Summer placements often tend to be a case of an educated guess, but a guess all the same. I say this because of the haste with which we make decisions at the juncture of limited maturity and other constraints. Nevertheless, I believe that your Internship is the time to check what profile, people, culture and style you're comfortable (or not) with, and I would urge students to see it as just that. Once Summer Placements are done, there are exactly four things that can happen:
- You're in an internship where both the company and profile is to your liking, as well as the possibility of a PPO
- Either company or profile is to your preference
- Neither profile nor company is to your preference
- Both profile and company is to your preference but there's no chance of a PPO
A lot of us bog ourselves down with the what-ifs because largely placements are unpredictable. It changes the manner in which you see people and procedures, but at the end of the day, your placement doesn't change based on how you feel about it. The truth is, once the immediate relief of getting placed passes, we do move on to overthinking about other things. Instead of getting into a cycle of rhetoric questions, the following can be done in any of the above 4 scenarios.
If I had to simplify it to you, in the event that you want a PPO from a company that doesn't offer one, you'll eventually have to learn to be grateful for the brief stint that you did have and learn to leverage that for a good final placement. If you liked the company, culture and package, try to ask around for the possibility of a role similar to the one you want, and the company policy of switching departments or roles. If the role is one you're convinced about despite knowing that you don't fit in the company's culture or the package they're likely to offer, then still try to end your internship on pleasant terms, because you never know what your situation is in the Final Placements. In the worst-case scenario, all anyone can say is to be patient and work harder on your CV. The events of your internship doesn't necessarily decide how your Final Placement go. Whatever your case may be, five following are some suggestions that might serve you well during your internship.
1. Talk to seniors who have been in the same position
It would be of immense help if you could locate seniors or alumni who have been interns of the same company. They would not only be able to give you an idea of what to expect by way of describing their project to you. If you're lucky, and there was no NDA, you could get hold of the project report itself. Additionally, they could point out the people who would be conducive to your learning experience in the organization.
2. Best time to take up online certification courses
Since it is most likely that your work won't spill over beyond your working hours, you could use the time to take up courses to get deeper into your niche. You could choose courses based on the options available on Coursera, MooCs of institutions, certifying bodies in your chosen specialization, etc. You could go through the profile of alumni who have ended up where you hope to go or write to your professors to get guidance on the same. Sometimes, certain organizations require certifications to be completed during their course of employment and they sponsor some of them too, so it would be a good idea to meet up a few alumni in the city you're put up during this time to get better clarity on the day to day requirements of their job.
3. Do not procrastinate figuring out the accommodation and living expenses
Since it is the question of spending two months in a new place, it makes a lot of sense to try to sort your accommodation about a month before your stint. Talk to people you can connect with who got placed in the same company and see if you can get a PG together, and it would also make sense to travel together. Some institutions offer their hostel rooms for a fee, but you might have to book on a first come first serve basis. In metro cities, particularly Mumbai, living expenses tend to be on the higher side and sometimes your stipend will just about cover them. It's important to realize that there is bound to be a certain amount of discomfort towards adjusting to the newness of it all, but you will find people who can make you see the brighter side in situations.
4. Have a set of PowerPoint templates ready for your final presentation
This might sound very childish, but believe me when I say that a superior looking presentation by a relatively less hardworking intern can win the PPO over a more hardworking intern making an average looking presentation. Try to collect slides from some of your friends whose presentations have been appreciated and save them as a single folder on your drive so it's handy when you have to make your Final PPT. This will most likely be in front of top management and you might not get a lot of notice before you're told to prepare it. So, better you have the templates ready to just alter colour schemes or add your company logo, then you can fully focus on concise and effective text.
5. Carry your Research Techniques for Marketing textbook (or internship specific reference material)
Since most Marketing, HR and general management internships involve surveys, it would be handy to have a copy of the research techniques textbook, preferably in its digital form. Since it's very likely that we hurried through the concepts and did not let it fully sink in enough to remember it, referring just the questionnaire parts of it would help us structure the survey in a manner that'd portray us better.
Internship is an important part of the MBA journey and even if it was not everything you hoped it would be, it starts your acclimatization to the corporate world which in itself is valuable when you step out in your first post-MBA job. And remember to keep in touch with your batch mate’s experiences, you never know how their perspectives on their internships could help you in the near future.