Basics Of GD/PI Preparations For Summer Internship
I recently spent some time at my alma mater. Part of me was in awe to see the drastic changes, which had transformed the campus. What really blew my mind was the enthusiasm of the new batch of students. All excited and preparing for the upcoming Summer Internship placement saga. There was a vibe of confidence and the profile of some of the students that I had the chance to interact with, was far more diversified.
Honest Admission: When I was in their shoes, I was still figuring out whether to take Marketing or Finance. My initial gusto to take Finance has tapered off, eventually realising – “Finance aur Balance Sheets humse na ho payega”.
However, there were a few off the cuff queries, which sounded pretty similar. GD/PI prep is easy and requires a few key aspects to be kept in mind. So I have tried to compile together my experience of multiple failures and a few successes for the new batch of b-schoolers.
Group Discussions: Just keep in mind that GD is a rejection round and not a selection round. Avoid creating a fish market and if there is a fish market at any time, avoid contributing to it. Wait for your turn when the group becomes quiet for just a second. Calculate the average time you get to speak i.e. (Total time given by moderator)/(Number of GD participants), and make sure you speak for at least that duration.
And most importantly, whenever you speak, make relevant points, which can drive the GD or give it a new direction. Do not be in a hurry to be the first to speak or panic if you haven’t contributed early on. Do not squander the opportunity you get to speak by blabbering out as much as you can. Remember “Content is King” everywhere. This will make sure that you stay out of the ‘rejection list’.
Interview: Know your resume well. Anything that is mentioned by you in your resume can be used as a question. It could be as obscure as your work in an NGO or your hobbies. If you are not confident about something, avoid mentioning it in the resume.
Remember, your objective is ‘not’ to fill your resume with as many lines/words as possible. You can be a bit cautious. Mention the sectors you have worked in and prepare for the same well enough to handle any question.
Word of caution: If you have worked in a service industry for a client (IT guys), generally you must have signed a Non-disclosure agreement. Avoid mentioning the client’s name in your resume or during the interview.
Also, keep a check on the hand movements that you make while talking. It is sometimes distracting.
Tips & Tricks of the trade:
All this requires no intensive study, just a little discipline. Just make sure you read any business newspaper daily. Or if you are a social media buff like me, you might follow journalists/channels on twitter. A group of friends can get together and have some mock civilized GD once or twice a week. They can also take interviews and make fun of each other in the process.
On the D-day when the company arrives, just Google and read the 2 latest news articles about the company rather than reading Wikipedia. This works even if you don’t know much about the company. Try not to be worried about how the GD/PI went for others. Every GD/PI is different and it will only add to your anxiety levels.
Preparing for summers is a marathon and small steps taken daily is better than a short sprint. So, “Keep Calm and Best of Luck”