Last week of March, I boarded Rajdhani Express headed for Bangalore. Mind was tangled with excitement for joining a firm among ‘Big Four', fun plans and of course some apprehensions. The internship opportunity in Business Advisory Services (BAS) domain at a top consulting firm had marked a wonderful beginning of my aspirations for a consulting career.
General perception that trainees are burden for an organisation and may not be treated well was proven wrong the very first day. Here I was, sharing the space with new employees of the firm in the induction program lasting 3 days. After 2 hours of induction session, HR Manager took us for a welcome lunch at a five star restaurant nearby office at UB City. Laptops, access cards and stationery were issued and an interview was scheduled on the very first day to understand my interest field for project. I was allocated a mentor who was Senior Manager with around 15 years of experience in this domain and a project was assigned to explore consulting opportunities in IT hardware industry.
I believe in Mr. Narayana Murthy's philosophy- test first and trust next. Exactly the same happened to me. After reviewing 2 weeks of my work at BAS, I was assigned a different project and it was a clear reflection of my mentor's satisfaction with my work. He felt the project was easy for a person with 41 months of IT experience. Expectations were raised and now I was working on studying probable consulting opportunities in Electronics Hardware industry- comparatively newer and evolving industry.
Time duration for the internship had not changed and the challenge was to complete the project with the expected quality. My friends were little apprehensive but I took the challenge and started working from the scratch again. You don't feel the burden when you like your work. I was living my dream every day. A typical day started with early morning running practice for TCS 10K run, reaching office after 1 hour journey in local bus, working 11 hours on an average, reaching my room and network with people around and sleep late night after 3 rounds of push-ups. My mentor was a source of inspiration to me as I always saw him in office early and staying back late to finish his official calls and meetings with endless passion. As part of project requirements, I interviewed some industry people including General Manager of leading Consumer Electronics Company. The industry insights shared by people of such cadre was an amazing learning.
The internship was not just about work but much more than that. Being a part of BAS team, I also enjoyed birthday celebrations, baby welcome parties and interesting chit chats with highly intellectual team mates over tea. It was a wholesome and enriching experience to interact with the Director and Senior Managers of BAS division on a regular basis. Rest of the fun was taken care by fire-drill, shifting of office, office evacuation at the time of minor tremors, meeting some IPL players at UB City Mall during lunch breaks and a pleasant interaction with students adopted by firm's social service arm.
A formal feedback session with my mentor gave me in-depth insights about the work done and areas for further improvement. The project recommendations given by me were accepted and appreciated. Similar to welcome treat, a farewell party was arranged with the team. The golden period passed but the learning and experience I gained will remain fresh in my memories lifelong and will keep driving me to perform best every day.
I would suggest summer interns a couple of points to be kept in mind. Go with an open mindset, be punctual and give your 100% everyday. This is the time to learn so don't give up if you have to stretch yourself. Behave professionally even if others don't, abide by company's rules, never skip the opportunity to network and take the feedback as an opportunity to improve yourself.
Indian Institute of Management Rohtak