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: Anushka Rastogi
Picture Credits: Rishi Rathi
Edited by: Debleena Mondal
The summer batch of 2020 will undeniably be hailed as a pioneer of virtual summer internships, across colleges and companies, against the backdrop of the unfortunate pandemic that has forced us to define the “new normal”. With internships taking off with a staggered start for most, myself included, the level of apprehension regarding the remote working setup and the quality of the promised experience was at an all-time high.
In the midst of this, I began the first day of my internship at McKinsey & Company, with an equal amount of eagerness and anxiety. The latter, however, was short-lived thanks to the efficient and engaging manner in which the virtual Summer Associate orientation program was conducted, a first for the company as well. The two-day program helped break the ice with our fellow interns, and before I knew it, I was plotted on the study that I was to be a part of over the next eight weeks.
The study involved running an end-to-end enterprise agility transformation program for one of the largest steel manufacturers of India. The two reasons I was hooked straight off the bat were that I had never been exposed to this industry and that this was a first-of-its-kind solution for the McKinsey India firm, which meant that the entire Client Service Team (CST) was learning as they executed the program.
I joined in the 10th month of the multi-year study and was encouraged by my manager to work across multiple streams for a broader perspective on the ongoing interventions. The first work-stream that I drove involved enabling quick-win process improvements across the client’s Corporate Services division, by crowdsourcing bureaucracy challenges from ground-level employees. As a unique part of this piece, I got an opportunity to lead multiple solutioning workshops with department heads, which helped build my confidence in senior stakeholder management. The second work-stream I was engaged in was the Performance Management System which involved inculcating key agile behaviours in the performance appraisal of the client leadership. The third and most exciting piece that I worked on was to develop a business case to extend ongoing agility interventions to the client’s R&D department. This involved a preliminary diagnostic of the department to identify key pain points, hypothesize possible root causes of these pain points and propose potential agile solutions to address these root causes. I was given complete autonomy to conduct this diagnostic through interactions with BU members, internal experts and other McKinsey CSTs with relevant experience, resulting in the initiation of a new work-stream to be potentially added to the scope of the agility program’s second stage.
My experience was profoundly enriching in terms of the learning opportunities, skill development, and client exposure I gained. The team ensured high internal engagement despite its large size, and at no point did I feel like a temporary intern. The regular check-ins and feedback sessions with my manager added to my comfort level and self-assurance. Further, I was encouraged to find answers and develop solutions, which pushed me to perform beyond my self-perceived capabilities. I hope to get the opportunity to work with the firm again soon and certainly cherish the learnings and memories of this summer internship.
Anushka, Rishi and Debleena are students of the PGP 2019-21 batch at IIM Bangalore.