― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
There is someone, right there, up in the sky who at all the time sees us – our hard work, persistence and above all patience to help us reach where we always wanted to.
It was already a dream come true for me to be a part of the international management program called PGPEx of IIM Shillong which became all the more beautiful when I was called for my summer internship from a company called Yeahmobi in the capital city of China – Beijing. After experiencing the two most wonderful months of our international immersion at the Ocean University of China, Qingdao, and an amazing study trip to Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, it was time for all of us to move to different cities of China to start our respective internships.
It was 06:30 PM of May 15, 2016, I was standing outside Beijing Railway Station waiting for the concerned person either to call or receive me. I was getting a bit anxious since my offer letter didn’t say much about the profile or place of stay during my tenure. Here my phone rang and the person on the other side, who could not speak much English, asked me to just give the phone to some taxi driver who after a lot of English-Chinese confusion ultimately took me to my destination. I was informed that I will have to stay in a hotel for the first few days and then a colleague will accompany me in a shared apartment for the rest of my tenure not far from the office – relieved, didn’t have to worry for the accommodation part anymore.
Day 1 – May 16, 2016
I reached the office sharp at 10:00 AM and got the chance to meet the CEO of the company who was also very happy to have me onboard as his first intern from India. Soon, I got to know that in addition to Yeahmobi, I will also be working on a project for an eCommerce startup – Hasoffer which is backed by Yeahmobi and working in Indian eCommerce space.
Having an experience of more than 5 years in fields like banking and service delivery, I was a little worried about whether I would be able to make justice to the need of the assignment. This eCommerce thing was altogether a new but appealing sector to me and prior to this I only happened to be using this for online purchasing.
I would say the work allocated to me was just of my choice in the e-commerce industry which was also just of my choice. What all you want from an internship if you gets the opportunity to say “just of my choice” twice in the same line to describe it?
I got all those little things which an intern sought for – accommodation, lunches & dinners, business trips – especially the one when I got the chance to visit the Alibaba’s UC Web Headquarters in Guangzhou to meet their mobile business head. Also, got a wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with Ms. Shradha Sharma, founder & CEO of an Indian startup – Yourstory.com at an event called “The China India Story” held in Beijing.
In between all this, eight of us – batch mates from IIM Shillong – could also manage a fun filled long weekend in Shanghai city. That was a much needed break for all of us which gave us the relief from our respective tight internship schedules.
Sharing an apartment with my Chinese colleague was also an experience in itself since he knew very less English and vice-versa. I used to walk with him to office in the morning helping him in English and he taught me a lot of Chinese as well. And he always used to tell me – “O Anu, you are so CLEVER”, yes that’s the word he uses to mean intelligent – whenever I spoke a full sentence in Chinese correctly. And after knowing how much I love playing badminton, he even made me to wake up at 7 AM in the morning at least on every alternate day to show my skills at the game.
As one of my favorite marketing professors back there in Shillong, Dr. Anurag Dugar, rightly advised me “work like hell in your internship”, after working on a lot of research reports in the first few days itself, I got to know the difference between the ones we make during our one night assignments and the ones which really works in this tough corporate world. I got the opportunity to work on some serious digital marketing plans, real competitors’ analyses and deep diving researches in many online business industries – needless to say I applied almost everything I learnt in the classrooms of IIM Shillong.
Finally, it’s coming to an end and here is the time to come back to my country, city, family, friends, food, college, night outs and all that which I am waiting for 4 months now…..errr…break…3 days in Thailand and then to India
I learnt a lot during this short tenure and enjoyed my stay in this beautiful city of Beijing. Long but fun hours at work, morning badminton sessions and those words from the CEO – “You learn some Chinese and I’ll double your salary” – will always make me remember of these happy and learning times.