Diary Entry Of A TAS Intern – Surabhi Jain – IIM Kozhikode

With numerous companies vying for your attention, making the right choice becomes difficult. Add to it the tough competition and the task seems uphill. Like every one, I wanted to work for a company that would help me bloom into a young professional, and where I could make a tangible, valuable contribution.

The one that stood out for me was Tata Administrative Services, with their bold history of grooming leaders. The competition has always been stiff, with TAS being one of the most sought after organizations. Theirs is one of the most extensive processes of selection to ensure a thorough assessment of the candidates’ capabilities and cultural fit. They have an elaborate form to evaluate you professionally and personally, followed by a Chairman’s GD and then an interview with top TAS leaders. Making it through and getting selected for TAS was nothing short of a dream come true.

During the time leading up to the internship months, the HR took care of our travel and project assignments so that the journey would become smooth. I was assigned a project with Tata AIG General Insurance Company, Mumbai, for the duration of my internship with TAS. During the course of my stay, my accommodation was pre-arranged by Tata AIG while TAS ensured that I was well settled and making progress.

A little nervous yet excited on my first day at work, I was welcomed warmly by the Tata AIG family and especially by my project mentors. Even though I had been given my deliverables before hand, I had the freedom to design and follow my own roadmap. I had the breadth to explore and go beyond the project as it was a live one, important to business development. Help from everyone in the organization was given readily and I could see my work making an impact on the people I was associated with. It was very encouraging and enriching. I had the opportunity to learn about all aspects of business right down to the details, not only because of the work I was doing but also through the many interactions I had with varied people in the organization. The project demanded a lot of research and understanding on  my part. There were many stakeholders involved which meant that I was constantly on my feet. It was critical to take the project to execution and ensure that every detail was in place.

On completion of the project, I had to make a presentation to the President of Tata AIG. Rather than a monologue, it became an active discussion and my recommendations were keenly heard. Praise for my work gave me a sense of achievement and fulfillment.

By the end of two months, I had come a long way from my first day. I had learnt how to work within tight deadlines, work around obstacles, manage diverging views and yet maintain a clear sense of direction. Daily discussions and feedback from my mentors kept me on track and helped me find my way.

The final leg of the internship was a presentation followed by an interview by the top leaders of the Tata Group. My project was discussed threadbare to gauge my understanding of the topic. At the end of the process, I was welcomed to the TAS family.

My advice to TAS aspirants would be to take each step in the selection process very seriously and to prepare well for them. Most importantly know yourself and your past work. Finally, show enthusiasm and don’t forget to be yourself.