It Is Not About The Internship, It Is About A Lifestyle – Internship at Deloitte
Recently, I have been noticing, “Facchas” have become the masters of the game!-“seniors we call them”. What happens in these two months which turns these cocoons to butterfly? Where does this confidence come from, which lets them claim themselves to be the Robb Starks of the battlefield?
Looking into the mirror, I stand, thinking. I still cannot claim that I saw all the moves of the game. I was a naïve traveler who learnt on the run. When I entered the doors of Lucknow, I had always appreciated the talents of the herd of 450. I knew, “summer is coming” and I was preparing myself for the best and the worst. The news of Deloitte shortlist could not have been more “exciting”, had it been some other time than on the road to the hospital, post a fracture, just 3 weeks before placement season.
My troubles, rather victories began the very next day. I was lifted and carried to all my classes, including the Deloitte case workshop the very next day to the gates of Deloitte round 1. It was one of the best feelings to make through all the rounds just few hours after the placement process began. I was going to enter the most sought after “world of consulting”.
I packed my bags with lot of “gyaan” from seniors and a laundry list of “do’s n don’t’s”. Rules of the game were made pretty much clear with every subtle move. Whether it were e-mails or any conversation with the people around, every aspect removed the haze with respect to discipline, timings, expectations, targets, networking and what not. Induction included sessions on storyboarding, presentations, MS-excel skills, simulations and real life case problem. The key communication to us was “Time is of essence” and we need to deliver qualitatively with constraints of time and information.
Post 5 days of induction program, I was mapped to a project in which my entire team was in U.S. The project was an internal eminence effort where Deloitte shall showcase its capabilities in assisting business transformation for 90 CEOs across industries using Greenhouse labs. 9 industries were targeted for research and analysis across cutting edge trends, which could be used to interview these 90 CEOs to seek their opinion on decision making in the case of disruption.
I was explained the project requirements along with the remaining 7 weeks plan which was pretty high burn. The most challenging part of it was that I needed to wait for an entire cycle of 12 hours to seek inputs or feedback when I could afford to waste none. My first day deliverable went waste as there was a misunderstanding in the morning call. I knew it was going to be tough. All 29 interns from the best colleges of the country were preparing to leave a mark.
This was the time, when I made MY OWN RULES:
- I started making two to three versions of deliverables with different ideas and formats
- I drafted a feedback plan for all 7 weeks where I would seek inputs from every stakeholder
Starting with these two basic rules, I got the grasp of things and the ramp up phase was smooth. In my first feedback meeting after a week, my manager told me that the work should take 10 hours a day and not more (I was investing 13 to 14 hrs a day). It broke my heart. But, I quickly dusted the past and realized, that no time would arrive where I could say that I had all the required information.
- So, I divided the deliverable into tasks and timed myself for each
Gradually I became more efficient and my learning curve for industry analysis over the 4 weeks looked amazing. My efficiency improved by more than 50%
Next came the wave of initiatives. Since I had been interacting with the leaders seeking initiative to learn more,
- I ended up working on 2 firm initiatives, one pursuit effort for a bank and a project.
Certainly, it was not easy. But I knew it was necessary. I wanted to see the maximum I could. Now, I had 4 things at hand, several deliverables in a day with limited time. I knew I could not wait for the deadlines now. To address this, I gradually evolved to following:
- I started asking for more visibility into timelines ahead and exact work to be done for at least next two weeks.
- No deadline today didn’t mean no work. I prepared myself for the work to come.
- Also, I clearly communicated my availability for meetings, bandwidth for work and bought more time.
One of the projects was typically challenging as I had no idea of Financial Services Industry. To honor my commitment, I communicated my hesitations and promised dedication along the learning curve.
It all went together in the sugar coating of “NETWORKING”. Since, sharing knowledge across industries is the key to efficiency improvement, the only road to this is networking- talking to as many people on the floor as one can and sharing experiences. Initially I was hesitant. But I knew, this is my “BREAD AND BUTTER” as this was going to help me grasp the learnings from other projects. Me and my friend started with a small list of people and went on adding names.
- By the end of this eight week program, I had known more people than I knew in my two year of work life.
But work was not the only thing. Parties are something, which tie these hectic working days into a thread of balanced life. They not only make us schedule our work to take time to enjoy, but also prepare us for engaging in client interactions outside office. I have lost the count of parties we had. Also, we had a bowling and an IPL match outing planned. I am sure this made all my friends at campus, jealous.
All in all, this roller coaster ride made me understand that I can fit the mould. It is a different life. To be honest, I was skeptical when I started walking. But by the end, it seems interesting. Today I talk to people here, and explain that how things turn so beautiful. It is not about the job or an industry. It is a lifestyle. It encourages one to be free. To let go of hesitations and ask for help, to do the best when it is needed (including parties) and to be responsible individuals. I have started enjoying it not because I like the job, but because I adopted it for life. And now when I look back, I know, it is this spirit which made me win the “APPLAUSE AWARD” at the end of eight weeks. All thanks to Deloitte S&O and its leaders, for investing so much on its interns.