Second year at IIM Indore has started and I am back settling with heaps of case studies and chatting with classmates who have interned in different domains in different parts of the world. As I continue on this journey of studying at IIM Indore, the summer internship at Tata Steel has provided me with perspectives and insights about the steel industry, the company and especially about myself.
Having worked as a software engineer and a sales person in the past, the marketing and strategy intern role threw unique challenges at me. I was elated to be a part of the new products and business team at Tata Steel office in Kolkata. In my first week of internship, as I was unaware of the steel industry, I had to understand the industry and Tata Steel’s products. Initially I could see myself complaining: “My mentor does not give me enough work” too. Soon I learnt to self-manage and plan my weekly goals. The key deliverables and milestones set aside for me challenged me to think analytically and work together as a team. I watched the team celebrate birthdays, discuss customer feedback and safety issues inside the organisation together. My mentor was extremely supportive. I was surprised by how much my role required me to interact with everybody involved in the supply chain. The output of my project will soon be used in Tata Steel’s marketing campaigns.
Also, internship gave me the freedom to explore two Indian states – West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. I had never stayed in these places before. It was exciting to explore and savour the local cuisine and culture alone.
Overall I had a great Summer Internship, I learnt about the Steel Industry from the lenses of Tata Steel. It was all about building trust, influencing people, building networks and a great learning experience. I enjoyed interacting with myriad set of people – The fabricators, dealers, end consumers, quality specialists at Jamshedpur and interns from other B-schools. Interning at a Tata company was like working with my family. While I expected to use my IIM-I marketing and strategy lessons during my internship, I was surprised to see myself translating subtle HR concepts to action more than anything else. Since my internship brought me close to customers, I plan to take courses which give me an in-depth knowledge of understanding consumer behaviour and B2C marketing.
-------- About the Author: Neha Adiga is the secretary of Idanim - the drama club at IIM Indore. She enjoys art, literature and traveling.