Stumbling from an MNC to a Start-up – The Tough Internship

My first day ‘there’ begun with my missing the bus for my induction program, to be conducted at Ramada. ‘Here’, fortunately I reached on time, the induction though was- waiting in a small pantry for two hours for someone to acknowledge us. That’s how my internship journey began.
It was only after two days, I realized that nothing was planned for us in advance. While I was already inducted into a 2 weeks training program over ‘there’. There implies one of the BIG 4 firms where I worked as an analyst before enrolling for MBA. My current firm is an app-based start-up in NCR region doing marketing activities for its clients.

Everything ‘there’ was systemic and planned weeks in advance. If I were working on some assignment from an off-shore client, it was booked weeks in advance. Here, my targets got changed 3 times within 3 weeks.

I won’t say I didn’t enjoy work initially. In fact I still do sometimes. But ‘sometimes’. Rest of the time it’s all confusion and chaos. There is not structure to what you are doing. Sometimes you just work on something for days and suddenly the boss feels like working on something else and whoof!! It’s gone. What you did, didn’t matter. And yes to be humble and straight faced I say, “At least I learnt so many new things while googling”.

There is nothing exceptional I am doing here. My goals keep changing. My mentor keeps changing. I am barely able to keep myself from becoming an errand boy. God! Do I sound frustrated?

Accountability is a big difference between a start-up and big corporate. I was accountable for every hour I spent over there. Here days go whining about how ‘this one sucks’.

There is no culture over here. Nothing that binds the employees together. No dress code, formal timings, no formal anything. So if I were to compare my initial days ‘there’. There were proper introduction sessions. Sessions for do’s and don’ts. Sessions where employees were explained the functioning of company. I don’t even know half the employees over here. And we are just 30 odd people. There were welcome parties and team lunches. And as delusional as it sounds, these things do motivate people.

Another difference between a big corporate and start-up is decision making. While decisions over there are taken after filtering out the results from organisational process, here decisions are taken by a handful of people. This has its own pros and cons. The work gets done really fast, but is driven mostly by instinct. Second since the chain in not long enough, the decisions can be altered easily but then it effects the employee morale because there is no stability in things.

I am in the last leg of my internship now and I guess not all internships are as glamorous as others. There are definitely lot of take-aways I’ll take from here. One being- ‘work hard for my finals’

Rajat Agarwal

PGDM student at IMT Ghaziabad

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