busy studying for our annual exams, when we came across a feature published in a local newspaper. It mentioned the prevalence of prostitution in India, and how the city proudly flaunts its clean character. Being a student of sociology by profession, enthusiasts by nature, and activists by interest, I and my friend decided to delve deeper into the issue and we started looking for an NGO which could give us as on- field experience. Luckily, through a acquaintance we got to know about SWACH, Society for Women and Children’s Health which is an NGO in Panchkula. The National AIDS Control Organization scheme was running a Target Intervention scheme in Panchkula via this NGO. As soon as we wrote our exams, we went to meet the Director of the NGO and submitted our proposal and joined the work. June 2010: scorching heat, one small office, four members, one team. And we were to join this team of four — which included a gynecologist, two psychologists (counselors) and one outreach worker. From what we could find from the internet, Target Intervention Scheme was a program of the Ministry of Health started by Government of India to check the incidence of HIV AIDS and STDs among sex workers in rural slums of India. Unlike the regular orientation sessions, our project manager asked us to accompany the team to the field, and experience the work involved before committing ourselves to field work. Sounded challenging, and it was indeed. After a fifteen minute drive, we found ourselves in a slum, with unmetalled roads leading us to filthy streets. We were welcomed by smiling faces of naked children, drenched in sweat and mud. It was strange to accept that within such proximity there existed a world at such contrast to ours. As we entered, the gynecologist and counselors were already busy talking to ladies, most in their early 40s and few in the late teens. Young and old, all faces had a story to tell. As we over heard the counsellors and doctors speak with them, we could figure out that the ladies being attended to by the doctor were the sex workers, and as per the scheme, clinical check-ups and camps were organized inMake your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 22
  23. 23. different slums every week to counsel the female sex workers, and distribute contraceptives free of cost. We had come with the simple intention of familiarizing ourselves with the extent of prostitution in and around our city, but the experience we got was much more intense. Girls aged 12 years and ladies as old as 90 years would come to complain how they were raped and injured by their clients, how the brothel owner would under-pay them and abuse them, how their neighbours would humiliate them, and society had ostracized them! There was a neat hierarchy of sex workers- home based, brothel based and street based workers. The most striking was the former, wherein family members including the husbands and sons would get clients for the ladies of the house. It runs like a family business, where daughters are trained by the mothers. There was a network of eunuchs, male sex workers, pimps living in close proximity to each other. For the first few days, we only went and listened to the horrifying tales, before we could acclimatize to the newly discovered reality. Then we got down to real work and recognized two different individuals who could be the subject of our case studies. The purpose of writing case studies was to highlight the concealed realities, which never come to light. As a part of my individual project, I chose to cover a seventeen year old boy whom I met at one of my visits to the brothel. The wrinkles running across his face well concealed his age, but there was innocence in his eyes. He had lost his childhood when he was twelve, and was sodomized by his senior at a local government school. Scared of the consequences, he chose not to report the incidence to his parents. And three years later, he found himself a dropout, ostracized by his family and peers, earning his living by selling his body. On questioning the role of police, we found that police is in fact a beneficiary of the sexual pleasures sold in these dark, damp rooms. The police officials pay a regular visit, collect their “bhada” (regular commission), molest the sex workers, and arrest them if they refuse to oblige to their demands. This is how most “official” raids at brothels end up, but the horrifying experiences of sex workers go unreported. The two months of internship with SWACH left an indelible impression upon my mind. There’s still a lot more to be said, many more stories to be told, many more incidents to be revealed… my intention behind sharing this experience is to suggest the youth in general, and students of social sciences in particular to look for organizations like this which can give a beyond-the-book experience into the real world. There is no better way to learning more about sociology, psychology, economics, law, politics than being a participant observer. Students of investigative journalism can expect the most unexpected stories, and students of health economics can work with the managerial staff to conduct cost-benefit and cost effective studies. NGOs like SWACH do not promote themselves much, but such places have a genuine experience to offer. So if miseries of people bother you more than filth, dirt and odour of the slums and you are ready to trade off your quality time, without expecting a stipend, then look for the NACO’s Targeted Intervention project in any state all over India. You walk out with a fresh and broad perspective on social issues like prostitution which none of the books can offer.Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 23
  24. 24. 8. The Best Days of My Life! Abhishek Kumar is Your Internship Story contests Winner of the Month. Read as he devised strategies to get kids to learn, including offering them chocolates and a chance to watch movies on his laptop. He did teach poor children, yes: but he also met the love of his life at his internship! Institute: - KIIT University Organization interned with: - Kshitij Horizons Box Office Report It was around 11th January that I started searching for an internship around my city just to get a healthy experience out of life and to also earn a fair stipend during my leisure time. I also posted my resume on various websites in search of the same. Meanwhile I was on the verge of completing my 2 years in Orissa now Odisha and was pretty attached to the place but was equally hurt by the poverty and illiteracy of the people present around. I could never imagine that at the same place where we used to call ourselves as civilized and sophisticated there used to live people around who were not educated enough to read the MRP written on various products they used to buy on a daily basis and hence were cheated openly adding to their miserable poor condition. I seriously wanted to do something for them rather than doing something for myself. Then one day fortunately I got a mail from Kshitij Horizons which is an NGO working in tribal areas of Bhubaneswar for the downtrodden. I was pretty interested by their motto and motive “Fill the gap with education”. They wished me to work with them for 2 months during my vacation and teach some tribal children nearby. They were also paying me Rs. 2000 per month for my service. I reported there on the 1st of May where we were divided into groups of 6 and were supplied with books, stationery and other necessary instructions. My group consisted of 4 guys and 2 girls and we left for the spot. Just after we reached there I found out that the children there knew no other language than Oria. Now that was a problem for me as I myself didn’t know the language properly. So we decided to subgroup ourselves into 2 members in each group having at least 1 person fluent in Oria. There I was grouped with one girl named Anjali; Oria by birth and in her 2nd year of graduation in Arts . She was a very cute, attractive girl with a great smile, voice as sweet as anything and equally talented. I was pretty sure that the children would be very much attracted by her presence and was also very happy to have her as my group mate.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 24
  25. 25. First we introduced ourselves to the group of 30 odd children, surprisingly none out of which had the benefit of primary education. We first explained to them the basic need for being educated in front of their parents and told them how many problems their parents faced because of lack of education and motivated them by quoting different examples of people who reached from rags to riches only through hard work and education. Then we started our session from the next day and told them that we’d serve chocolates at the end of every day and would also show them movies on my laptop in the intervals just to ensure their interest and regular presence. First we taught them the basic English alphabets, then words and their respective meanings. The children there were intelligent beyond my expectations and were learning things very quickly and that too with interest. As expected, children became familiar with Anjali. She was very devoted to her work, calm, cool and patient, never annoyed when someone didn’t understand things even after her repeated efforts. It was a serious pleasure working with her and also to watch her working with young kids. I used to teach the kids basic Mathematics that is Number System and Basic arithmetic. I often used her as a translator when it used to become difficult with the language. We worked there for 6 hours a day which included 4 hours of study and 2 hours of fun. Both of us used to have lunch together and meanwhile played movies for the children. I didn’t know why but I was getting more and more attracted to her. Her presence filled me with great energy and working was no less happening then having fun. She even made me learn a lot of Oria during that period. We really were having a great time there. 60 days passed in a jiffy and it was time for the internship to end. We told the students that they would be given a test and the high performers will be rewarded. Finally, the Kshitij people tested them and to our surprise the students of our batch outperformed the other batches. I and Anjali were very happy with our efforts, so were the camp organizers and the parents of all 30 kids. I don’t know why but tears came into my eyes on the departing day. I hugged each of the students and finally hugged Anjali. Tears were quite noticeable in her eyes too. Departing is such a painful thing to do in this world. We wished the children all the best for their future, promised to visit them regularly during our leisure time and returned to the office. Our certificates and stipend was ready. The event head wished us luck and we left separately for our destinations… I don’t know why but walking was getting more and more difficult with each step as if something was burying my legs into the ground. I stopped suddenly, took out my phone, called Anjali and without thinking anything told her about my feelings towards her. I told her that I was in love with her. And guess what the reply was: “I was waiting for this call and I knew it would come, I love you too honey!” I got her, I got the love of my life! I thought god has given me the best stipend in lieu of my service to mankind. With that Rs. 2,000 I had planned many things to do but couldn’t as I donated 1,500 to my maid towards the setup of a school in her locality and bought a beautiful shawl for my mother with the rest… one year later, having Anjali by my side remembering those days automatically gives me goosebumps. I could have asked for nothing more from god with my first internship. Really, those were the best days of my life! Hail Kshitij Horizons!Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 25
  26. 26. 9. The Oily Observations From getting nonplussed by the name of his project to dispelling Sales myths, Mohammed Shahbaaz learnt a lot in the course of his internship. Read his "oily observations" carried out in the blend of a city that is Hyderabad. Institute: - IIM Indore Organization interned with: - ConAgra Foods Box Office Report I was given a sales project titled “Shopper insights into purchase of edible oils from DMT”. Yes, if you’re an average Joe like me, I had the exact same expression while trying to figure out what the project meant. Well I figured it was a sales project and hence prepared myself for some Hyderabadi biryani. Little did I know that I’ll end up being a roasted chicken by the end of the two months of sales in Hyderabad. This piece of writing is titled ‘The oily observations’ because my project was in oils, Sundrop to be specific, and it had to do a lot with spending hours in observing shoppers. The oil part was also significant due to the oven like temperatures in Hyderabad. To those who call Hyderabad, Hydra-bad, you couldn’t have been further from the truth. I reach Hyderabad and this is where it all begins. I reach my accommodation, thankfully arranged by a relative whom I decide not to trouble anymore, at 5:00 A.M. I’m excited, exhausted, eager, can’t think of more words with ‘e’. I live at Tolichowki and need to reach office, located at Sarojini Devi road Secunderabad (important), by 9:00 A.M. My friends tell me that it takes 45 minutes to go from Tolichowki to Sarojini Devi Road in Secunderabad. I trust them and hire an auto to Sarojini Devi road. As a pleasant surprise I reach the place in 20 minutes. I see it as a good opportunity to get back to some authentic dosa and sambar idli after a year at IIM Indore. It’s 8:35 A.M and I decide to call up the reception at the office to help me reach the office from Sarojini Devi Road. I’m greeted by a pleasant voice. The lady at the other end asks me if I’m close to the clock tower. I look around and reply in the negative. She asks for some other landmarks, I keep saying ‘can’t find it’, each time with reduced confidence. This is when the Hydrerbadi in her realizes a very important fact. I’m at Sarojini Devi road , Hyderabad. I’m late on my first day ever for office. Being a fresher, I start projecting the consequences on my entire career. “God, did they have to take the concept of twin cities so seriously?” I reach office by 10:00 A.M. I meet my mentor. Fortunately he’s busy enough not to realize that I’m late. I later find him to be very modest and a comfortable person to work with. I spend my first day in a comfortable office looking for a place to sit. Yes, looking for a place to sit in an air-conditioned office was much better as compared to what followed. I meet my co-interns, four ofMake your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 26
  27. 27. them. All of them different, but we all get along as if we had been friends since under-grad days. All of us ask the others if they know any good places to hang-out in Hyderabad. I tell myself that I need to work hard as this was my first opportunity to learn sales & marketing in a real environment. After waiting for a few hours and finally finding a chair, I meet my project guide. He briefs me about the company, its products and the supply chain. Now we move over to the important part, the project. This is where I want only him to talk. Fortunately he doesn’t ask me what my plans are regarding the execution of the project. He instead asks me to go on market visits, assuring me that I would figure out what I need to do by the end of the week. I look at him trying to put up a smile, which says, “I totally understand this”. The next day starts on a Luna (hadn’t seen those mean machines in some time). The merchandising officer takes me to different retail outlets. A soft spoken guy, he tells me about shelf-visibility, FIFO arrangement of products and some in-store promotions. On occasions he hints at him deserving a promotion, totally unaware that I’m not an ASM on training. I spend my time standing at the oil section, observing shoppers while he cleans up the stock. The entire day is spent in different retail outlets doing exactly the same thing, with no apparent improvement in my understanding of selling oils. I wonder what I should tell my guide for a daily report. I call him up; he smiles and says that I need to do the same thing for a week before trying to figure out anything about selling oil. By the fourth day I start observing shopping patterns. Day 5, I start talking to some shoppers. Now I start to develop some idea of what sales is. The book “Why we buy” comes to rescue at this stage and I finally start figuring out the importance of sales. It is time I introduce you to my first B-school myth. Myth#1: Sales is a painful job and we should look to move into marketing as soon as possible. Fact: No office will ever give you as much knowledge about consumer behaviour and your product as well as the shopping floor. By the end of week two my project objectives are framed and my survey form is ready. I had always been skeptical of the fact that I had not yet done a course on market research and would not be able to carry out market research the way an international FMCG company would expect from an IIM grad. I put in the effort to learn fancy techniques like conjoint, choice based conjoint etc. The next day I present the survey method to my guide. This is when my second myth is broken. Myth#2: You’re good at sales & marketing if you believe that Kotler is the ‘baap’ of marketing, can throw around jargon and can come up with technical ways to collect and critically analyze data. Fact: Use your jargon to impress your batch-mates. Every company is its own ‘baap’ in doing business. Finally my survey form is ready. It’s a simple one page questionnaire which I believe people would be glad to answer. Enter Myth#3. Myth#3: Wear an IIM-Indore T-shirt and people will be glad to talk to you. Fact: The veil-clad woman in Hyderabad literally starts running in the opposite direction the moment you approach her. Overcoming some initial hiccups I finally manage some consumer responses. This is where the next problem strikes. Not many modern retail outlets are interested in allowing you to talk to their shoppers. I try calling the sales officer and ask him as to why I do not have the permission to conduct a survey in the given store. He responds with a good explanation and assuresKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 27
  28. 28. me that such problems would not occur in the future. However, they do, the very next day. It is only two days later that I realize that the sales officer is least bothered about your project and his salary depends on his work, not yours. It is time to find new methods to talk to shoppers. Method#1: Help shoppers push their trolley to the car. Method#2: Sneak into the store and talk to shoppers before you’re caught by the security. I decide to use a judicious mix of both the methods to collect data. In due course of time I was lucky enough to get permissions in some stores. At the end of it all I realize that I’ve gone to the office for only 6 out of the 56 days of internship. That’s exactly the life of a sales intern. A sales intern spends his time at the centre of the treasure of knowledge, called the shop floor. He travels, speaks to shoppers, meets different people, observes, recognizes patterns and excels in consumer insight. The pleasure of sitting in an air-conditioned office is nothing as compared to the sheer joy of capturing a consumer insight. The B-school is not the place where you learn business; it only prepares you for the learning. The real learning always happens at ground zero. It was an absolute pleasure to have interned with ConAgra foods. FMCG is a wonderful sector and sales is beautiful. To wrap it up, main zindagi bhar tel bechne ko taiyyar hun. (I would be happy to sell oil for the rest of my life). Those were some of the best days of my life, the summer of 2012.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 28
  29. 29. 10. Managing Human Variables "We dont live in an ideal world. We dont need ideal solutions." Heavy words for an intern? But then, Mayanks internship was far from ordinary. It taught him how to deal with all sorts of people and how to keep an open mind. Read about this journey full of learning. Institute: - IIM Ranchi Organization interned with: - Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Box Office Report Summer internship – oh yes, I was all excited about it. Not that this was my first job. I had already had my share of work experience before the PGDM course here at IIM Ranchi. I was going to intern in my home city which was a good thing. I had a place to live and family to be around with. I was told I would be working on a supply chain project for a biomass based power plant. Not something I had dreamt of. But then I told myself, “Hey, you survived that project in your previous job, you can face anything.” The one year at IIM Ranchi also added to my confidence. My internship began with the usual read the project details – read the related literature – check the project reports routine. It was a part of the Social Inclusion project. I was required to provide a solution that profited the plant as well as helped the farmers associated with it. My previous job as a Java developer had required me to work with Java variables and Oracle DB objects. The objects/variables very much followed a set of rules. I could predict their behavior and make them work together the way I wanted them to. And now, I found myself interacting with farmers and contractors from varied socio-economic backgrounds, in the scorching heat of April and May, wondering how was I going to make them give me the picture and then – the bigger problem– make them want to follow the solution I would somehow manage to work out for them. There was no cookbook that told me the rules these human variables followed or taught me about their behavior in various environments. I was overwhelmed. The project required me to visit the plant and its fuel collection centers in villages. The job profile was quite different from the traditional perception of a managerial job profile. It was not even close to a ‘summer internship kind of job’ profile. No sitting in carpeted glass door corporate offices and analyzing figures (pun intended) of any sort. But then I began to like the challenge. During my internship, my wife once tried to explain to her aunt at a village what I was doing. Her aunt was horrified that in spite of all the education, her son-in-law was working with farmers. She taunted my wife that I must have failed in college to have to work with farmers; and that, in that case, there was no difference between her matric fail farmer uncle and her supposedly IIM educated husband. MyKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 29
  30. 30. wife let her aunt soak in her self-discovered glory for her husband. And later we had a heartful of laughter at her expense. Also I began to realize that I was going to deal with different kinds of people with different backgrounds who would not know what I was really up to. Interacting with the new team was yet another task. I had worked in an environment where my managers had once been developers. We were on same page and there was ease in communication. But here I was among Social Science graduates and PhD holders or with famers, contractors and plant managers. We all spoke different tongues. Lots of scope for misinterpretations! Previously, managers to me were hell’s representatives on earth. They were appointed for the sole purpose of torturing every soul in the office. My supervisors during the internship, however, painted a very different picture for me – a pleasant one. They were approachable and available for discussions. It bought an astonishing yet welcome change in my perception of ‘higher management’. But not all highly placed people will give you the right guidance. I was required to interact with this consultant for some time. I was hoping to learn a lot from him. I did learn about the project from him. I learned the ideal project situation and the ideal solution required for the project – to be more precise – from him. But then we don’t live in an ideal world. We don’t need ideal solutions. We need feasible and workable solutions, because solutions are implemented by people, not robots. People don’t follow ideal behavior. This I learned from the farmers and my supervisors. Looking back, I now realize that the world is not made of Java and Oracle objects, but with people who come from different backgrounds and who need solutions for their unique problems. Now you don’t need a degree to understand that. Plain common sense and an open mind would suffice.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 30
  31. 31. 11. A Journey in Teaching Aditya went back to PACE after getting into IIT; this time, as an Assistant Professor. Read as he dazzles students with his Math tricks, gets bored of solving their doubts day in and day out, spends a sleepless night in anticipation of his first class and discovers the joys of teaching. Institute: - IIT Gandhinagar Organization interned with: - IITian’s PACE Box Office Report Bored at home, after an amazing year at Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar as a fresher, I decided to search for an internship just to have an idea of what it exactly was about. The first year in college usually involves some basic engineering courses so I had no idea what chemical engineering (my branch) was, so I decided to go for an internship which would not require anything related to engineering. This is when it struck to me that I could work as an Assistant Professor, at a coaching institute – IITian’s PACE, where I once used to study for my Joint Entrance Exam (JEE). Math being my favourite subject I decided to teach Math to the students aspiring for IIT-JEE. So, I talked to the concerned people and they allowed me to work with them. My work there included teaching students the topics that they wanted to learn, clearing their doubts in the numerous problems of mathematics and sometimes setting question papers. At first I thought teaching or solving doubts would be easy since it had just been one year since I passed the JEE. But, my dear friends who think one year is not a long time, ask me what one year is! When I saw a couple of questions, I realised how much I had been out of touch and felt absolutely stupid. I read all the Math topics in the next few days, gained some confidence and then started the work. Initially it was fun, solving questions of different types, using amazing tricks, and the best part was to see the students sit mind-boggled. I remembered the time when I was studying and the professors solved the questions so easily, that my hours of efforts used to seem useless. So, that gave me a lot of patience to make the students understand the same concepts again and again although I used to get tired. Eventually, after a month, things became so repetitive that I got really bored solving the doubts of students. I was eagerly waiting for students to ask me for a class, as I had always wondered as a student how it would be to teach a class. One fine day, 8 students came to me asking for a lecture on the binomial theorem. I was so happy and excited about the class, that I didn’t sleep the whole night. I took theKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 31
  32. 32. class the next day, the students enjoyed it and learnt something (hopefully) and soon I had more demand for classes. That’s the best thing a teacher can hope for. Finally came the day which was supposed to be my last day at work. I had expected it would be like any other day with no surprises, but it turned out to be different in an amazing way. I won’t describe the day but I’ll just say what a few students told me. They came to me and said, “Sir, are you going today? We had made a list of topics that we wanted to study from you, now what do we do?” This sentence brought tears to my eyes but somehow I managed not to cry in front of students. But there was no way I could work since I had my academic session starting in a couple of days. Finally it was all over, and I was back sitting at home with nothing to do but so many memories. Today, one month after ending the internship and coming back to IIT, I still remember the days I spent at PACE with students making some very good friends. Today I cherish all those moments, the scary feeling of not remembering anything after a one year gap, the doubt sessions, the solving of the same question at least 20 times, the unexpected sentence that I heard from a few students on my last day at work, and best of all my first lecture of Binomial Theorem. It is rightly said, you get happiness when you do something good to others. Now when I think about it, this intern actually had nothing to do with my branch (Chemical Engineering), but there are so many people whose aim was just to clear IIT-JEE and I am happy I could help them with their dream.Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 32
  33. 33. 12. Among Man’s Mean Machines Pranavs love for machines only increased during his stint at Bajaj Auto, Pune. He roamed around cluelessly on his first day but soon got acquainted with everyone, and around the end, preferred waking up at 4.30 AM everyday to leaving. Institute: - Vishwakarma Institute of Technology Organization interned with: - Bajaj Auto Ltd. Box Office Report “LISTEN UP, TURN IT UP AND ROCK IT OUT, PARTY ON, I WANNA HEAR YOU SCREAM AND SHOUT, THIS IS REAL, AS REAL AS IT GETS!” Papa Roach screamed into my ears on the morning of the 17th of June, 2011. Or for most of us, the night of 16th June 2011, because the time showed 4.30 am. To even think of turning up and rocking it out and screaming and shouting at that time is despicable and borderline criminal. It was the middle of the summer vacation, and I sipped my first cup of coffee at nothing less than 9.30-10. I wrestled myself out of bed, answered nature’s calls and then civilization’s calls and got dressed for my first day at work- at Bajaj Auto Limited, Chakan. I was finally doing something after a month of doing nothing and microblogging about it. The bus picked me up at a place 5 minutes away from my home and off we drove toward the desolate, scenic landscapes of the industrial face of Chakan where lie the Mothers of Man’s Mean Machines. One such Mother is Bajaj Auto, Chakan. The buses (yes there are 21 more) halted outside the canteen and as I alighted I saw a sea of white T- shirts and blue trousers and black shoes. Feeling very conscious of being the blue shirt, faded jeans and Woodland shoes clad oddball, I proceeded, only to find my friend Abhishek, my fellow oddball in crime. And this happened on every workday, for the next four weeks, albeit my clothes changed. We embarked on this journey to find enlightenment — technical engineering, to be specific! We roamed around the plant a la vagabonds, hands in pockets the first day, and a book in the hand for the next five days. Relentless as we were in roaming, we stopped not, but for food and for devouring 4 to 5 cups of coffee. As we walked, we looked at the technological wonders man had created and let the feeling of being amidst them sink in. We were encompassed in a metallic zone, amongst machines. Machines that were being made and machines that were making them. Everywhere you looked in a production shop, you saw conveyor belts and hooks, unmanned robotic vehicles and robots, innumerable tools and drives suspended freely to aid the hundreds of men manning the work stations, in their bid to produce two wheeler vehicles — Pulsars, Dukes, Ninjas.Know where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 33
  34. 34. When we were metal-sick and our legs hurt, we took refuge in the garden. There are gardens and lush lawns strewn around neatly in the premises. Waking up five hours earlier than normal, working in a 9 hour shift and returning 12 hours later at 5 pm, the first day felt like a week and the first week felt like a month. In our quest to find practical knowledge, we stumbled upon a few great minds, who helped us comprehend and effectively process the theory learnt in the confines of a classroom and study it in practice, thus giving it a pragmatic dimension. It was an extremely pleasurable privilege to study the assembly of the Kawasaki Ninja, a superbike that rules the wish list of nearly all youngsters. To study it was a pleasure and to ride it was exhilarating bliss. These blissful moments punctuated our four week long internship very often, amidst our projects. We were assigned the projects of performing extensive study and providing a technical solution for some problems in the Bajaj Pulsar 150 and Pulsar 135 production line. What seemed extremely boring and unyielding in terms of knowledge soon metamorphosed to become an obsession and a treasure of mysteries when it came to engineering. What we never learnt in the engineering classroom now lay before us and the friendly line engineers, nearly the same age as us, gladly explained what needed to be done. It had now become a daily routine — waking up at 4.30 (now I didn’t have to wrestle myself to wake up), getting to work at 6.30 as opposed to looking for secluded spots to doze off in and not be spotted, greeting the now familiar engineers, cracking a joke or two. Lunch breaks now came in no time, and Jacqeline Fernandez welcomed us in irresistible grandiosity, (thanks to the giant TVs in the lunch hall!). As we continued, time started to speed up after all. A day felt like a day, and the punctuations with chais, coffees and gardens lessened and eventually vanished. We dedicated all our brains and energies towards the projects and the patient elucidation of our project guides went a long way in their completion and implementation. Suddenly we realized we were three weeks through our internship. Where did all the time go? We took a leave of 3 days to stay home and write a report of our “accomplishments” at the company. As I typed each sentence in my project report, I realized how much I had gained in the three weeks I was there. I yearned to go back and learn more, but alas… two days were all that were left. Studying theory practically and understanding more is certainly one part of what I learnt in the industry. But that part is humbled in comparison to what I learnt about the accomplishments of man. We are merely tiny tots and puppets reading off the Einsteins’, Newtons’, and James Watts’ playbooks and dancing to their tunes. They were the real engineers who forged a metallic future for the mankind, whose luxuries we now revel in. Man’s forte is his ability to use his brain for the greater good, and this is evident from today’s sophistication of technology and methodology in man’s work, whatever field it may be. As the final hour ended, we exchanged goodbyes with our month long colleagues and fellow interns, thanked everyone, and furiously clicked away some pictures, to be souvenirs and a reminder of the excellent and quality time Bajaj Auto gave us. As I stepped into Bus No. 4 and took my seat for the last time, I knew I’d miss the roaming around; I’d miss the machines; I’d miss the Pulsars, the Dukes and the Ninjas. As the bus wound its way through the lush locales of Chakan into the city, I knew my classroom back at VIT would now feel claustrophobic. But what the hell! It’s time I got my share of deserved sleep and junk food! Back to nothingness for the final phase of my holidays!Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 34
  35. 35. 13. A Lesson in Dedication What is a civil engineering internship at one of the largest public sector organizations in India like? Travelling for 6 hours a day, celebrating the concreting of a structure, exploring New Delhi and dealing with an infuriated senior! Namesh shares it all. Institute: - NIT Allahabad Organization interned with: - BHEL Box Office Report People say summer internships are the time when a student gets to understand the realities of the field he is in while working. A trailer of a movie he is supposed to watch for the rest of his life. And yes, the trailer of my movie was one hell of a power packed adventure thriller. As a civil engineering student, one is expected to get a basic overview of how a construction site works and get a chance to witness practically all the theoretical knowledge he gains over the period of his course. Excited also was a small word to express what my classmate Bahni and I were going through when we got a chance to undergo our summer internships at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), one of the largest public sector organizations in the country. The icing on the cake was the location of the internships allotted at New Delhi which meant endless shopping in malls, plenty of sight-seeing along the historical locations of Delhi and getting a chance to live in the capital of the country for three months. Having reached New Delhi just a day before the 1st day of the internships, we immediately contacted our senior under whom we were supposed to work who gave us the location of the site we were posted to. So excited were we that we didn’t even care to listen to the entire address and ended up searching for a construction site of a thermal power plant amidst a residential area in Noida, just to realize half a day later that the site was actually some 70 km away at Bawana in Haryana from where we actually were. Too tired even to make an effort to turn back, we went back home thinking of the first day of our internship and our poor senior who must had spent his entire phone balance explaining to us the location and yet us managing up to end up in the opposite part of the city. Every single day of the next one month had a fixed routine to follow. Leaving our home from Lodi road as early as 7 in the morning, we used to park our vehicle near the nearest metro station. What followed was a 1 hour long journey in the metro changing two different routes in between. If lady luck was smiling, we would just reach right on time at the Rithala metro station where the company bus would come to pick us up for a further journey of 20kms through a dusty road. But so great used to be our luck that we only managed to catch the bus thrice in the entire month in spite of our best efforts to leave at the earliest. The only option left was to travel 15 km in a rickety countryside minibus and theKnow where seniors & friends have interned before? Try Internconnect now! 35
  36. 36. last 5 km to be covered by foot or taking lift from every possible mode of transportation; ranging from a bicycle, a cycle cart to a road roller, excavator, trailer and even a piling crane in the sweltering heat of May. Such was our plight that 6 hours of a day was spent travelling to and from the site. What we did on site was entirely a different story altogether. The summer internship at BHEL was supposed to give us a basic exposure and introduction to construction of a pile foundation for a power plant. Along with the technical exposure, what we also got to see was the dedication and passion the engineers and the staff had to give for the project to go smoothly. There was even an instance where we witnessed the engineers celebrating and rejoicing for the completion of the concreting of a single structure in the same way as one would celebrate their birthday. That left us thinking about the kind of lives we would end up having 10 years down the line as that of a civil engineer. Nevertheless that didn’t stop us from visiting every major place of attraction in New Delhi, cover up each and every chain of fast food outlets present in the city and at the same time go to all the places nearby in the weekends. During the ending phase of our internship we were assigned the task of creating a video documentary showing the piling procedures executed in the site which was an interesting perspective. But what was challenging was somehow coaxing the workers at the site to repeat the construction procedure and wasting their time and energy so that we could shoot it; which no one, of course, agreed to. In the end after numerous attempts we had to remain content by preparing a traditional project report and submitting it, having to face the angry glances of our senior who thought we were a couple of lazy sloth bears and nothing more. In the end our senior was so disappointed in us to the level that we had to slip the project report under his door at his residence and run away just so that we wouldn’t have to listen to his talks again. And that was how my summer internship ended!Make your internship CV stand out, give yourself Internshala EDGE today! 36