#Throwback to 2017
Summer of 2017! Where do I begin! In a sentence – A whirlwind experience that lasted 55 days, contributed immensely to my knowledge and perspective and changed me as a person. It is often said that an MBA is a microcosm of the adult life where experiences are plenty, emotions run wild and learning (both academic and personal) is tremendous. I would like to extend the statement by iterating that summer internships are the proverbial ‘epiphany’ of b-school life.
My summers experience started with the grand induction held at ITC, Lower Parel on 3rd April 2017. ABG’s Group Internship Program 2017 saw participation from 77 interns across 11 management institutes. The theme for this year was Build Your Own Brand (BYOB) and engaging ice-breaking activities which compelled us to be at our creative best, enlightening lectures by stalwarts such as Dr Santrupt Mishra, Dr Ajit Ranade and Mr Samik Basu which motivated us to think beyond the usual along with networking dinners with former LEAD/LEAP associates; introduced us to the techniques of ‘building our own brands’.
I interned in the Grasim Pulp and Fibre business head office at Worli, Mumbai with the learning and organizational effectiveness team. Having delivered on two fieldwork assignments previously (compulsory internships, part of TISS Mumbai’s curriculum), I had a brief idea of the functioning of corporate HR. At Grasim, I worked on two major and two minor projects spread across different stages of development. The overall objective of my stint was the facilitation of knowledge creation, management and dissemination for the business. While one of my major projects involved facilitating the identification of functional competencies exclusive to the engineering departments of the business; a minor project was on conceptualising the evaluation framework for the technical training academy. As the period of engagement was 2 months, I got the opportunity to work on all 4 projects simultaneously. Thus, while I was travelling from one business unit to another conducting knowledge transfer sessions as a part of my deliverables for one project, I was also gathering employees’ inputs for a newly proposed initiative.
My key learnings from the stint were as follows –
- On Plant Visits – I visited 3 of the group’s fibre units (Nagda, Kharach and Vilayat) as a part of my project wherein I not only understood the criticalities fibre manufacturing but also the importance of keeping cost and quality schedules maintained. Through interactions with engineering department heads, I learnt about the significance of balancing plant operations with people’s needs and sensitivities, highly relevant from a people management perspective.
- On Collaboration – As a part of my assignments, I frequently collaborated with other departments, functions and vendors in the business. The experience thus gained equipped me to look at a problem through different lenses.
- On Execution – Conceptualisation should be done keeping the implementation aspect in mind. Also, as HRs we must be able to envision (and accordingly modify) how an employee is likely to perceive a policy before proposing it.
- On Life Skills - Every individual regardless of his/her professional background looks forward to working in a secure and safe organisation with opportunities for growth and strives to contribute to the utmost if adequately encouraged. Small gestures indeed go a long way in motivating people.
My biggest takeaway – autonomy and accountability over the projects which gave me a sense of ownership enabling me to contribute confidently and enthusiastically.
It has been rightly said that change is the end result of all learning. 2 months at ABG enabled me to add value to the group and taught me perseverance, persuasion, networking and the art of getting things done. Being awarded a Pre-placement offer at end of the internship program was highly encouraging and I’m keenly looking forward to working with the group.
In conclusion, each interaction, task and assignment I had were a unique learning experience. Summing it up in foodie language – relish delight with every bite!