HS_C – To B Or Not To B – Summer Internship Story – Harsh Vajani, JBIMS, Mumbai

They say that the two months of summer internship are life-changing. I would agree to that to a certain extent. The most important thing you learn is how the corporate world works. Apart from that, you understand and realize what kind of work you would want to do in the future. Of course, basic learning like personality development, team-work, networking is built naturally as you march towards the completion of your two months. Here I will be talking about my journey-right from preparation till the completion of the internship.

It all started with the mindset that summers are extremely important and hence preparations for the same need to be strong and solid. When seniors say prepare for summers, you do that diligently. When they say sharpen your HR answers, you do it. When they say keep on reading and stay averse with the current affairs, you do not think twice and obey them. That is how I prepared for my summers. I collected the basic study materials for marketing, finance, operations and went through it. I started reading newspapers and thoroughly practised my HR answers. I was unsure about my specialization and so was open for all options. Came D-Day when HSBC visited our campus. Being one of the top multi-national banks, I did not want to pass on the option. I went for the GD for which our topic was ‘Automation and India’. I cleared the GD and was called in for the Personal Interview. It was focused mainly on HR questions, how I would be able to contribute and why would I want to join HSBC! Being honest and crisp really helped here as I was selected as a summer intern for HSBC in Retail Banking and Wealth Management (RBWM).

As our academic year progressed, I got more inclined towards marketing and hoped for a project in Retail Banking at HSBC. However, I got one in Wealth Management, my project being ‘Developing a Tax Compliant Framework’. Always a firm believer of ‘Whatever happens, happens for the best’, I was optimistic thinking at least out of compulsion, I will be able to learn more of Finance. Before the commencement of my internship, I had talked to my line manager about the prerequisites and he was very helpful. The internship started with a two-day induction program where in we got to interact with our fellow interns, learned about the history of HSBC, got to network with some of the senior leaders, basically had a wonderful ice-breaking session. My project time-line had a proper structure. My manager had divided my two months in such a way that I got to develop personal skills, got to read and get theoretical knowledge as well as work with the team and get practical experience. Initial 2-3 weeks were spent in doing few necessary courses and understanding the project and the theoretical aspect of it. Post that, I got the opportunity to work on the project wherein I could apply whatever I had studied in the previous weeks. I learned many new things about the project, about the bank and about the corporate world. Luckily, I got to work on a live project concerning the entire RBWM division and the bank as a whole but nothing worth having comes easily so I worked for extra hours and put in extra efforts. The work or the long working hours never felt boring because of the team I was working with and the friends I had made. Ultimately I was so much into the project that I became the face of RBWM division and got a first-hand responsibility of the project. This made me stronger and motivated me to keep going no matter what. We had mid-review sessions that kept a check on our project and an interactive session with the HR to express how we felt about the work or the work culture. During the final presentation, I got to interact with the Chief Operating Officer of HSBC which was an achievement in itself.

From a learning perspective, resilience is something I shall always relate to with my internship. Networking helped a lot in understanding various aspects of banking, various divisions, their activities and so many other things. First year of MBA in Bajaj helped me create a mindset that I need to be strong and give in my best no matter what. Valuable inputs from the professors, seniors and alums made my internship preparation easier than expected.

As an advice to my juniors, I would say prepare well for the summer placements-be thorough with your HR answers, current affairs, basics in every field and getting into a good company should not be a problem then. During internship, listen more and speak less. You will be learning something or the other from every new person you interact with, so keep networking. Last but most important one, enjoy these two months, do not feel any pressure, make good friends and spend time with them and your internship experience will not be less than amazing. I had an amazing time at HSBC because of my manager, my team, my project, my friends and because of the organisation as a whole.

That’s my story where I’d say ‘To B in HSBC’. Thank You !

Harsh Vajani

Harsh Vajani, Jamanalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, MMS, Batch of 2019.