Call it a naïve dream or unbridled passion, but right from the time the heat of Summer Placements set in, I wanted to get an opportunity to intern in an FMCG company in Sales and Marketing. There are times when destiny and lady luck smile upon you at the same time. This happened to me as I went on to be the National Winner at HUL Carpe Diem, which later transfigured to me getting a Sales and Marketing internship at HUL. My gut feeling that this would be a special summer didn’t turn out to be wrong as I went on to have an amazing internship experience at HUL.
Fast-Forward a couple of months and there I was, setting foot at the HUL Campus in Mumbai, to be a part of the ‘Unilever Leadership Internship Programme’ (ULIP). The first few days of an indulging orientation program helps the eclectic mix of interns selected from top B-Schools participate, understand and imbibe the way of life at HUL.
HUL provides great attention to interns and ensures the surroundings are very conducive for learning. I could take my laptop and work where I felt comfortable - be it sipping a hot coffee at the Bru Café or sitting at the lively Adda with HUL’s Water Wall in sight. The internship program was well defined and structured. The intrinsic level to which the deliverables and milestones had been set for each intern shows the level of commitment and effort the company puts into ensuring the interns have a great time at HUL.
One of the key things that make the internship program at HUL the best in the country is the autonomy you get as you work on your projects. Even though my project was in Marketing, I got ample opportunities to go for field visits and interact with Sales representatives, Distributors and Retailers. Fresh out of campus, such autonomy is not just empowering but extremely refreshing too. It helps in shaping confidence and gives you a taste of the real world. These visits provided me with invaluable insights that formed the basis for my project.
The exposure in Marketing was immense as I also had the pleasure of interacting with Brand Managers and Marketing Managers from India and the UK. The primary and secondary research as part of my field visits added more value and credibility to my project.
The culture at HUL encourages interns to be proactive and to get involved in projects more. Hence I was able to take part in meetings with the Media Team, Consumer Insights Team and the Advertising Agencies. Brainstorming with these teams helped me think beyond and see the problem from a whole new perspective. The degree of responsibilities and the freedom at work made me feel valued by the company.
How these 8 weeks went by just with the bat of an eye is beyond me. The entire internship experience was, to say the least, enriching. Having supportive mentors to guide you is an integral aspect. I was fortunate enough to have some of the best mentors guiding me throughout the internship period.
Two months of hard work paid off, as I presented my recommendations to the team and which culminated in me qualifying for a Pre-Placement Interview. A couple of weeks later, I woke up to a phone call breaking the news of my Pre-Placement Offer, a dream of sorts! Even now, that feeling is yet to sink in as I wait to walk down “The Street” at the HUL Campus, this time as a permanent member of the HUL family.