I stepped into my journey of MBA aspiring it to be one of the most enriching 2 years of my life. The rigour of work and the level of competition among students that we face during our first semester of MBA is commendable! We quickly get accustomed to multiple presentations and submissions in no time. But after a point, you’ll realize that they were all miniature lessons to make us corporate ready.
Learnings from my first year of MBA
I have always taken Competitions seriously and I urge each one of you to do that too! Corporate Competitions are super important during your MBA journey as they give you an opportunity to expose your critical and strategic thinking and solve live business problems. By trying to solve each case, you explore more avenues of thought, solutions, strategic execution, and the practicality of each of your solutions. Competitions during an MBA can be considered as an MBA within an MBA! Additionally, you get to meet the Industry Leaders and their insights shared are assets that you could carry forward throughout your career. You also get to meet the Top minds of other premier B-Schools whereby you can build your network and share thoughts. I was fortunate enough to land a direct PPO for my Summer Internship Program after qualifying as the National Finalist of ABG HeadstaRt’19.
Be it for Competitions or Summer Placements, preparation is key! I started off by building a strong foundation on my basics, i.e my core subjects in HR – Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, HR Analytics, Learning and Development, Compensation and Benefits, Employee Relations, Performance Management, Organizational Development, and Organizational Behavior. I had a good rapport with my faculties and hence didn’t limit my discussions to classrooms. Out of personal interest, I also backed myself up with good exposure to analytical and statistical tools through friends and faculties. Along with these basic preparations, I also tried to keep myself updated about the current affairs around the world and tried to stay agile in terms of global HR happenings by reading articles on People Matters, Mint, Mettl, HR Katha, etc. To it all up, our college seniors also conducted multiple preparatory sessions for us in the form of Group Discussions and Personal Interviews to boost our confidence and suggest improvements.
Preparations for my Summer Internship Program
I was super excited and hence began with my preparations for my SIP by December 2019 itself, starting with basics on advanced excel, PPT skills, Data analysis techniques, basic HR core subjects, labour laws, etc. I also managed to complete 2 Live Projects by then for having an idea of corporate life before my Summer Internship. Little did I know that my most awaited corporate experience would turn out to be a virtual one, thanks to Covid-19. We were the first batch to work on virtual summer internship projects in the history of B-Schools and in the Corporate world too! While organizations were busy restructuring and transforming their businesses to adapt to the “new normal”, the Talent management teams were super busy in exploring creative ways to onboard us, their Summer Interns!
Talking about my SIP experience at ABG, our Young Talent Management (YTM) Team had a world full of opportunities planned for us. It was a very structured program. Our projects were well detailed, Mentors and HR SPOCs were arranged well in advance. We had numerous engagement activities that happened on a weekly basis, a simulation game, social media challenges and also access to a bunch of extremely useful online Courses made available to us apart from our Project. Without any doubt, I can say that ABG has provided me with the best learning opportunity and an extremely engaging virtual internship experience. The quality of work and resources provided were exceptional. It was great to e-meet and share thoughts with like-minded folks from various premier B-Schools and Industry Leaders at ABG.
Learnings and Takeaways
Working closely with the HR Team at UltraTech Cement Ltd, my project involved designing an HR Intervention to improve collaboration and agility for the Salesforce, at the PAN India level. The team was supremely warm, welcoming very cooperative. I’m super happy that I was able to implement my recommendations during this short, yet enriching journey with the help from the Leadership team. Even though it was a completely virtual internship, the experience was so seamless and realistic. Be it my Mentor, my HR SPOC, or any internal stakeholder for that matter, each of them ensured that we were given enough time to discuss and improve our work regularly. We had regular feedback sessions and chat sessions with our stakeholders and our Business Head as well. Throughout the journey, I felt like I was part of the organization because of the warmth with which the team accepted and supported new ideas and helped me with each step that leads to its successful implementation. My key learnings from the project were the importance of branding a program, strategic and agile thinking, leadership, and execution of large scale interventions and collaborating a large population virtually and improving productivity.
My advice to the Batch of 2020-22
It is only with the help and guidance from my Faculty mentors, Seniors, Alums, and my Project Manager, that the journey so far culminated to be a successful one. Summer Internship is undoubtedly one of the most crucial yet the best learning opportunities one can have during their MBA life. So, make the most of it, irrespective of whether it is virtual or not. It depends on you how you utilize what you have in hand and turn it into wonders. All the best to Batch of 2022!! I’m sure you’ll have a much more adventurous story to tell us next year. I’d like to leave some food for thought to my juniors with John Quincy Adams’ words, “If your actions inspire others to Dream more, Learn more, Do more and Become more, then you are a true Leader”.