Disclaimer: An optimistic experience of a relatively high work experience B-School Student, sleepless first semester nights, summer internship selection maze, ‘Best Intern Award’ and whatnot. Many B-School students might resonate with the experience shared but any resemblance to any B-school student is purely coincidental and dependent upon context.
“Will I get a shortlist? When will I get a shortlist? Will I ever get a shortlist or shall I focus on laterals?”
Kya apna time aayega? People with high work experience might resonate with such doubts. I had these doubts last year when my summer placement process was about to start. Every year, a minuscule minority of students with relatively high work experience enter B-schools across India with the hopes of making it big in their life and to give a new direction to their lives. These warriors enter the MBA life with some energy & motivation still intact after commitments like a 9-5 job, 1-2 hours of routine travel and in some cases girlfriends/boyfriends. I worked in an IT bellwether organisation for more than 4 years before I left it to pursue HRM & LR from TISS Mumbai. I had my apprehensions but took a leap of faith. The joy of joining the best college for HRM & LR in India got along with it a demanding schedule within a few weeks of joining, with countless assignments, classes, guest lectures, committee work and what not. With so many tasks at hand, it became difficult to decide where to focus and where not.
B-school students across various campuses eagerly wait for the summer internship process. I was excited too; thinking about all the great organisations that visit our campus during the summer process and fancying my chances of making into one of those. This excitement however, coexisted with a constant concern. I remember my interaction with my mentors and seniors in college regarding my chances of getting into a good organization for the summer internship process. I was faced with statements like “Don’t keep your hopes high, you have the High WorkEx baggage in your CV”. I was cursing my fate and decisions, so with really low hopes and some fear, I approached our summer internship process. The process is grilling and it takes a toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally. One can break down very easily if one does not keep their calm. I saw my peers appearing for various processes and interviews, while I was still eagerly waiting for my chance, which was nowhere to be seen. Your Peers are getting shortlists, some are already places and here you are, yet to open your account. You start doubting your capability and the prayers and chantings to the almighty begin. I had a similar experience at that time but did I stop hoping? NO.
Stephen King once said, “Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”. I clung on to the hope that I will be next. After a long wait, I got an opportunity to appear for Flipkart. I appeared and cleared the initial rounds; I was in a now or never mindset. I cleared all the rounds of Flipkart and was selected for Flinternship in Bengaluru. I was content to an extent with my performance that I received an internship with a good organisation, but Job was still half done, internship still pending.
I and 52 other interns landed in Bengaluru on 1st April 2019 and headed straight to our hotel in Marathahalli. Induction program started next day where the campus team took us through numerous engagement initiatives ranging from Leadership talk, Treasure Hunt, Paperwork etc. I was allotted a live project (D&I) in OneTech (Flipkart’s Tech Dept). The summer internship was a great learning experience where I got a chance to meet and learn from numerous leaders in Flipkart. I got to learn a lot of different dimensions ranging from Employer Branding, Data Analysis, Talent Acquisition, Benchmarking and got a chance to interact with numerous B-Schools students from all over India. The summer internship project was a challenging one but it brought out the best within me and when you have great mentors guiding you, the internship experience becomes a memorable one. The final presentation ended on a high note with appreciation from the senior leaders in the panel. The closing ceremony was kept on May end and it turned out to be the best day of my internship as my name was announced for the Best Intern Award - 2019. It felt like redemption and suddenly all those sleepless nights, efforts and hassles felt so worthy.
Everyone faces challenges in B-Schools and how you handle them decides your future path. High WorkEx people might face relatively more challenges than average but if one is willing to put extra efforts, leverage connections and market brilliantly then no one can stop you from releasing your dreams. If it worked out well for me, why not for you! Remember, Hope is a good thing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashish Koul is a 2nd year MA HRM & LR student at TISS, Mumbai. He lives by the motto of 'Never Stop Learning' and likes to experiment with new things once in a while. A coder who worked in an IT bellwether and was always fascinated by psychology and finally made up his mind to pursue a career in Human Resources. A sports enthusiast who enjoys playing Table Tennis, Badminton, Swimming and can be found trying his hand on photography or engaging in political discussions these days.