Getting selected for a summer internship at P&G was undoubtedly one of the highest points in my career so far. From alums to professors and friends; all had spoken oodles about the eclectic culture at the organization, and rightfully so. With an overwhelming sense of commitment, I started my journey with P&G in the latter half of April.
Given the current situation of uncertainty, I would like to, foremost, address how seamless and engaging the onboarding of interns had been. Interns across all functions interacted in a 3-day onboarding programme, replete with sessions ranging from P&G’s business, its operations across the world, to sessions on business ethics, its famed PVPs (Purpose, Values, Principles), and business communication. All of us were thrilled to hear from the heads of various departments articulate their rich plethora of experiences while working in the organization. Post this, we had our functional onboarding, in which the CHRO of P&G India, interacted with the HR interns. Expectations were made very clear from the get-go, and the interns were encouraged to take full ownership of their respective projects, knowing that these were live projects.
I had the opportunity to work with two, very supportive and accommodating mentors on a pertinent issue of our times; improving the work-from-home experience. This was stepping into uncharted territory, given the size and scale of the organization in India. Regular and timely advice and feedback from my mentors were a major succor in understanding the business context. They helped me assess the problem statement from a more organization-wide perspective where sustainable solutions were the order of the day. My experience was also enriched by a plethora of interactions with P&G employees across not just India, but the world. Autonomy was a key ingredient in the internship, which enabled me to gain as many perspectives as possible. This, again, highlights the role of HR as not just “another support function”, but an active function, pivotal in making any organization well-oiled and efficient.
The second project that I had the opportunity of working on, was planning the return of employees to the work sites. With overwhelming support from my mentors, and various cross-functional teams, we were able to develop key processes in order to deal with these rapid changes in a short time frame. The experience was nothing short of a revelation into how the global FMCG giant operates in times of uncertainty with graceful resolve.
Overall, the P&G experience was one-in-a-lifetime. With the steep learning curve and the sheer scale of the projects, the internship was challenging, and broadened my horizons to a large extent. The freedom given to interns in solving problems and planning solutions was the most refreshing aspect about the company. Coupled with autonomy, the much-needed shepherding of ideas and solutions by the CHRO, and other HR Leadership Team members helped us navigate the initial ambiguity of our projects in a big way.
We all know that 2020 has been rough for everyone, including those in the formal workforce. I’m very thankful to every employee of the organization who were gracious enough to take the time out to interact with and even counsel a mere intern.
About the author
Pranoy Chakraborty is a 2nd Year student at TISS HRM & LR, 2019-21. He is usually found playing heavy metal riffs on his guitar, when he’s not studying, which is often.