Mahantesh: Tell us in brief about how you prepared for summer placement interviews?
Aman: I didn't focus much on the technical knowledge as I was pretty confident of myself in that regard. I was more concerned about preparing for the more clichéd yet perennial questions like 'Tell us about yourself or why you'. I worked on expressing myself in a more lucid way and on things that would help me drive the interview towards my strong zone.
M: What is the summer internship process like for ICICI Lombard?
A: The summer internship process for ICICI Lombard was everything I could have asked for. It's an organisation into its adolescence, somewhere between that of a startup and a mature firm, and hence gives you the best of both worlds. Right from the allocation of the project to all the support needed is systematically planned out, and at the same time, you are given complete ownership of the work. There were weekly reviews and then the final review before the top heads of all the business verticals. The interns were free to seek help and interact with anyone ( literally anyone) and not limited to team members only, which is the best thing for an intern. The entire workforce at Lombard is very energetic and always ready to help despite all the workload and both my sub-mentor and mentor helped me big time with my project.
M: What are the reasons you think you cracked the interview?
A: It's the self-belief and the ability to make the person on the other side of the table believe in you that helps the most to crack an interview I guess. Companies look mostly for a cultural fit and work ethics, for a SIP more so, in a candidate. I was able to express my ideas and thought process clearly to the recruiters and that's what played in my favour I believe. I was honest with my answers and confident of myself which they seemed to like.
M: Tell us about your day to day work as an intern at ICICI Lombard
A: A typical day for me at ICICI Lombard began with coordinating with various teams on the data needed for me to move ahead with the project. I would then report to my immediate mentor about how I plan to move further towards the solution. I would then spend the rest of the day on data analysis and trend spotting within the data and learning more on data analysis alongside. The day ended with another meeting with the mentor, over a cup of coffee, on the progress made and then a discussion on the next day's agenda. Meeting with different teams for their ideas and suggestions was a constant part of the regime.
M: What did you do right to achieve the PPO from ICICI Lombard?
A: I won't pinpoint ( and neither can I to be honest) the things I did specifically that earned me the PPO. What I ensured was to keep constant communication with my mentor which really helped me with the project progress. Since he was a busy person, many times I had to push him for guidance and feedback but made sure that we were always on the same page. There's a mid-review with the department head and I changed my strategy as per the feedback of that review to keep my work fixated on the needed deliverables. It is important that you connect with the concerned supervisors to keep going in the right direction and not to waste your time and energy inconsequential efforts.
M: What are the most cherishable moments of your internship?
A: The most cherishable moment for me was the final review of the project. I was very apprehensive about how it will turn out but eventually, all the leaders seemed impressed with the results. We had a healthy discussion about the scope of the projects and key takeaways. It was really exhilarating to see how open the leaders were in receiving my ideas while deliberating the points where there was a difference of opinions.
The understanding of business and application of data analytics were the two distinguishable highs of my internship journey.
On the light side of things, it was great exploring the city that never sleeps. The work-life balance was amazing and the seniors at the organisation themselves pushed the idea of work hard and party harder.
Overall, it was indeed a satisfying internship experience and I can frankly admit that I couldn't have asked for a better internship period.