A Gamble In The Game Of Internships – Akash Vispute’s Internship Experience – IIM Trichy
“MUST HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE…!”, my first thoughts when recruiters chose a Non-IT guy like me over my friends from IT industry. It seemed illogical, unreasonable…!
Having stayed far away from IT for my whole career till now, getting into IT was a gamble. For the next 5 months, I kept wondering if I played a wrong hand in this GAME OF INTERNSHIPS. I left my home with many discouraging IT industry stories and tonnes of advice. And then I reached Chennai, telling myself throughout that all is well; acting all brave; putting on the best poker face I ever could.
Day 0 was the induction party at the Hilton Hotel. Loads of goodies, good food, competitions and some gyaan sessions were successful in breaking the ice. Pretty soon, after interacting with other interns, I realised that every intern was carefully picked and placed in the business unit, considering the past experience and interests of the intern. There being 50 plus interns in total, I understood the level of planning the Company must have done to allocate every intern in right BU. This assured me that this wasn’t a mistake, and I indeed was the CHOSEN ONE or at least one of the chosen ones.
All interns in my team, my mentor and almost all of my teammates were from core industries like power, oil & gas etc. This introduction to the team itself burst the first bubble, relieving me of some of the worries. I was given plenty of time to read about the industry, trends and new opportunities. Clearly, the focus was on holistic learning rather than just finishing a project. There was no spoon-feeding from any of the seniors. I was always shown the right way to do things, and was directed towards my answer but never a direct answer.
Still sceptical about my role in IT industry, I told my mentor about my previous work experience and also about my reservations towards the industry. To my surprise, I was given a choice to select a project out of a couple of options. These projects were related to my previous experience and were carefully chalked out for my brief tenure in the company.
I was given complete freedom to interact with people beyond hierarchical constraints and gather all the information I needed for the project. I was constantly encouraged to contact new people, SMEs, onsite personnel and various teams sitting in different parts of India. It boosted my confidence and freed me from the hesitation of seeking help. It also helped me gain recognition not only for my team but also other teams working on different projects.
I was one of the few lucky ones who got to work on live engagement with the clients. My suggestions/ideas were given a consideration in the discussions and part of my deliverable was used for the client interaction which made me feel about myself an essential part of the project.
Apart from work, the significant part of my stay in Chennai consisted of terrace talks and beach walks with fellow interns. House parties, movies, clubbing helped us shed off our burden over the weekends. 2 months were somehow enough to make cheerful memories and lasting bonds with all the interns. Countless hugs and dragging feet towards the airport gates were evident enough for the amazing time I had in Chennai.
In the end, I learned about the IT industry, made some really good friends hailing from different parts of the country, explored a new city and made lots of memories to cherish. The only thing I can suggest to the coming year’s interns is to have an open mind and use the opportunity to get rid of the inhibitions about self, the industry or the company. There is more to everything once you dig deep enough and yeah Pondicherry is really pocket-friendly.
About the Author:
Akash is a student of 2016-18 batch of IIM Trichy. He has worked on Robotics, Automation and HVAC domain before joining IIM Trichy. Akash loves to read history and fiction novels. He is also a member of Alumni Committee and Sigma-Eta (Operations club) of IIM Trichy.