Durlabh Raghuwanshi’s Internship Experience In The Magical World Of Consulting – IIM Trichy
Consulting is one of those few careers which are perceived to be the most dynamic and value imparting careers in the market. A consultant, as is believed, is always on the move, whether physically or mentally, covering the spectrum of tasks viz. client meetings, organisational understanding, problem-solving, solutions development etc. An opportunity to work as a consultant is rare, especially if it’s being offered for only a short stint of two months. Luckily, when a more than decade-old Indian Consulting firm VYAPT Consulting came to our campus for summer recruitment, I was one of two candidates whom it offered the position. I was nervous and excited, as one would be, overwhelmed by the prospect of working as a consultant. But as the journey of one year of MBA had taught me, no matter how hard or dicey the circumstances look, everything eventually results in learning worth experiencing.
Soon after the completion of my third term, I landed in the great city of New Delhi for my internship. As an excited intern, I decided to visit the office one day prior to my joining date so that there is no punctuality issue on the first day of my reporting. Then came the day of joining and along with it, the myriad of thoughts, inter alia, doubts about my performance and expectations. But to my surprise and relief, it was way different from my doubts and apprehensions. One of the things that were great about VYAPT Consulting was, instead of spending our time in reading through the myriad of documents about the functioning of the organisation, my supervisor encouraged me to get my hands dirty in the practical aspect from the outset, keeping the ritual of getting acquainted with the know-how of the organization for either lunch breaks or off-hours.
As an established premium brand in the consulting sector in NCR and beyond, I had the good fortune of working in the B2B and B2G segment, thereby not only learning about the day-to-day working aspects of corporate sector but also of the government organizations. The most insightful part of the internship was the prospect of meeting and interacting with the honchos of the industries. I had the opportunity to meet multiple CXOs, government organization’s leaders during the course of internship, to understand the problems their companies were facing, so that as a consultant, we could provide them with the appropriate solutions for their organisation. The interactions were two-way, paving the way of free flow of ideas and thereby resulting in custom-made solutions which used to be the blend of consultants’ expertise of the market’s best practices as well as CXOs deep insights of the organisations, resulting in near perfect solutions. The testimony of it lies in the fact that VYAPT Consulting has never been given a low rating from its clients and nearly all its clients are associated with the it for a long term collaboration.
Things which are associated with the profession of consulting includes frequent travelling, long working hours and high tea with the leaders of the corporate fold. While all of them stand correct, including in my internship, what I cherish most from my short stint as a consultant is the travelling, especially to the state capitals to meet top bureaucrats, and the experience which encompasses with it, both professional as well as otherwise. In one instance that I can recollect, I was part of a team of consultant visiting a state capital to discuss the prospects of investment in the state. That visit gave me the insight of not only the functioning of government machinery, especially from a bureaucracy perspective, but also how concerned every member of the public sector is, when it comes to development and betterment of the infrastructure and business setup in the state, and therefore in the country.
Consulting is a big responsibility in itself, not only because of the sheer amount of money being paid to the consultants, but also because whatever solutions or advices they provide, organizations take them very seriously, making the job all the more critical and one demanding precision. In order to bring in that element of precision, one of the most important activities that a consultant indulges in is the research part. As a solution provider, one must always know the ground reality, not only of the market concerned, but also of the client’s functioning, to back every solution with hard facts and logics. This, in turn requires extensive amount of research from the consultant’s end. As a consultant, I was involved in in-depth research of a lot of companies as well as industries. This in turn, equipped me to not only present my findings confidently to the clients, but also taught me many things which were earlier unknown. Also, as is the popular perception that research work is a boring desk job, I found it to be otherwise.
In a nutshell, if I have to summarise my internship experience in a paragraph, I would term it as an experience full of learnings and challenges. It was an opportunity wherein I learned the art of handling the impromptu problems and providing their solutions on the spot. The job of consultant is never easy, it is bundled with a lot of work pressure and stressful moments. But working in VYAPT Consulting gave me an opportunity to learn the art of managing stress and convert it to a positive one, so that I could use it to push myself harder to work more efficiently and effectively. It was an experience which gave me a platform to implement what one year of MBA and life otherwise has taught me. I was allowed to explore and implement ideas, without worrying about the end results, giving me an open playing field wherein not only my management skills, but also my experiential learnings were used. I think the core idea of internship is to give management students a chance to implement what they have learned and also to give them an opportunity to assess what domain would they be interested in the second year of their MBA. Working in VYAPT Consulting helped me in working on both these fronts and the day I arrived on my campus after the internship, I felt that last two months have been as productive as they could have been for me.