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 lives. 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: Naveen H
Naveen is an CSE Engineer from SSN College of Engineering, Chennai. Prior to joining IIM Bangalore, he has worked with Zoho for 4 years as Developer. He is passionate about Mental health awareness and is a Manchester United Fan.
Edited by: Aman Berlia
My project was related to User Experience improvements on the screens of a particular product. My initial days were spent reading up and learning about UX, usability and best practices. I also spent time exploring the product and its features with fresh eyes. The focus was on coming up with actionable outputs for the team to improve the UX. I made use of my own experiences, user research, common support issues to identify the major issues. I also had to look at other apps and how these issues were addressed there. My final output was a set of prioritized UX issues and actionable solutions to solve them.
The project details were provided to us a week in advance. The first three days were packed with inductions to help get a hang of Sprinklr as a whole, their different products and set context for the business. My co-workers were quite helpful, and the entire process had support for us built into it.
Throughout my internship, I had complete ownership of the project. My manager acted as a facilitator to ensure I had access to the right resources across the firm to succeed. There were regular meetings, multiple times a week ranging from quick updates to feedback sessions to ensure I was going in the right direction.
The online mode of working came with its set of challenges, but there was already an established method to interactions. Due to the current scenario, the company had taken a decision to keep meetings to the minimum. Conversations with different stakeholders were kept asynchronous over chats to the extent possible and meetings were well organised beforehand. The communication was very open, giving frequent updates on chat, setting context before meetings, sharing relevant documents beforehand were all crucial to keep things smooth. Not hesitating to ask for anything to anyone, was an important takeaway for me here.
Through the entire experience, I learnt about the Product Management field and specifically about how to analyse and improve UX of products. I got hands-on experience on what Product Managers work on, and how Sprinklr goes about building their products. I had to set a scope and plan out my work during the beginning, which was a great learning experience.
A major obstacle I faced in the initial days was the availability of team members. I had difficulty in getting their time to talk and get information. I managed to overcome this with more asynchronous communication through chats. In case of small doubts, I sent them a message and got their response rather than waiting to be able to meet. I also contacted them and got their availability one day in advance for meetings when needed.
At the very beginning after getting my project details, I knew this was going to be a great learning opportunity for me. My project was related to User Experience. UX is an area I was not familiar with, having worked as a developer previously. I expected to be Learning and applying these learnings to a real-life product. The expectations were fulfilled, I was able to develop my knowledge of UX and got hands-on experience in applying them to a product. I expected to be given ownership and freedom to set my own pace, this was also something I got during the internship.
When aiming for an internship in Product Management, you will need to take a great interest in technology and tech products. You need to be able to have empathy and think from a user’s perspective when suggesting solutions. This is the most important thing needed.
Naveen and Aman are students of the PGP 2020-22 batch at IIM Bangalore.