Phoenix Shall Rise From The Ashes – Internship at Vodafone
Vodafone- The new chapter
SIP time: 4 Shortlists and 1 Convert- Vodafone
One path leading to other; XL journey had to stop for 2 months to lead to another beginning.
I was packing my bags to leave the campus after the gruelling third term had just ended when the mail about my project location (which was still not known) arrived. Boom! A big shock for me before even starting this internship expedition! The expectation of Mumbai being the project location (which everyone was telling) to location being shifted to Lucknow, alas! (I so much wanted to be in Mumbai and more than that not to be in Lucknow). Nevertheless, since there was nothing I could do about it, I consoled myself with the fact that I will atleast get a chance to visit my home a few times during my internship (which I actually did, my hometown being in UP only)
Induction- Eventful 2 days (including my birthday)
As is the conventional process in most of the companies, Vodafone also has a dedicated Induction program which thankfully was in Mumbai (which again gave me two memorable days!). It was majorly a 2-day process at one of the best hotels in Mumbai, where we were being told about the company, its major stakeholders, policies, competitors, processes, structures and telecom industry on the whole. Not to forget the zoo-zoo people also took some entertaining sessions during induction (although I only remember few videos and funny ads which were shown to us 😛 ). At the end of the hectic induction we were finally handed over the file containing our project details (which are mentioned in detail later) and a group picture of ours with circle co-interns.
Lucknow– Only (Partly) a metro city
An impressive 4-star accommodation for initial few days was provided to me and in the meanwhile I started searching for a PG rigorously and the hunt ended when I found a decent house near my office only (lived with 2 other co-interns)
If I have to say something about Lucknow, I will assert that it is a decent place which provides you a good balance between a fast-paced metro city life and a steady small town life and it provided me with a chance to run to my hometown on most of the weekends whenever I could afford to go or simply whenever I managed to get a tatkal ticket. (but this is probably all the good I can say about it) I have no grudges against the city but I was simply bored! Devoid of parties, a good company to hang out with and no night life which you can get in metro cities to some extent especially when my batch mates were having fun in other cities made me feel sad about my location. But as they say, “Roses comes with thorns” (or vice-versa in my case), this place taught me to work dedicatedly, to eat alone in a restaurant when need arises and the most of all how is the ‘Earthquake-feeling’ (remember Lucknow being hit by multiple tremors and we were running from 10th floor when the building was shaking!)
Office- What more do you expect?
First day in office: I was standing near the loo and somebody called me from behind. I turned just to find that he was my manager!
“Hi, I am Rohit , your project manager! I only interviewed you at XL , don’t you remember?” blah.. and the feeling when you are kind of numb for a moment! Bypassing it, I said “Hi rohit , oh yes I remember remotely , good to meet you” and then we went for the breakfast. Felt a bit comfortable in few moments after a healthy conversation with my manager and I also got to know that he is also an XLer only J
There were 3 other co-interns (all girls having some connection to UP/ Lucknow which I guess served the purpose for our location being Lucknow) with me from top IIM’s were there (B, L, K) in marketing and finance domain (all the more of a reason to feel pride of being from XL-HR given that I was the only one :D) . Coming to office infra, Being from Telecom industry, you can’t expect an awesome infrastructure with huge cafeterias but everything was manageable with a small breakout area at your disposal, a working laptop and wifi (although other stuff in laptop/wifi was restricted with no USB rights either K) and then people around you obviously 😀 We also had few team lunch/ dinner parties, cake-cutting and stuff. I spent 10 hours in the office each day on an average with weekends off mostly. All in all a routine working life with proper sleeping hours (which you hardly get in a B-school especially in first year)
Project- The prominent part
“Bringing self into self-development”. This is not the name of some book but it was the title of the project given to me:P
Well, the title is quite delusive, but the project wasn’t. It majorly consisted of recommending mandatory E-Learning courses for employees of VF UP (east) circle and to improve percentage penetration of E-Learning by building appetite for the same. Major tasks which I did over and above the scope of my project are mentioned below:
E-Learning library – Made a ready reckoner of available courses mapped with employee’s competencies
Calendar- Displaying two mandatory courses for each month based on common development needs of all employees
Dashboard- To enhance visibility of E-Learning across several parameters
Presentations- On few important topics prepared and delivered across zones for appetite building
Apart from that, E-Learning was made as a mandatory part of development goal and rewards & recognition (R&R) was also introduced for creating excitement among employees.
Project was the best part of this entire summer internship and I was quite satisfied with it. I loved working on it, got to know how is the entire structure driven starting from building resources to deploying them and finally even measuring them! Got to know about how challenging it is to make people fill even a small questionnaire for their own development (can you relate to the title now- owning your development). I visited some zones under UPE circle, had FGD’s , team sessions, presentations , individual interviews to arrive at the training needs of people and then working on some of the major challenges mentioned by the employees in following E-Learning process apart from the mandatory courses!
Final phase and “The verdict”
Just few days after the advent (when I was clear about the project and commenced working on it), I started receiving appreciation about my work, the way I was proceeding and my code of conduct in office. I also delivered few things above the expectations mentioned in the project details and the meetings with my lead and manager were always comforting and promising (mid-review, informal meetings). Circle review was the best, with immense appreciation from my manager and lead as well as from the Marketing head who said that he really was impressed with my work! Elated I thought that I will not have to sit in the placement process again and ppo was on the cards. Few people in my team indirectly told me that I am definitely getting a ppo and my circle has recommended the same for me.
Carrying high spirits, I went to Mumbai for my final presentation. It got delayed by almost 8 hours and finally when I presented, I got a mixed feedback like everybody else before me did (so I didn’t take any cue from that).
After 24 days, I realised that everything I did was to get rejected only at the end! (Despite being 70% campus conversion ratio!)
Now while writing this I will just say that “When you can’t change the situation, change your reaction towards it”. I have accepted this although I am still disappointed but who knows if it will not even matter to me one year down the line!
From my experience, I’ll just re-emphasize that life is unpredictable, your expectations can falter anytime and every time. Be at your best and prepare yourself for the worst so that at the last disappointment doesn’t take you to the next level even for some more time!