Out Of The Comfort Zone – Sahil’s Internship Experience At JSPL

The only source of knowledge is experience – Anonymous

It all started in the month of February when I got an opportunity to work with JSPL as an intern in the marketing department. I was very excited to join the organization on 3rd April 2017. Hardly did I know that my excitement would multiply tenfold once I join the organization.

On my first day of joining, I was glad to meet my mentor who readily enquired about my interests and we spoke at length about the industry, our college and his varied experiences after being in the industry for so long. Soon afterwards, the orientation programme started and joined the other interns.  The projected that I was  allotted to was titled ‘Market Research for Quenched and Tempered plates’. I was then given a day to ponder over the project and submit a roadmap for the execution. The day was spent thinking about the project, reading the bible of marketing, KOTLER, to find some solutions to the given problem and prepared a short presentation of my roadmap. I shared my thoughts and ideas to the mentor the next day only to realise that he was pleasantly happy to see my work but suggested me to work on it a little more by giving greater depth to the plan. The meeting motivated me to perform even better. The fact that he was ready to help even when he was under a very tight schedule escalated my respect and admiration to him even further. I started my work and worked on building the understanding of customer buying behavior. I am sure everyone understands a buying behavior of customers but the practical sense of it can be very inspiring. I began analysing the same with the current product scenario in JSPL and built possible recommendations for the future action plan. Three weeks through, I found that I do not have enough sample size for my questionnaire. Upon approaching my mentor. he told me that JSPL is into B2B business and it is very difficult to get more 40 -45 responses. Seeking his help, I contacted some regional managers and got my questionnaire filled. I also contacted some distributors on phone and got the questionnaire filled. In the end, I got 47 responses, which helped me analyse the responses, and in the last two weeks I was ready with my recommendations. Now, came the D-day, the day on which I had to present my work in front of all department business heads. It went well and I got the certification of completion. To my surprise, one of the business heads invited me to the Delhi office to discuss my work with him and wanted to discuss more on the action plan I had recommended. I went to Delhi office with my action plan and had a healthy discussion with me. The insights given by him helped me understand the nuances of the industry and how my recommended action plan could be developed further. The appreciation I received from him for providing recommendations on which they would be building further was a fulfilling experience. When he got to know that I was about to leave the very next day from JSPL, he invited me for a treat with the other business heads at Molecule bar in the sector 29, Gurgaon. That one last day will be etched on my mind forever. We shared many things about our lives only to bid them farewell after two months of a refreshing learning experience.

My summer internship experience with JSPL was enriching and important in helping me in developing a career plan for myself. Here are the top four learnings from my summer internship experience are listed below:

· Never take your internship granted as what you will do during this period will decide your career. You should take it seriously and do justice to it. After the hectic schedule at the b-school, students always make a mistake to take it for granted and in the end, during placements they do not have much to deliver. SIP will give you an enriching experience and you will enjoy it if you take it seriously and do justice to this opportunity.

· As I have mentioned above, on the first day, when I met with my mentor, he asked me about my interests and the organization. So I will advise you to go with the complete information about the organization and try to answer the questions-‘Why I am joining this organisation and how it would help me in building my career?’ These questions will help to get clarity on your goals.

· Summer Internship gives you an opportunity to interact with the professionals and learn from them. Don’t consider it just a formality of academic curriculum, try to interact within the organization and build good relationship with them. It would help you in the near future.

· During your summer internship, there will many stages where you feel disappointed thinking that your mentor expects more from you. At that time, just calm down and ask your mentor to guide you. It would help you learn new ways of doing the same work.

In the end, I will say this corporate experience will teach you so many things; there will be many ups and downs. Sometimes, it pulls you out of your comfortable zone but you should remember the expert in anything was once a beginner.

Sahil Jain

I am a PGP student at IIM Nagpur. I am also an executive member of Cultural Club at IIM Nagpur. I did his summer internship at Jindal Steel & Power Limited, Gurgaon.