Internship Diaries of 2021 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 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: Nishant Thacker
Nishant Thacker is a Civil Engineer from NIT Rourkela (Batch of 2018). During his time there, he interned at L&T Construction. After graduation he worked at ESSEN Construction for 25 months as Working Partner.
Edited by: Lakshmi R V
I worked for a client who has a presence pan India and was trying to expand into new sectors, that they were previously not a part of. I was in the Marketing, Communication and Fundraising team for the same. To put it briefly, I had to formulate a comprehensive marketing strategy as well as understand the different funding sources for them. The project involved a lot of research in terms of industry benchmarking of marketing ideas across the sectors. Also, I had to do research on aspects like research on fundraising and CSR activities, and competitive benchmarking with similar national and international organisations.
My previous work experience was in a core industry that didn’t involve a lot of research work. I was also not very efficient on Excel and PowerPoint before I started my internship. It seemed like a tedious and uphill task for me to be able to work in a sector like consulting which was heavily dependent on the few things I was not comfortable with. My buddy was a great resource for me during my internship. I took her help in properly understanding what she expected of me. I also gained her advice on how to better work on PowerPoint. Taking a Udemy course to improve my Excel skills, helped me become more efficient with my work. I got more and more comfortable with the high amount of research I had to do every day over time with practice and patience.
My managers and co-workers were all very supportive and friendly. I was given the liberty to reach out to them whenever I wanted. My buddy was a Business Analyst who had joined the firm a year before me. She was always extremely helpful despite her own workload of working on 3 different projects. The HR team also conducted an informal dinner to help interns bond and interact with the different verticals in the firm like design and research.
Travelling is a major part of consulting. With the virtual set-up, I definitely missed that. The experience would have been richer had it been offline. I got an opportunity to work across all tiers of the company. It would have been interesting to do so in person. It does get a little tedious working on a laptop in one place for long hours. However, I believe the trick is to know when and how to take a break between those hours during your week. As important as it was for me to work hard, it was equally important for me to learn to switch off and relax, when I had the time.
The expectation definitely was of an offline experience in terms of the travel, meeting new people and having the opportunity to have an extremely hands-on experience. However, there was a lot of learning as well. With the company being at a nascent stage in the country, it was a novel experience for me. It was akin to working in a startup culture, but in the consulting domain. I got to work with people across the hierarchy, which is something I didn’t expect to. It provided a much more enhanced learning experience for me than what I expected.
Consulting is a job that requires long hours, and you should definitely be prepared for that. It is hard work, but it is extremely challenging, which is the best part about it. I realised that your growth and the kind of responsibility you are given hinges on how proactive you are. Taking ownership of work and stepping up at the right time will determine how steep your learning curve is. My parting advice would be, “always be eager to learn, develop new skills and become a better version of yourself!”
Nishant and Lakshmi are students of the PGP 2020-22 batch at IIM Bangalore.