Shenanigans at Stryker – Internship in Market Research
Dr. Gregory House. That was my aim for as long as I remember- from his brilliance to his smirks- I was enamored and infatuated! I was determined to be a doctor with the panache of Dr. House and the humanity of Dr. Wilson. My path was set… Until, I decided to do an MBA to gain insights to revolutionize the Indian health system. And stepping into Stryker office on the 1st day of internship, I felt as bewildered and as intimidated as Mike Ross (Suits) felt on his first day at Pearson Hardman!!!
Being from the medical background and having an ambition in the medical field, I was determined to intern at an organization which was a giant in the medical field. When Stryker India Pvt Ltd presented me with an opportunity to work with them, I had no qualms that this would be an amazing learning experience.
The first day at Stryker marked my first day ever in a corporate world. I was thankful for the induction process that made me feel a bit more comfortable in the MNC culture! It was during the induction that I realized that an outsider’s perspective about a company is quite different than an insider’s perspective. From the perspective of all the directors and heads of department, all the metaphorical gears of the organization started being visible to me. The basics of the Research and Development, Logistics, Sales and Distribution, Services and Product details of various verticals were explained and frankly, it all felt like a revelation!
After meeting all the hot-shots and feeling infinitely more precious about myself, I finally met my mentor who was to be my life-line for the 8 weeks to come. My projects revolved around market research for a new product launch (details are classified!!).
I had always wondered what people do in office all day! Day 1 of working on my project and I knew what “people did in office all day”. The secondary research was tedious, not to mention incredibly boring. The questionnaire preparation, in the following weeks, was even worse because it make me regret not paying attention in my Business Research Methods and Market Research classes! And the worst part was that I thought that this would be the most difficult part of internship. Post the disaster of questionnaire preparation, I had to out on the (mine)-field for administering the questionnaire. I am sure I spent infinitely more time in doctors’ waiting rooms than I did speaking to them!
I feel that travelling to metropolitan cities would have been better for me, comfort-wise (I know, very selfish of me) but most of my travelling with restricted to Delhi, NCR, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Chandigarh. It was harsh on me (I know I am spoilt. Please do not judge me!!) (Oh! The irony!). I actually wanted to give a standing ovation to all the sales personnel during that phase! I think I expected my internship to get better and easier if I worked hard in the beginning but it turned out to be the same lie that my parents told me about the importance of board exams!
Needless to say, I hardly slept in the final presentation week!
But I had expected the long hours and the tedious work. What came as a surprise to me was the fun aspect of the internship. The grueling internship presented an opportunity where co- interns became friends and mentors became supporters! The most fun part of the day was always the intern’ cafeteria breakfast of bread- omlette and mango shake…. I am still carrying the resultant weight gain!!! (sigh..)
And of course, we never complained about the technically “free” lunches at the office! Accidently, the dinners were expensive at the hostel (co-incidence much!!!).
As a part of CSR activities, the interns had to organize the Indoor Sports Tournament for the entire office. From sending mailers to scheduling to prize distribution- we were the bosses! Unfortunately, I missed the main event days due to the above mentioned field visits (grrr…). I think that would my biggest disappointment in my internship as all the interns present had the opportunity to interact with people from “not- my” departments!
The best part of my internship is the relationship that I developed with my mentor. I was terrified of him at first but slowly and with a lot of errors on my part (it is an old story, I know!), my mentor became my advisor and a person whom I can call and bug all day!
On the very last day of my internship, I was relieved when my presentation to the leadership team was done and dusted and I got my cheque (very cheap, I know!)! But what struck me at that moment was that there was a possibility that I would never come back to that office! It was in that moment that I realized how much of a home that office had become to me and that the thought of not going through the “2- hour long each way” journeys every day, was actually unthinkable and had actually become alien in a matter of 8 weeks!
But here I am now… Back to my college and back to the rigors of the classes and responsibilities and hopefully, back to all of this a little wiser. I was always under the impression that internship was meant to learn the practical implementation and implication of our theoretical class-room knowledge. Turns out, an internship does much more than that!! My internship reaffirmed my goals, gave me a direction and destination for them and definitely, taught me the importance of networking in all of this process!!