Internship Diaries of 2020 is a series about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. We bring to you the experiences of interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and E-commerce roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern and help the reader understand their fit in that particular role.
Contributed by: Nihar Lohiya
Picture Credits: Rishi Rathi
Edited by: Anandita Rohi
After the term III exams, we all left the campus in the hopes of traveling or chilling for a couple of weeks and gathering the much-needed energy for the incoming, next most important, 8 weeks of our lives – the Summer Internship. Talking about Summer Internship, we get a glimpse of the post-MBA world – the job roles, the workload, the corporate culture, the parties, and, most importantly, the big expectations. During these 8 weeks, we (most of us) try to showcase our best selves – mostly by applying everything the B-school has taught us so far. The end goal is – exponential learning – by having real-world exposure.
While we were stewing this story of the future 8 weeks, the present was already busy spreading a villainous virus over everyone’s stories. Overnight, everyone in India was placed under ‘lockdown’ in their current locations. Companies started working on contingencies for an Online Summer Internship, and thankfully, Samsung pulled out quite a smooth transition.
The Online onboarding was for just half a day (generally, it’s of around 2 days). It consisted of a few Leadership talks and quick introductions from co-interns. On the first day itself, we were free to contact our Managers and maybe even start working on the Projects. Though the situation was relatively better for me when compared with many of my friends, I felt that this internship was ruined and WFH would never work out. But after the first call with my Manager and buddy, this perception was wildly shaken. I was assigned 2 projects, and the team’s expectations were quite high. My manager’s seriousness had the required inductive effect and I started right on track for the WFH story of the next 8 weeks.
In the Project, I had to develop a business strategy for Market Share Leadership for a particular Samsung product. The first thing I learned in this was the importance of a ‘Story.’ My manager said to me – before starting the actual work – make a presentation enunciating your story – the ending of which should be – “………, and this is how Samsung will be the Market Leader.” My manager, buddy, and I first developed a story; then everything I did for the next 8 weeks revolved around it – trying to back the story logically, making it fool-proof. Though all data-backed proposals were readily accepted on the upside, the WFH setup made the process of acquiring data a bit tiresome. Many times, I had to wait for a couple of days to get the required data. And this is where my buddy and I came up with ‘jugaad’ ways for gathering data using secondary research.
There were many such big and small challenges, and each time we dealt with it better than before. Though working from home was not an ideal way to do the Summer Internship, it was nowhere close to as bad as I imagined it to be. The negatives were that there was not much bonding with my team or the co-interns. But on the positive side, WFH provided a lot of flexibility in terms of working hours.
Overall, I would say I was happy with the quality of work and responsibility given to me. After the final review, when I asked my manager how the entire thing was, he said, “You can see for yourself if this was a successful presentation or not – the level of discussions this project has started speaks for itself.”
With a smile and gratitude, I signed off from this 8 weeks’ stint.
Nihar, Rishi and Anandita are students of the PGP 2019-21 batch at IIM Bangalore.