Around 2 months ago, I concluded my internship with Aditya Birla Group as a part of its coveted leadership program, where every year plethora of future leaders are shaped SEAMLESS-ly, in the mould of COMMITMENT, keeping INTEGRITY at its core, enriched with SPEED and PASSION! Being able to explore a world of opportunities in long-term association with this mammoth multinational conglomerate is like a dream come true for any B-school rookie like me. The idea of exploring the diversities of corporate world fascinated me a lot, and ABG, being globally active in 14 diverse industry sectors, is the best platform I could get to do so.
Without having any relevant work experience in HR domain, initially I was clueless about my stratagem to get into my dream company. But having college seniors as close friends and mentors, I started gaining some clarity for the way forward. By analysing the repository of previous years’ internship projects, I gained some idea about the pertinent subjects and their business application. So, I religiously studied areas of HRM like Organization Design, Compensation & Benefits, Employment Law, Organizational Behaviour, and Performance Management Systems. Apart from the regular curriculum, various corporate competitions and projects helped me gain practical insights from conceptual learning. Simultaneously, I tried acquiring hands-on proficiency in MS-Excel, Power-point and other such hard-skills.
Here, what turned out to be the biggest deal-maker for me was introspection and digging deep into my past. The outcome of this exercise was to come up with the most enthralling story that could distinguish me from others and portray the best, yet most authentic picture of me in front of the interviewing panel. Once I was done with the storyboarding, I started taking mock GDs and PIs to come out of the nutshell of under-confidence. I also made sure to receive constructive feedbacks from seniors and peers to improve on the nuances that one cannot take into personal notice.
ABGLP SELECTION PROCESS
Initial step was a CV-based screening process through which applicants were shortlisted. These shortlisted candidates then appeared for a psychometric assessment which led to elimination of some candidates. Next step was a case-based group discussion, evaluated by a panel comprising company’s senior leadership. Roughly 40-50% of the candidates were selected on the basis of this GD after which the final phase of selection process consisted of one/two rounds of personal interview.
I went through one round of personal interview, which covered discussions around my background, upbringing, domain knowledge and areas of special interest. The most peculiar aspect of my interview was that the panel was discussing my responses and scores from psychometric test using behavioural questions and also probing with hypothetical situations/cases to evaluate my “organizational-fit”.
Induction: Instead of a week-long traditional induction, in these extra-ordinary times, my internship journey kicked off with a virtual induction program conducted by ABG’s Young Talent Management Team, commonly known as YTM. Our induction was designed to keep us engaged through-out the 8 weeks of internship by the means of Lighthouse sessions by domain experts and senior leadership from different businesses of ABG, and fun-activities like innovative social media challenges and digital happy-hour sessions with co-interns.
Project: I was assigned an amazing summer internship project, covering different facets of HR function, with UltraTech Cement Ltd. (one of the businesses in the ABG umbrella) under the guidance of Mr. Umesh Hota (the President–HR of Acquired Businesses, UltraTech Cement Ltd.). My project revolved around organizational restructuring and people integration for a newly acquired business. Historically, such projects were outsourced to consulting firms. But contrastingly this time, it was undertaken intenally by the Integration Management Office (IMO). Despite being in a virtual set-up due to covid-19 pandemic, I was digitally working in close proximity with senior leaders and managers of IMO along with major stakeholders from the newly acquired company. The best part of my internship was the sense of accountability and responsiveness that I was expected to manifest in my deliverables as well as stakeholder management. Throughout the course of internship, all of us interns also underwent several online courses on Gyanoday Virtual Campus (GVC), an e-learning platform for ABG employees and interns.
Confluence: The internship ended with a two-day programme of internship project review. The review comprised of an evaluative final presentation based on summer-internship projects, which was adjudged by a panel of cross-industry experts from pertinent domains. This was a pivotal stage for determining our chances of bagging a pre-placement offer from Aditya Birla Group. Very soon after the confluence, the much awaited day arrived when the list of PPOs was released by YTM. Much to my astonishment and exuberance, I saw my name mentioned in that list. Now, I am eagerly looking forward to embark upon the next phase of my journey with ABG.
1. The learning agility curve should never deflate and must always grow positively
2. Being humble yet stern is the key to successful stakeholder management
3. Always start your day with strong intent and enthusiasm
4. Take every feedback constructively, be it positive or negative
5. Stay on the same page as your manager/stakeholder, without being hesitant
6. Align your approach with the vision, mission and values of the organization
7. Simultaneous documentation of your work is smart and always comes in handy
8. At any cost, confidentiality of information should never be compromised
9. Greet everyone cheerfully with a bright smile
Readers, hoping this was worth your time and good luck for your future endeavours!