John F Kennedy rightly said, “ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.” The summer internship is a platform to prove to your organisation how you can add value for them by showcasing all your skills you mastered while burning the midnight oil during the rigorous 1st year of your MBA. It becomes more of a challenge when you intern with the 2nd largest telecom company in the world - Vodafone. Armed with some guidance from my seniors and alumni, I was ready to make a mark in the organisation that gave India it’s lovable pug, Cheeka and the ever charming Zoozoos and Zumis.
Coming from a defence background, location was never going to be an issue because locating to new places has been my way of life since childhood. I was assigned Punjab, HP and J&K Circle headquartered in Mohali. Myriad opportunities throng your way when you join as a Discover Intern-flagship programme of Vodafone. The amount of trust bestowed upon the interns is unparalleled. Vodafone is among the few companies which have both B2B (Vodafone Business Services) and B2C businesses. My project was on creating a campaign/contact strategy for consumer communication in the domain of Consumer Marketing for both prepaid and postpaid business in Punjab. One of the most important aspects of this internship was that I actually got to work on a live project. Because of the dynamic nature of the industry, managers are open to new ideas and the mechanism is in place to test those ideas.
My father always said that the opportunity to win a Param Vir Chakra (India's highest military decoration) comes once in a lifetime during a war. Here was my opportunity to come up with novel recommendations that would be easily implementable and scalable in the industry which is going through a price war. The highlight of my internship was the SIMEX day. SIMEX aka SIM exchange is the process of replacing a 2G/3G SIM from a user’s handset with a 4G SIM. The objective was to execute maximum SIM exchanges in Punjab in a single day and the entire team of Vodafone had to spend the entire day in the market. I utilised this opportunity to not only perform SIMEX but to also gather crucial insights because people were more forthcoming in sharing their experiences. I managed to do 55 SIMEX which was the highest among the entire marketing team. The thrill of actually selling something on your own is beyond words because I had never done anything like this before.
As an intern, it is crucial to lend your ears to each and every person you meet because you never know which insight will come when. Also, it is very important to have a clarification on the scope and expected deliverables of the project with your mentor time to time so that your work remains relevant to the project. The amazing part about Vodafone is the freedom with which people work and the amount of care that it bestows among its employees. Vodafone likes to empower its interns from the beginning of their 2 months stint. From day 1, you are treated like an employee and less of an intern. Most of my recommendations got implemented and I got to see the results of my hard work in front of my eyes which is the most satisfying feeling an intern can get. I had the opportunity of being guided by some amazing mentors who had more than 15+ years of experience. Not only they are open to listening to new ideas but they also want you to challenge the status quo.
Post my final review, my mentor asked me to a give a presentation to the entire marketing team and after the presentation, each and every member congratulated me for the recommendations because they were relevant to the entire business objective which they could implement instantly.
I realised that my passion for marketing is only growing thanks to this amazing experience because it is possible to make a huge impact as an intern in the world of Vodafone. Looking forward to being a part of this journey once again.