A Much Needed Internship Experience At Whirlpool Corporation – Shreeya Dash – IMT Ghaziabad

When we join a b-school, the first milestone is to secure an internship. The entire process is daunting since we are just a few months into the curriculum and we are expected to sit through interviews and processes equivalent to a job interview. I faced a similar situation in my internship experience.

I still remember the entire day vividly. The whole process, GD, PI, anticipation and so on. Once I got placed in Whirlpool, I realised that it is only a quarter of a battle won. The major battle/work starts once the internship starts.

The internship started on April 10th , 2017. The first day, they greeted us and told us clearly that the path cut out for the next two months isn’t easy. We all are expected to push ourselves to the brim and get the desired results. We were clearly told that nothing would be spoon-fed to us and we needed to make our own path, get the help and access the resources. It did sound scary and intimidating at first, but the authorities gave a follow-up statement saying that everyone is approachable regardless of the medium. They won’t micromanage us and we would be given the full freedom to explore and perform. This served as a motivation to kick-start the internship on a positive note.

On the induction day, we were taken through all the processes and functions of the organisation, the values and the culture. We were briefed well and they ensured that all our doubts, queries and apprehensions were resolved. To add a fun element, the campus team even made us play games that added a lot of learning value to us. Above all of this, it was nice to meet 22 other interns from various b-schools and from various domains apart from sales and marketing. This gave me perspectives on thought processes and a glimpse of ‘my competition’.

The real work started from the second day. We were introduced to our project leads. My project was particularly related to sales force management particularly finding cost effective measures in the arena and I got the opportunity to work under the head of retail and trade. I also worked under the HR function. The project was a tricky project and involved a lot of analysis and exploring practicalities.

My mentor made me first understand the retail sector, the processes, the working, the challenges and so on. I was asked to explore various markets and interview dealers and the Salesforce employed on the shop-floor. I travelled to Delhi, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Rohtak and Chandigarh. All this gave me a good idea on how the industry operates, the hiring processes, the engagement levels, the operational aspect and so on.

After getting a good idea about the industry, I was made to analyse the data and the cost aspect. Find out cost effective programs and try and understand where all can the productivity be maximised. This gave me an idea of how to analyse the cost drivers and ensure that the plans implemented can be applied. I also had to form implementation plans for the cost- effective plans. I came up with my perspectives and two-three options along with the pros and cons of each.

Retail is a very complicated sector. As a fresher, I practically had zero understanding about the nitty-gritty involved and the importance of it. This internship made me realise all these aspects. In a short span, I got a very good understanding of the processes and how the industry works.

This internship provided me with a base and made me come in touch with the ground reality. In classrooms, our understanding becomes very limited and idealistic. On the ground, reality can sometimes differ drastically. This internship gave me perspectives and a lot of different angles to think on. I am certain that the learning from here would be carried life-long.