I did my summer internship with Nestlé India Ltd. in the domain of Human Resource Management in the months April ’20 to June ’20.
The Nestlé summer internship program is called ‘Summer Sojourn’. In many ways it’s a journey you traverse through its nearly 150-year history, its values, its people, its culture, and its way of doing business.
As I see it, my internship experience at Nestlé could be summarized in three perspectives: people, processes, and project.
Starting with processes, one of the beautiful and very initial part of the internship is the induction programme. A motley of interns from different campuses join internship in different functions. Hence, it becomes very important for an organization to go beyond different functions operating in silos and imbibe a sense of ‘whole’, a sense of ‘one team’ working for larger organizational goals. Well cognizant of the unprecedented circumstances in which this year’s internships happened, the well-structured week long induction process involved discussions, led by leaders across functions, which helped provide context to Nestlé, its vision and its mission.
As explained in one of his talks with us, Nestlé Chairman & MD Mr. Suresh Narayanan visualized today’s careers as going beyond ladders into the realm of experiences. This brings me to the second aspect, the people. Given the precarious situation most of us were in, as a result of this pandemic, I couldn’t have hoped for a better humane and empathetic understanding and support from organization. I feel, this experience comes from seeing people beyond means-end dichotomy, but as ‘people’ themselves. It is well known that organization empathy and employee centricity can foster organization citizenship commitment like nothing else.
One thing I would like to make a special mention about is the buddy program for interns at Nestlé, which in my personal experience, was excellent. As someone new to organization, one is expected to absorb in organization culture and deliver on a project in a short time span of two months or so. Given the future of work, more in times of COVID19, the importance of buddy program becomes all the more relevant. Work from home is a struggle without a semblance of ‘belonging’, which is now faint due to sudden shift of workspaces from offices to home.
This finally brings me to the third and final aspect of my understanding of my ‘Nestlé summer sojourn’ experience, i.e. the project. I worked closely with compensation team on a capability building and communication project. My project drew on learning from very diverse fields of HR ranging from change management, compensation, communication, learning & development, and behavioural economics. Feedback is one of the most important pillars of learning for an intern. In all my interactions, quality feedback I received from all circles played a crucial role in all my project outcomes and deliverables.
From what I have surmised, an organization that values trust, respect for its stakeholders, believes in constant learning for present and for future, adapts to change and social needs, are the ones that outlive generations. In my interactions with the leadership and my colleagues, I could see that the culture at Nestlé swears by its core values rooted in respect and the purpose of ‘unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come’. And I am glad I got an opportunity to be a part of it.
About the author:
Manish K Gahalout is a Final-Year student at TISS HRM&LR, Mumbai and has interests ranging from Sociology, to trekking to tea!