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: Trishna Nair
Trishna Nair graduated from IITM in 2018 with a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering. She worked with Wipro Consumer Care and Miebach Consulting before joining IIMB.
Edited by: Lakshmi R V
My project was related to coming up with a strategic growth plan for the Indian arm of a global logistics player. The virtual internship was a bit painful, especially in the initial phase. I did not know anyone on my team, and I was new to the field of the project as well. The virtual setting made settling in more difficult and this led to a longer adjustment period, as compared to an offline setting. We also had to set meetings to bond and chill, which would have happened organically in an offline setting.
My co-workers were simply great. I was directly working with a Senior Business Analyst (SBA) and had multiple calls with him daily for guidance on how to proceed. I would also have regular calls with my manager, including feedback calls where he would give me pointed feedback on every parameter that I was being assessed on. This really helped me grow. The partner on my project was also very involved and we had team calls with him almost every day. Apart from the team, I was also assigned a buddy who I would reach out to whenever I was worried about something.
Some of the things I learnt are as follows
- It is better to clarify doubts immediately. In the first week, I was given a task and an hour later, I had a few doubts. I kept waiting for my SBA to be free, thinking that this was too silly to ask my manager. However, my SBA was not free, and my manager called me in the evening asking for an update. And what I had done, was very different from what they wanted. I had wasted the entire day for doubts that would have taken 10 minutes to clarify.
- Keep your manager updated. This is especially important in an online setup, where communication is more restricted. My manager had given me a task and I kept waiting for him to ask me for a status update, while he was waiting for me to update him. He then handed the task over to another SBA. I had made considerable progress in this, and I missed out on something that I could have presented as my deliverable.
- Think a task through fully before you start. This really helps reduce the amount of re-work required.
I was overawed by the PPM and found it difficult to speak up in front of them. This was aggravated by the fact that we had meetings with the principal and partner almost every day. This was actually a feedback point that I received from my manager – I was just agreeing to whatever the partner said and they expected me to question him if required and brainstorm with him. I overcame this by preparing very well for each meeting including thinking of what to say and what were the possible questions that could crop up.
The last advice I would want to give is that don’t target a consulting internship just because everyone else is or it seems glamorous. While consulting offers incredible learning and is a great finishing school, it is quite demanding as well. So, make sure you have talked to people and understood what it entails.
Trishna and Lakshmi are students of the PGP 2020-22 batch at IIM Bangalore.