Thanda matlab? Does that ring a bell? Yeah, you guessed that right…Coca-Cola…remembering the “kid” you wanting to gulp down gallons of the world’s most widely served drink when Aamir Khan came on that TV screen :D
Well, now imagine the excitement when one gets selected as a summer intern here. It’s literally a dream coming true! As the time for summer internship approached I had already made plans to go to Bengaluru and enjoy my time at the organization. However, as luck would have it, the unfortunate news of COVID-19 came up, hitting me hard. I was told that the internship would be conducted virtually. The thoughts of boring and monotonous days started haunting me…the once-in-a-lifetime experience was gone. Or was it?
Little did I know that I was going to “Open Happiness” and experience the “Coke Side of Life” as the onboarding started. The virtual onboarding team made sure that our joining was not only fun-filled with an ice-breaking session but also quite seamless. So, even before my actual project began, I got to learn the finer aspects of HR through onboarding. There is a famous saying: Culture eats strategy for breakfast. My stint at HCCB made me understand its meaning in the true sense. An organization that has an embracing culture also has dedicated employees who contribute towards building the perfect organizational strategy. And that is why Coca-Cola is counted amongst the world’s top 10 brands!
A major part of my project revolved around the Talent Acquisition domain. My mentor gave me a solid brief about the project-specifics and put forth her expectations in the form of clear deliverables. Simultaneously, she told me not to worry about committing mistakes and that I could approach her and the other team members without any hesitation in case of the slightest of doubts. This reminded of the conversation between Harry Potter and his mentor-cum-Professor, Albus Dumbledore, “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it!”
Here, I would also like to thank TISS for its industry-relevant course curriculum, particularly the Field Work internships, which helped me get accustomed to my summer project and get my hands dirty, really quick.
I learned during the internship that one should not get restricted merely to one’s assigned team or function. One should always try to go a step beyond and build relations with other members. This not only enables us to gather better primary data for the project but also aids in building a “personal brand” which goes a long way in shaping one’s career.
Another learning, particularly with respect to the HR function is that one should always strive to pursue “evidence-based management”. This comes as a result of informed decisions, which are backed by concrete data. For example, I made it a point to include primary/secondary data while documenting my recommendations. This approach helped me all the more, as I was working on a live project and I could sense that I was very close to seeing my recommendations getting implemented.
We also learned the art of team building and working in cross-cultural teams, while enjoying the company of each other. The culture at HCCB is such that employees are always encouraged to help each other out and be equal partners in success. The interns were especially pampered. My mentor arranged online games and other engagement activities so that we always felt energized. Going a step further, we also contributed towards the relief activities for the people affected by COVID, which gave me a sense of unparalleled joy, as a responsible citizen. You see now? This is what I meant earlier while mentioning about “Opening Happiness” and experiencing the “Coke Side of Life” :D
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the constant help and support of my dear batchmates, immediate seniors, the professors, and the alums. A big shout out to each one of them!
If I were to give some “tips” to the would-be interns, I would recommend three key things: Always be open to learning new things as change is the only constant; do not hesitate to ask questions that help you set clear goals and expectations for yourself and your mentor, respectively; and keep doing your work diligently without getting anxious about the end result (yes, Nishkaam Karma!)
Last but definitely not the least, I would like to congratulate the Batch of 2019-21 for displaying sheer determination during such testing times. I am sure it will go down in history as being one of the most dynamic and resilient batches of all time. When life gave us lemons, we made lemonade!
About the Author
Shaurya Kumar is currently a 2nd-year student at TISS HRM & LR Batch 2019-21. On days when he is alone, he secretly wishes to receive an admission letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His new-found interest is cooking non-vegetarian food.