When a B-school student thinks “consultancy”, the mental word cloud that emerges would typically include “diversity of experiences”, “out-of-the-box”, “brainstorming”, “frameworks”, et al. What differentiates Korn Ferry is that besides delivering on all the usual perks of working with a Consultancy, they go above and beyond to ensure that the proper human infrastructure to enable their employees is also in place, even at a time when the global economy is still caught in the snares of a pandemic.
Let me enumerate: communications regarding the joining and onboarding were not delivered through emails; instead, each intern received calls that inquired into our unique settings and challenges at home so that the work could fit in simpatico with the former and not the other way around. On our Orientation call with Mr. Rajiv Krishnan, the Managing Director of Korn Ferry India Advisory- the Line of Business I was assigned to- we were assured that the company positions itself in such a manner that the purpose and hard-hitting relevance of the work that is done compensates handsomely for the long hours pulled on the job: an experience that I was privileged to have during my time with Korn Ferry. My mentors were hands-on in planning my internship trajectory such that both technical and practical competence was gained; however, most importantly, they beautifully balanced on the one hand, granting me full autonomy and responsibility in creating a vision for and executing my work, and on the other, being readily accessible to help me navigate any and all roadblocks that I encountered. I am especially grateful for this because the personal takeaways that I obtained as a result were immensely insightful.
I was able to work on both client-facing as well as in-house projects that allowed me to discriminate between the vantage points of clients and consultants. The ability to learn the nuances of businesses and curating solutions that effortlessly merge into the existing ecosystem was one that I witnessed first-hand. I was able to develop a keen eye for diagnosing client problems through an arsenal of practices, such as benchmarking, published studies, in-house research-based insights, among others. Frameworks, associated as part and parcel of working as a consultant, were also a key part of my learnings at Korn Ferry. However, I gained two new perspectives on applying the theory to real-time practice:
(i) understanding the context and idea behind these frameworks: every business is unique and there exists no standard framework or procedure that can be applied off-the-rack; the trick lies in extracting the essence of classroom concepts and frameworks, and distilling them through the unique case at hand to concoct an appropriate and effective solution; and
(ii) bridging the gap between ideation and execution through proper strategizing and SMART actions.
As a student with a background in Social Science and Literature, for me, undoubtedly, the best part of interning at a Consultancy was being able to delve into the impactful research that is carried on with some of the most innovate findings being published for industry usage. In my opinion, research-centric action is more important now than ever when the situation facing industries is novel, and the risk factor involved is at an all-time high. Scientific studies need to, thus, form the backbone of all strategies being adopted by firms to stay ahead of the curve.
All in all, the experience was extremely enriching, and also endearing, due to the sheer effort that Korn Ferry exerted to ensure that interns, like myself, did not have to compromise on the quality of their learnings. My internship journey, despite being a remote one, proved to be the silver lining of the summer of 2020!
About the Author
Nayonika Datta is a 2nd Year student of Human Resources Management and Labour Relations at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She has a Bachelor’s in English Literature, and hopes to start a Food & Beverages venture of her own someday.
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