My journey of 8 weeks started with the preparation of 12 weeks. Everyday hustle was on the go. Lectures, club activities, exams and internship preparations as well, all happening at once. This was my first step towards management. At that point in time, it seemed like the end of life, but soon, at my internship, I realized its importance. Someone well said that,” We appreciate the moment when it’s already gone”, and so happened with me.
Being MBA students, our professors nurtured us like blooming flowers. They always said that they will be harsh on us just like corporates. But just like our parents, they were preparing us for the harsher world outside. My college professors always stood beside through my thick and thin throughout this journey of 12+8 weeks. Though in these 8 weeks, I didn’t need them much as they had already prepared me well for the upcoming challenges and situations, still they remained with me in the virtual world.
Those 12 weeks of preparation included lots and lots of sessions on GD and interview preparations. We were being prepared from head to toe as it was for our final placements. The college campus was bombarded with enormous no. of companies on everyday basis. GDs, Interviews and waiting time for results became our day-to-day activities. Being less in no., we HR students used to go to the city for our interviews as well.
Cracking the interview was the first preparation strategy for the internship, which in itself needed a strategy. The only tip for cracking the interview that I would give is ‘Do your homework properly’. Your resume speaks about you, hence the first and foremost step would be to prepare a creative and self-explanatory resume, which would interest the interviewer to read it. Moreover, it’s your resume, so you should be aware of each and every word of it in detail. Most importantly, it should be non-scrupulous i.e. any of the detail in your resume should not be fake. Just in order to make a resume more appealing, people usually do so, and hence you know the result when caught.
One very minor tip which most of the people doesn’t pay attention to is ‘Do not fold your documents’ i.e. any of your document should not be folded or crumbled, they should be filed properly (do not carry loose documents), these are some small things that an interviewer notices and assumes your personality to be. Make sure you are well groomed with proper ironed formals and look from head to toe. Your homework not only includes your resume and ready documents, but also deep knowledge about the company you are applying for, your goal, your vision, your purpose, your contributions to be made for that company.
10 additional tips for cracking an interview are as follows-
- Be spontaneous i.e. do not take too long to think for your answers, but do not answer too hastingly without thinking too. Never interrupt the interviewer and listen carefully.
- Be confident in what you speak, it should make sense.
- Do not counter your own answers, as the interviewer will try to confuse you and judge your personality on your reactions and answers.
- Be creative and out the box in your answers, but don’t forget to be logical.
- Do not act casually, always be in tact with your professional approach. (do not be a robot as well)
- Maintain the balance between your IQ and EQ.
- Be confident and humble, and talk softly while your interview.
- Do not build up unnecessary conversations.
- Always keep a smiling face maintain a good posture.
- Greet the interviewer in a nice and respectful manner. Ask for permission before entering the room, sitting on the chair and exiting the room. Put your chair back in place and shut the door while leaving.
Moving further in the story, I gave my interview in Indian Oil Corporation Limited (Refineries Division) for the position of an HR intern. Since we were well prepared I college itself via mock interviews, hence I was very confident. Two rounds of interviews were held, one by the HR head and another by the GM(ER). A similar type of questions was asked for which I gave the tips above. Though there were some tricky questions as well, it passed on well. On the very next day, I received a mail of internship letter.
I joined the firm on 1st May, 2019 with a warm welcome from the HR head. Thereafter comes the most interesting part. A project for me was pre-planned which I was unaware of. On the very first day, I was handed over a very thick book named as HR manual of IOCL. I had to read and understand it. For the first day, I thought that okay, knowing about the company’s department in which you are going to work is important, so I read it happily and made some notes too. It took me 2 days to read that manual (important and relevant portions only). But the struggle didn’t end here. As soon as I finished the manual, I was surprised with more books and manuals to be read. For long one week, I just read books and manuals of the company.
2nd week of my internship surprised me more which I didn’t even imagine. I was bombarded with a whole lot of files of past 10 years consisting of the details of De-reservation, for which I was asked to make a soft copy of the data. At first, I was scared as well as okay with the work as an initial step, but those files seemed never ending. I was frustrated to the core. Next 4 weeks I was submerged under those files and my laptop.
But nonetheless, I learned a lot at that point too. We’ve used MS Excel for years, but while making a soft copy of that data, I learned a lot more about MS Excel. In the 6th week came my real test of whatever I’ve studied and observed throughout these 5 weeks, as now was the time to do some live project work. It was the time of the month when the proposals for D/R comes to the headquarters and we need to check them thoroughly and prepare them for final approval from the board.
Though my mentor was Ms. Rashmi Tiru, GM(ER), for this work I was paired up with Ms. Arunima Lakra, Manager (ER). She is one of her own kind, very humble, sweet, always smiling and of helping nature. Whoever used to come to the office from any other branch or unit, used to greet her very cheerfully. She never acted as a boss with me, rather guided me as a mentor. The more she is praised, the less it is as my words will fall short to appreciate her. She taught me the work very well and we both worked very hard and ultimately finished our work before time.
Talking about my mentor Ms. Rashmi Tiru, initially, she seemed to be very strict (I even got scolded from her once), but after the live project, when I was preparing my report, I interacted with her a lot and it turned out to be the opposite what I thought of her. The whole department used to say that to make Tiru ma’am happy is very difficult, but to my amuse, after looking at my S.I.P. report, she not only praised me personally but also in front of everyone about my hard work and commitment. That was the happiest day of my internship journey.
Though it was a very tough journey, but I sailed through all ups and downs of it.
I learned a lot throughout these 12+8 weeks and also felt a major positive change in my personality as well. This internship showed me various phases of corporate life and culture. I agree that the corporate world is not easy to survive, but I would say that when you believe in, I’m possible then, nothing is impossible for you.
I prepared a master data of the past 10 years on De-reservation of the company and did analysis on that too, which will be used by the company further.
At the end, I would say that it was a great journey to be remembered and I would suggest my juniors that have faith in yourself and be confident. Do not lose hope in any situation and learn from your obstacles and mistakes. Try to observe and learn as much as possible from these 2 months of your summer internship.