In this article, Gaurav Jain, a student of MDI Gurgaon who interned at Sanofi in Operations and Supply Chain Domain talks about his summer internship experience. Find out about how he prepared for the summer placements, his onboarding process, his experiences & what his learnings are during this internship.
Hi, Tell us about how you got selected for this internship? Take us through the moment you realized you had got the internship.
Like for any B-School graduate, the opportunity to interview for Sanofi was presented to me during the Summer hiring season on campus. The selection process was the standard Group Discussion-Personal Interview format. During PI, I remember taking them through my work experience, CV elements, and scenario-based project implementation on shop floor questions. A large portion of the questions was to determine the cultural fit, thinking on the feet, how one addresses failures, and willingness to learn. After 2 rounds, the final interviewer asked me this question with a grin on his face, “Can I finalize the name, you will be interning out of our Corporate Office in Mumbai. I burst out into happiness and said I’m excited to intern with Sanofi. Suddenly your whirling world comes to rest and you feel like breathing FINALLY!
Then you see your friends, some are still in the process some are out. But anyhow we all come out of it! That is the ultimate reality.
On joining the company as an intern, how has your onboarding experience been like?
Early March 2021, the campus team at Sanofi reached out to me to start with the onboarding process. We started virtually as SMILE interns and were assigned projects, mentors, and reporting managers in the first week itself. One thing I would like to highlight about the program was masterclass sessions with different Heads
How has your interaction with the team members and colleagues been like? How will you make sure to leave the best impression on your supervisors by the end of the internship?
It all started with a formal meeting with all the team members. But I believe that the more the initiative and questions, the more interaction will be. I followed the same. During my project, I have discussed the project with each and every stakeholder in detail and respected their feedback and ideas. So the interaction and touch with my colleagues have been increasing exponentially.
By implementing all the solutions with their help and guidance, is the only right way to leave a positive impression on my supervisors.
Tell us in brief, about the project you are currently working on and how is this project going to help the company?
My project has been divided into two parts.
The first is to identify the importance of key drivers for suppliers before entering into a contract. For this, I have prepared a model based on internal discussion and secondary research. Now I am working on 32 set questions based on 8 key drivers so that their importance can be judge by collecting responses from current and probable new suppliers and by using statistics to get the results. By identifying this, Sanofi can judge the importance of key drivers to suppliers and at the same time, can work on the areas which are not important to the supplier but they are important to Sanofi so that a long-term strategic partnership can be achieved.
The second is to identify new clauses for supplier contracts from the automobile and FMCG industry as I have previous work experience in these industries. I have already identified 20 points that can be added. By doing so, Sanofi can get the new clauses from industries other than Pharma.
Give us an overview of how you prepared for your summer placement season.
I began my preparation for placements about 2 months before the placement season started. Initially, I have prepared my CV where I specifically mentioned the unique skills and talents that I possess. There are several factors to be considered: I was well prepared with all the points mentioned in my CV majorly focusing on my three years of work experience. Also, I have prepared a practical answer with a real-life example to the probable interviewer's questions which I think had increased my selection chances. I always used to practice the type of answers to be given to the most probable interview questions. The most important factor is consistency, you will face a lot of rejections in the early stage but you should not lose hope and should prepare well for the next opportunity.
Based on your internship experience till now, what are some necessary skill sets one must be prepared with before starting an internship?
In my ongoing internship, there are two major skillsets required. The first one is MS Excel and the Second one is Statistics(SPSS) software. Both these tools helped me to prepare, segregate and analyze the data obtained from suppliers to identify the importance of key drivers.
What are some new skills that you have developed while working in the company?
There are two major skillsets that I have developed during my internship one is tangible and the other is non-tangible. Talking about tangible first, I have learned about the SPSS (Statistics Software) to conduct my primary research and test. I have run the Spearsman Coffiecient test and correlation test to identify the importance of key drivers based on the model developed.
The second one is Non-Tangible: As I am working on two projects simultaneously with different stakeholders in a virtual setup, the most important skill I have developed is time management.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced in your internship and how have you overcome them?
1. Understanding of Industry: As the pharma industry is heavily regulated, so I have very less understanding of pharma manufacturing and marketing processes. To overcome this, during my first week, I have connected with more than 8 different colleagues virtually to understand the processes and also read multiple papers available online.
2. Virtual Operations Internship: It was very difficult to understand the operations of any company without being physically present. To overcome this, I have asked a lot of questions about each and every process and prepared a work instruction sheet for myself to understand the process and gauge my timeline.
3. SPSS (Statistics) Software Skill: Like my project requires statistical analysis on the data obtained from the suppliers but I have not any prior experience using the same. To overcome this, I have discussed with my college faculty member and saw 8 lecture video series on Youtube. Finally, I have executed the analysis and obtained the required solution.
Tell us about a situation where you were complemented by your Manager for your work.
In the second part of my project, I have to identify supplier agreement clauses from Engineering and FMCG industries. So after discussion with 28 different executives from different industries, I have prepared 20 new clauses in detail which can be added to the current pharma supplier contract. So after this, my manager complimented me for preparing 20 new clauses in such a short span of time with very minimal legal knowledge.
What have been your major learnings during the internship?
Talking about my experience, my learning curve through these 2 months has been exponential. I have learned in-depth about the pharma industry and its practices through my project. I have acquired a new skill set of using statistical software and analyze the data by performing the various tests. Also, One thing I would like to highlight during this internship is that of Masterclass sessions by the Department Heads which helped me to understand different practical business situations related to marketing and innovation.
Tell us about your final presentation of the project to your manager in brief. What was the toughest question asked during the presentation and how did you answer it?
I have prepared a 22 slides deck that touches all the points right from the problem statement, approach, modeling, and final results. I have found out 8 new areas to work upon to improve the current supplier relationship which was highly appreciated by my manager. Overall it was very well accepted by each panel member. The toughest question asked to me was about the one analysis that I have conducted and the question was why the coefficient values are so closed. The test was the spearsman coefficient test which gave me the ranking of the key drivers.
The test gave us the relative coefficient values based on the responses and as the number of responses was not high in number due to supplier limitations that's why all values were so close.
Also, 32 questions survey form was floated only to solve this issue to identify the problems irrespective of their relative ranks.
Some advice that you would like to give to your juniors based on your internship experience.
The meaningful memories that you create through thought, belief, and actions are what give meaning. Creating a working way of thinking, goal, belief, action will give the best outcome. Do everything in the best way possible and be open to believing theirs always a better way to do anything in life. Rely on what you know, believe you know nothing, to strive for more knowledge about everything.
What was one of the best moments according to you during your internship?
Getting the impactful result. My best moment during my internship was getting appreciated by my division head during my project review as I have identified 8 new areas for work upon to make a long-term strategic relationship with the supplier.
TIMELINE, PROCESS AND RULES
- You don't need to register on InsideIIM.com or on the Kampus App to take part in Summer Saga Season 8. Simply share your experiences in the Digital Diary. To maintain standardisation, every Digital Diary will have a few questions that you'll need to answer.
- Access all the Digital Diaries forms from here: Digital Diary 1 | Digital Diary 2 | Digital Diary 3 | Digital Diary 4 | Digital Diary 5
- Your overall submission will be evaluated on the following parameters:
-Completeness: This depends on the number of Digital Diaries you have filled.
-Value Addition: This depends on how in-depth your answers have been. The score for this parameter will be given by our Judges.
-Reach: This depends on how many unique people have read your internship experience once we publish the article. We maintain fair play, we will publish all the articles on the same day, so that you can also share the same in your network.
- There is also a title called, ‘Campus With The Most Interesting Interns’ that will be awarded to (a) the campus that submits the maximum number of entries and (b) the campus that submits the best quality entries (based on the score given by our judges). The minimum entries from campus to be considered for this title is 10. So, if you want your campus to win the title then make sure your classmates and other students from your b school share their experiences in this year's Summer Saga Competition.
PRIZES TO WIN
This competition is broadly divided into four categories. Refer to the table below to know more about prizes in each category.
Banking and Finance
Sales, Marketing and General Management
HR, Consulting and Others
|1st Prize||₹ 10,000||₹ 10,000||₹ 10,000||₹ 10,000|
|Runner Up||₹ 5,000||₹ 5,000||₹ 5,000||₹ 5,000|
The 1st Prize winner will also get a one-hour 1-on-1 career guidance session with an industry stalwart, from our panel of mentors in Kounsel.
ABOUT THE JUDGES
Every year, we have Campus Managers from some of the top companies (such as Reliance, HSBC, Flipkart, ABG, HUL, TAS, etc) judging the annual Summer Saga competition. We will release the details of the judges of Summer Saga Season 8 soon!
Check out the previous year's winners!
Maybe this will help you reflect and recall these two months as well (which can come in handy when appearing for interviews in the future). InsideIIM is the perfect platform to chronicle your experiences, your highs, your lows and everything in between.
So guys, what are you waiting for? Start writing! You have a voice. You have the experience. Make the best of it!