Let me introduce you Alekhya Kakumanu from IIM Ranchi. Alekhya is an engineering graduate from NIT Raipur 2017. Post that she worked for 6 months at Hexagon as a Software Analyst. She is a Marketing enthusiast and also the Senior Member of the Marketing Club at IIM Ranchi.
In this interview, Alekhya shares with us some of her valuable insights into how she cracked the PPO from Capgemini. Without further ado, let's begin our conversation.
Mahantesh: Tell us in brief about how you prepared for summer placement interviews?
Alekhya: I would say everyone needs to cross two hurdles to bag the placement offer. The first hurdle is to be shortlisted, where the resume plays a vital role. I had started working on the resume several months before the summers with the help of the seniors and got it reviewed by multiple people. The next hurdle is each company’s process itself. Significant preparation for this was to be thorough with everything written in the resume and preparing my placement material provided by the placement committee and latest news.
M: What is the summer internship process like for Capgemini?
A: The process began with a pre-placement talk with panellists from different business units and the HR giving a brief about the work culture and career path for an intern.
The selection process contained three rounds:
1. Group Discussion, with two topics, one related to the latest news and other being an abstract one.
2. Technical Interview Round, it was mainly based on resume, understanding about the particular business unit I applied for, and how my knowledge can be helpful.
3. HR Round, it revolved around my extra-curricular, strengths and weaknesses and a few scenarios-based questions.
M: What are the reasons you think you cracked the interview?
A: When the JDs were floated, I did some research to understand the work clearly and applied for the role that my skills match the best. I tried to portray my zeal through my speech and body language in the entire process right from the pre-placement talk. I was very genuine and honest in the HR round. These are just a few out of the many factors that have helped me crack the interview.
M: Tell us about your day to day work as an intern at Capgemini.
A: Capgemini has a very dedicated Chrysalis program where each intern is hired for a particular project and assigned a mentor and a buddy. After a 2-day induction, I joined the team. I directly reported to my mentor, who was a Senior Director. DEMS was a newly formed BU from several acquisitions and was undergoing a portfolio restructure. My job as an intern was to come up with strategies for this restructure and develop a portfolio representation that can be used by the sales teams.
I spent a couple of weeks to clearly understand the entire offering of DEMS and the market scenario.
I continuously approached my buddy, who was a senior manager, kind enough to help me patiently — a typical day of my work comprised of reading at least 15 articles by various technology and consulting firms. Apart from my buddy and mentor, I utilized several resources from the Capgemini research libraries and attended webinars of the company’s technology experts. I had to deliver new ideas for the portfolio realignment each day. I used to have several hours of discussion with my buddy on taking forward these ideas.
The project evaluation process had two rounds, the mid review by the mentor, followed by a final panel presentation for selected projects. The final performance was critical with an external panel evaluation. Apart from work, I used to meet interns from other colleges during lunch and plan my weekends with them.
M: What did you do right to achieve the PPO from Capgemini?
A: I enjoyed the work I did and never saw it as a target or a deadline. I was free to experiment, learn and identify new opportunities. I took it as an exploratory study which eliminated the performance pressure, and I could deliver my best. Also, I did not restrict myself to the goal set by my mentor and always put up dedicated slides in every presentation for all the exciting things I found during my study. I managed to maintain proper communication with my buddy and mentor and updated them about my progress every week.
M: What are the most cherishable moments of your internship?
In every meeting that I had with my buddy and mentor, we had long discussions on how to solve the current problem at hand and come up with solutions. The seriousness and importance they gave to the internship were encouraging. It was never seen as a performance evaluation, but more about meeting the end goal. It was during the 7th week of my internship.
I need to mention this highlight of my work. The new portfolio representation that I suggested was shared with the technical strategy head of my BU and the VP in a mail, in which I was marked too. It was the most fulfilling moment.
LinkedIn: Alekhya Kakumanu