The sun slowly set in as I stepped out of the college premises. I turned back and shot a glance at the building. Students were laughing and seemed happy. It was the last day of our first year in college. This day I call the last, because by the time we returned for the next and the final year most of us would be in separate classes, as per our specializations. Some would still hang on to their friends, some would find new ones. Amidst all these thoughts, I realized I was actually stepping out into a different world that existed outside college. It was time for our Summer Internships!
I woke up at 6.00am the next day with anxiety building inside me. I took out my best formals, dressed up carefully, trying my best to look ‘professional’, as that’s what I was expected to be for the next two months. The company I interned with, Ugam Solutions Pvt.Ltd., dealt with market research, providing online retailers with business solutions, pricing strategies and advertisement support. As a budding HR, I was part of the Talent Sourcing team. When I entered the office premises, I met my ‘to be’ manager – Mr. Rajesh Agrawal. We had an initial briefing about the work I had to do as an Intern. He said, “I want you to design an assessment centre for our organisation. That will involve you to first identify the competencies of the given role.” Yes, I know what you are thinking of. My reaction to that statement was exactly the same. BLANK!
To begin with, I am a B.Com student specialized in accounting and finance. An inner drive that made me take HR was my love towards psychology – knowing, understanding and reading people’s behaviour. HR was new to me but it took me little time to understand that all of it was common sense used at the required time. So words like assessment centre and competency felt Hebrew to me. But if I ended up telling my manager ‘yes, I’ll do it’, just not to make a fool out of myself, I would’ve ruined my two months of corporate exposure.
So here’s the first lesson I learnt:
1) Acceptance – If you know it, you know it. If you don’t, you just don’t. Accept it. Don’t fake what you don’t know.
The initial 20 days was a self-learning phase. My system was placed exactly next to the manager’s seat. He and I would search on topics related to my project, discuss and understand the theoretical part of it. Then came the practical part. Every position in a company has a description containing roles and responsibilities a person should exhibit. In order to exhibit these, the person would require certain knowledge, skills and abilities which are broadly termed as competencies. My job was to find these competencies and a way to assess them.
Executing this for all the positions across locations would have taken months together. Hence, I was asked to target a part of the major work Ugam does, ‘The Editorial’. It deals with writing product descriptions, advertisements and tips for its international clients. I created a plan as to how to go about it. Scheduled meetings with each and every person in the editorial team across locations – Goregaon, Thane and Mahalakshmi, including the managers of the teams and the concerned HRs, who hired for the team.
When I submitted the results of the meetings to the HR manager, it got rejected and I was asked to perform the task all over again. It didn’t stop at that, eventually, it got rejected again and I had to perform exactly the same task thrice.
Now, comes the next lesson:
2) Rejection – ‘Your’ thinking of what is right need not necessarily match your superior’s thinking and expectations. They might reject you till they get what they want. But on the positive side – I got it perfectly right the third time 🙂
With all these lessons being learnt side by side, I encountered my first problem there. People in my team did not accept me as a part of their organisation. To them, I was like a visitor who would leave in a few days. They hardly noticed me and at times I felt invisible. The HR at Ugam usually holds a book review meeting when any new book on HR is published, to enable knowledge sharing. It was during this time that a book called “Don’t hire the best” was released. One fine day, when I entered the office, everyone had their heads dug into this book as it was the book review day. I was curious what this book was all about and how the review happened. Judging from its name, I thought that it may somewhere help me in my project. Unfortunately, I wasn’t invited to be a part of the review team. A minute later, the CTO (Chief Talent Officer) of Ugam entered the cabin. I thought for a moment and headed straight to him and asked him if I could be a part of this review. With a shocking look, people all around stared at me. The CTO, a tough one in nature did not speak to anyone he did not know. But when I approached him, he readily handed me a copy of the book and asked me to be a part of the review. And thereby I got noticed by all. Of course, the review helped me a lot in my project.
And here comes lesson no. 3:
3) Take Initiatives – Your willingness to learn and your attitude towards being a part of the team will surely get you noticed.
These two months taught me a lot more than what the negative aspects of my experience did. The duration, where in I went unnoticed, I was lonely. My teammates hardly interacted with me. They stuck to their work and to their group of friends. None of them bothered to make me feel comfortable, including my manager. This led to low motivation and I had to literally draw inner motivation every day. During lunch and tea breaks, I used to be all by myself. If I initiated a conversation, they would answer me and get back to what they were doing, leaving me with my thoughts. And that’s when I learnt my final lesson there and that is:
Your college life will always rock. No matter where you have reached, which position you are in – you will always be reminded of these days. So make the most of it 🙂
All the best..!
The Joy of Giving Week is India’s “festival of giving”! Launched in 2009, the festival is celebrated every year from 2nd to 8th October. It brings together Indians from all walks of life, to celebrate “giving”. From auto drivers to CEOs, school children to celebrities, homemakers to opinion leaders, millions of people give their time, money, resources, skills or anything else that they wish to, back to society, by creating or participating in “events” of their choice.
This is the second year since the Sahyog committee, the community services committee of SIESCOMites, took the initiative of celebrating ‘The Joy of Giving Week’ in SIESCOMS.
As a part of the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ celebrations this year, the Sahyog Committee conducted a plethora of activities for the benefit of the less privileged section of our society. They were met with a magnificent and generous response from all the fraternities at SIESCOMS.
The following are the activities that were conducted as a part of the Joy of Giving week :
Thanks Giving program: 4thoct
Sometimes, we tend to get so busy in our day-to-day lives that we fail to see the efforts of some people like security guards, sweepers and non-teaching staff. They act as the back stage crew who we do not see often on screen but they are responsible for the smooth functioning of our daily college proceedings.
On Friday, 4th October, the SAHYOG team hugged them, gave roses and appreciated their hard work by saying ‘Thank you’. The smile on their faces simply fulfilled the purpose of ‘Joy giving’.
Visit to St. Jude’s Child care Centre: 5thOct
St. Jude centre provides shelter to the families who come to Mumbai for the cancer treatment of their children. They are a home for 46 kids from different parts of India.
Activity: The kids were asked to draw anything they wanted to. The response was simply mind-blowing as the pictures literally spoke their heart out.
When we entered into the centre, we saw one kid working on his laptop. We thought he must be playing games for fun but when we went inside and spoke to him, he showed us a video he had made. We were amazed by one of his videos, which was based on tsunami, and asked him about it. This is what he said. “I had heard about animations, and also about how it operates. The software is costly and not affordable. So I made 500 pictures in MS Paint, inserted them in a MS PowerPoint document. Once the video was ready, I used Movie maker to add music”. We were awestruck after seeing his dedication and passion towards succeeding in his task. During the discussion, he told us that his dream is to get into IIT. He is from Bihar and currently is in his 9th grade. His name is ADARSH, truly an ideal for us.
Apart from this, a Tug-of-war competition for the children’s fathers and a Rangoli workshop for the mothers were organized to keep them involved in the fun. Even though they appeared shy at first, they surprised us with their sporting spirit. It was a delight to see them so happy along with their kids. While leaving we distributed ‘Frooti’ to all kids as a token of participation. With this, we experienced the real joy of giving.
Count your blessings -Wish tree Campaign: 8thoct
On 8thoct a cash collection drive was organised in association with ‘TARANG’, an NGO working as a night school. They teach poor children at night and provide them with an evening meal. The drive was very successful and many students along with faculty donated cash for the children’s evening meal.
Collection drive: 3rdOct – 9thOct
Sahyog Committee conducted a donation drive for clothes, toys, books and various other things which could be used by the less privileged section of our society. We got a magnificent and generous response for the drive from every part of the college. At the end of the drive, the collection accounted for huge boxes of clothes, books, toys, etc. for all age groups. These boxes were handed over to an NGO named “Alert India”, who in turn distributed the merchandise to deserving underprivileged & needy children in various areas of Mumbai.
Thus concluded a very successful week, which involved a lot of learning and the process of giving back to the society towards which we have a responsibility.
The Sahyog Committee extends a heartfelt gratitude to all for the overwhelming support. This has further motivated the Sahyog Committee to carry on and come up with more such socially driven causes. There is definitely a great joy in the “Joy of giving”.
An informal interview about Summer Internship Project with a junior over a meal
That Friday afternoon, the juniors were in the canteen during their break and so were the seniors. I found myself waiting in line for a coupon and came across a junior and exchanged greetings.
The inquisitiveness and the enthusiasm of the Juniors’ is commendable keeping in mind the activities they have successfully performed in such a short span.
Such was the junior with whom I interacted too. We spoke about general lectures and gradually, we moved on to ‘one of the most revered topics’ at B-School: Summer Internship. And so did the chatting, munching and crunching began with one condition: Questions to be answered only if the Tea was sponsored by the Junior!
1. So what exactly is a Summer Internship?
Seriously?! You think they wouldn’t know that already? You guys are a notch above our batch.
2. Thanks for the compliment but coming back to the topic, we would love to know what it is all about?
Well, it is the most crucial 2 months of your entire MBA career. Ofcourse before placement begins…To sum it up, the Summers would mean slightly different for the different set of students-Freshers & Experienced.
It provides the corporate exposure to them. Bridges the huge gap between your theory and practicals what you have been doing so far in your academic career. Also, it serves as a fresh entry point to gain an experience of the way corporate works.
For Experienced Guys:
It would teach you how different your previous work ex is and how an MBA specialization oriented internship is. While, you do have a prior experience in the corporate which is an advantage, it is equally essential to start with a fresh mind as a student on an internship. They (Intern Organizations) hate baggage.
3. What was your profile, work, role, and which company did you intern for?
I interned with a 2 year old start up-Pentagon Activations Ltd. My Profile was: Content & Strategy-Brand Activations and my work included designing campaigns for brands.
The company is Pentagon Activations which has specialized into BTL activations and also execute other events, digital campaigns, etc. A recent successful campaign’s Youtube link to give you a fair idea about the Agency and the BTL Arena: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH1NUkBzD64
4. Sounds interesting, so what does the Content & Strategy Team in a Brand Activation firm actually work on?
The flow goes like this: Client Servicing team gets the brief from the Client of course-Presents it to us-Content & Strategy ideates a campaign thought-Operations Guys set up the whole event and voila-a campaign is launched on ground.
Our work is dwells into Creativity that builds the campaign and at the same time uses that Management thinking cap about the decisions like-Right Target Group, Right Location, Right Time and figuring out various other trends through research.
5. Hold on…I feel like I’m in a lecture already. Could you elaborate on what is BTL?
(And I feel like I’m in an interview…)
BTL is below the Line promotions: There are mainly 2 types of advertising/promotions. ATL is ur conventional mediums like TV, Print, radio. While BTL is ur activations that u see in malls, trade shows, exhibitions and events, and other innovative campaigns like augmented reality and normally what coke does..its on ground promotions where u actively and innovatively engage the Target Group rather than the passive ads we see on tv, hear on radio..it increases the Top-of-mind recall..as in it reinstills faith in ur consumer and strikes that emotional cord.
6. Sounds interesting, so what exactly was your contribution?
I worked with brands like Viacom 18-Colors, Zee Cafe-Lost, Provogue, Godrej to name a few out of the 7-8 brands within the span of 2 months. I designed on ground promotional campaigns for these brands and also got the brief by interacting with clients at their office like Viacom 18 and Provogue for instance.
7. Well, if I can hear you correctly, this is what they were regularly doing at their work? So you just joined in and contributed to their work?
I’m glad you asked the question. While I was 2 weeks, into the organization, and briefly understood the work and was contributing to it, the director called for a meeting along with my mentor. He gave me a project: Formulate a marketing plan for innovative platform for promotions. And said the following words: So you continue doing the work we are engaging you with i.e. ideate campaigns but you also have to start working on this project as well. Work undertime, overtime, work from home, work from someone else’s home, but deliver”
So, you should be able to and be lucky enough to get your hands on a project that will make a difference to them. That is the key point of learning for me in any internship or work that one undertakes. If there’s little acknowledgement, there’s even little effort and passion. But you got to prove it to them, to give you that extra work.
And i did find myself working from home as well many a times i.e. after work hours.
8. What were the major challenges that you faced on the Summer Internship?
In the second week, I was asked to make a presentation in front of the entire agency including the directors. Credits to the presentations we are loaded with in class. And then we realize that it is that one key factor and competency we develop and helps us wherever we go.
Adapting to the work culture which was way different than my previous experience-Arrive on time, Leave on time was the working style earlier in my previous IT experience, but entirely different here…more “chilled out”
Intense passion at work is what separates these small agencies from large organizations.
New faces, new friends, lucky enough to get a place to sit and work, new coffee all that builds up into an experience which at first will seem to inhibit you but then it will gradually set in.
9. Did u ever have the thought of PPO-the pre placement offer in your mind?
Actually, u cant resist that thought..but u cant work with that aim either. Like the thought of marriage proposal by a stranger even before u get start knowing them or get friendly 😉
So do your best at the task at hand and look for opportunities to perform and stand out.
But what I do have the thought of is seeing my project go live. I am still in touch with the agency and contribute whenever required. If all works well, by next year it would be implemented and that is what is the best part.
Any implementation of your idea for an Intern makes you feel that you actually live in the organization and not merely exist, and that acknowledgement gives you wings…
10. What was that 1 best thing you experienced in your Internship?
The exposure I gained at the relatively small organization as compared to my previous work experience. Try to get a good profile and then the brand. It is all about the work you learn and are exposed to. Pentagon was awesome in those terms, as I sat with almost every colleague and linked their contribution to the entire project. And I have the feeling that your work is noticed faster in such a place than at a Fortune 500 company that you might join J
There’s a lot of transparency in small organizations which is essential for any student to learn about the business.
11. Alright, take me through your key learnings?
- Ideation and conceptualization of Promotional Campaigns.
- New product development.
- Brand Activations & Target Group Engagements.
- The BTL and its significance
- Significance of Passion in what you do.
12. What about the stipend?
If I had to rank them according to its significance in internship:
- Internship Profile and Project
But definitely it is a major part and according to me, it should cover your basic expenditure including the travelling costs atleast. And to be honest, it gives you that motivation in the second month. But don’t worry, any stipend amount will be too less as your friends will eventually draw out a budget and plan the treatJ
And the internship is definitely about giving to the company but also the learning you take back is utmost essential. That reminds me, that you have to buy me tea as my paycheck for the interview.
13. It was wonderful talking to you, but now a dilemma arises in my mind: How do I find the right company and the right profile that I should intern in?
- That question is an answer in itself-Be Proactive
- Ask questions to the CIS speakers that come in about the work interns would be exposed to
- Go through the Project Reports of Seniors and see if you like what they do
- If you are passionate about research, find out about the senior who got internship into a Research firm and go through his report
- Talk to peers, websites-Letsintern.com, etc.
- Take your time and take what you want before you get something you are given.
And with that question we were done with our lunch..
Thanks a ton! I hope the informal interview over lunch helps us gaining some insights about the Summer Internship.
Please use the above information at your own risk. Any damage to physical or intellectual property after reading this piece is solely your own responsibility. No Thanks. It was indeed my pleasure. And do your case studies as well. It helps 😉
Disclaimer: The views expressed are that of the author and do not represent the Institute’s view.
It’s not for nothing that The Goal is one of the best selling management books of all time. Written by Eliyahu Goldratt, it is unlike any of those business management books which leave you overwhelmed with jargon and unsolicited advice. The book is presented to the reader in the form of fiction which follows the story of a young manager named Alex Rogo trying to turn around the poor performance of his production plant at a time when his marriage is unravelling. Although written in 1984, it succeeds in bringing forth the contemporary problems faced by today’s managers and proposes feasible solutions for the same. It is interesting to note that the author, despite being a physicist who has not worked in the actual industry has made the content of the book very lucid. The character Jonah draws direct inspiration from the author’s life. Although the book is written from the point of view of the manufacturing industry, the principles applied by Alex can be applied in other fields as well as in one’s personal life. The story defines “The Theory of Constraints” which involves the identification of the weakest link in the chain as the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The chain over here is the series of processes and machines that are involved in the plant’s manufacturing process.
Alex Rogo works as a Plant Manager in UniCo, a manufacturing firm. One fine morning Alex receives a bolt from the blue when his boss Bill Peach comes down to his plant and issues him an ultimatum. Alex has three months to transform his unproductive plant into a productive one or face a shutdown. Alex sits down with his team: Lou, Fran, Stacey and Bob to contemplate a plan of action. He seeks advice from his long distance mentor Jonah, a physicist whenever he is in a dilemma. Jonah’s implicit words of wisdom are put into practice by Alex. The next three months turn into a tightrope walk for him as he tries to balance work with his crumbling marriage. Alex’s wife Julie is at the end of her wits due to the perennial indifference shown by him towards her and their kids. Alex and his team manage to identify the bottlenecks and after a number of trials and errors finally succeed in improving the productivity of the plant and are thus able to avoid the closure of the plant by delivering profits. The story ends on a happy note wherein Alex wins back Julie and earns a promotion. Aptly, the climax comes with a disclaimer where managing the new plant is to present a new challenge and an opportunity to Alex.
The Goal is highly recommended for budding managers not just in the field of Operations but in all other specialisations. Not only does it talk about the technical aspects of management, it gives you an insight into the struggles faced by today’s corporate managers who find it tough to balance their careers with their personal lives. So don’t wait anymore, grab a copy and find yourself a shade smarter.
Facebook, earlier known as thefacebook.com, was founded in the year 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard university friends with the idea of creating a platform of social interaction where his fellow university students could view each other’s photos and could contact people around the university. Facebook was not the first social networking platform. At the time when Facebook was launched, social media giant ‘MySpace’ ruled the American social media circuit and it also had a significant standing in the rest of the world. The other websites like Friendster and AOL that came before MySpace were not successful. Now the question arises that what is so different about Facebook? And how Mark Zuckerberg at the age of 23 became a successful entrepreneur?
Every business starts with an idea but very few of them survive the travails of the market. Facebook was also one of those ideas but it was Mark’s inborn quality as a leader which led his idea to not only survive the market but also quickly become the market leader. He truly believed in what he was doing and he never shied away from working hard to achieve his dreams. Not many people would dare to believe that the project they started in their dorm room would one day become a worldwide phenomenon. But Mark believed in his dreams and had big aspirations for his company. Also, he was never afraid to take risks when it came to promoting his business. Though Mark did not have a business education, like any other Jew businessman, business knowledge was something which was inherent in him. Thus, when it came to running his company, he took several smart decisions which proved to set a milestone for the others. Over the years, continuous innovation and regular upgradation of the Facebook interface has made users stay loyal to Facebook. Facebook has also managed to attract other non-users at an exponential rate to become the largest community on a social media. It is considered to be very user friendly that’s the reason why it is been appreciated by many people.
Mark’s vision and passion for his work led him to achieve so much in such a short timeframe. For him it was important to create an open information forum for the people. In the year 2010, in an interview to the ‘Wired’ magazine, he reiterated his passion for his goals by saying that, “The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open”. Mark has become an inspiration for many startups and budding entrepreneurs. He, as an idol for many, inspires them to chase their dreams and make them a reality.
Hence, we can infer that there is no singular thing behind a successful business or a successful entrepreneur. Success is the result of a heady mix of passion, hard work and the courage to dream big. By not being averse to taking risks and moving forward come what may, it is possible for any entrepreneur to be just as successful.
Saurabh Khadse (PGDM 2013-15)
Anindita Sarkar (MMS 2013-15)
As it is said, a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Our seniors have left us a legacy to uphold. Our SIESCOMS blog has successfully completed two years and now it’s our turn to carry forward the legacy bestowed upon us. In the last two years the blog team has strived to cast articles from various fields ranging from marketing trends to finance to spirituality and art. The SIESCOMS blog has been successful in reaching out to the people and giving them a platform to put forth their ideas and to voice out their opinions. We would like to thank all the SIESCOMITES for their incredible support and efforts in making the blog a great success. We hope to see this zest continuing in the coming years too.
We aspire to set a new benchmark for OUR BLOG and transform it into an interactive platform which facilitates the confluence of new ideas and showcase of talents. Remember we all are talented but the real talent is to know how to benefit from the talent.
We look forward to increased levels of interaction and engagement with you. We beacon you to come forward and take a step towards enriching the treasure of knowledge. Irrespective of the discipline or specialization you belong to, you are most welcome to contribute articles on topics ranging from your day to day experiences at SIESCOMS to current events and global issues to the changing business trends or book reviews of management books, in short anything that you think will add to the knowledge bank of our readers, the SIESCOMITES.
The power of writing is that it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart. There is a large audience out here to know your views and share their own. We aspire to make this blog a runway for your ideas to takeoff and that can be achieved only with your support and cooperation. It is rightly said “TEAMWORK DIVIDES THE TASKS AND MULTIPLIES THE SUCCESS”
Hoping to sustain the legacy and create a new benchmark with our future endeavors.
Remember, the more we share, the more we grow..!