Summer internships are invaluable for MBA students. The two-month-long stint as an intern teaches one a lot about the corporate nuances in an organized manner. The selection process tests candidates on multiple facets including one’s confidence, knowledge acumen and leadership abilities etc.
Mallika Jain, an XLRI Business Management student from the 2021 Batch recently completed her summer internship with Mondelēz India Foods Ltd. Prior to joining the institute, she completed her graduation from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (formerly UDCT). She worked at a Taiwanese Multinational Co. A&B Chemical Corp. as a sales and marketing executive in chemical trading.
In this candid conversation, she talks about her experience that helped her secure the internship with an FMCG giant, filled with anecdotes of learning at each step.
What made you zero in on Mondelēz as your dream company?
I have prior experience of working in a B2B role, so I wanted to try the B2C side of business as well to get a deeper understanding of Sales & Marketing in the field. And, what better than a leading FMCG?
I narrowed down to Mondelēz specifically because of the legacy it holds - it is not just India’s but the world's leading chocolatier for over six decades. They have a sustainable approach towards the future, be it their vision to become the snacking leader or their adaptability with the changing environment and competitive landscape.
Also, I was really impressed by their summer internship program (presentation, live projects, their relevance, the mentorship) and their career growth trajectory.
How did you tailor your resume and prepare yourself for the same?
My work-ex was relevant, domain-wise, and that surely helped me. But I also made sure to include experiences and achievements that highlighted skills required in Sales & Marketing (eg. communication skills, leadership skills, positions of responsibilities held, a balance between the course curriculum and extracurricular activities, etc.)
What made you realize your interest in the Sales & Marketing domain?
I realized my interest in Sales & Marketing by the respective subjects at XLRI during the first few months of my MBA. I supplemented my knowledge by reading up on their applications in the corporate world (such as metrics used to measure performance, campaigns carried out by various companies)
What do you think worked for you in the selection process?
I was completely thorough with my CV which is possible only if you are completely honest with the information in the first place. I introspected various challenging situations faced by me, learning from them, my strengths and weaknesses, vision for the future, and my ultimate goal in life.
I also read up extensively on the company, its competitors, the industry as a whole to understand the current landscape and future opportunities related to growth and innovation.
Tell us about the various rounds of summer internship selection process at Mondelēz.
After being shortlisted based on our CVs, there was a GD round followed by PI round(s). We were given a small case relevant to the industry for discussion. After being selected, I had an early morning interview which was good in a way since it did not give me much time to be too anxious or paranoid even though it was my first interview.
During both the rounds, I made it a point to speak only relevant content instead of beating around the bush just to give elaborate answers.
How did you navigate through the uncertainties during the interview process?
At all times, I maintained my calm even when the interviewer deep-dived into my answers, having faith and confidence in my preparation because it is important to be able to express your thought process effectively.
Tell us about the role and the key responsibilities.
I secured the internship at Mondelēz under the Sales & Marketing division, where I am expected to have a complete overview of the company's functioning, gather insights via field visits or customer insights and propose plan(s) for solving any current issue, growth in business or further expansion.
Do you have any advice for future aspirants?
The most important point to remember is to be yourself and honest because only then can you justify your stand effectively. Not to be intimidated by the interviewer, rather consider it as a discussion with someone who has a lot of relevant experience in the area. Even if they make you feel at ease and only want to see if you would be a good fit and add value to their organization.