Summer Internship is the most crucial and exciting part of the MBA program. This stint of two months brings about a lot of learnings and realizations which are essential for a post MBA career.
Pursuing my MBA in HR from SCMHRD, Pune, and coming from a consulting background, I was quite restless during my summer placements as to where I would be placed. I had the opportunity to intern with Aon Consulting. I expected my internship to be the one like how it had always been over the years. But due to COVID-19, it became a virtual one.
My Internship Experience:
Despite it being an internship virtually, Aon had left no stone unturned to give us one of the best experiences. The onboarding and induction were smooth and full of learning. The project that I worked on was to understand the talent and reward drivers for the Gig Workforce. It mainly involved a study to understand the expectations and needs of the freelancers from their projects and the organizations they work for. The project is very relevant in today’s business world. I had to start from doing secondary research about Gig Economy by referring to various research papers and reports published by other organizations to gain a basic understanding of this subject. Post this, I conducted interviews across various domains of Gig Workers to arrive at attributes that can further help the team design a questionnaire for the purpose of analysis. The questionnaire revolved around attributes such as compensation, flexibility, a brand that they worked for, learning opportunities, and diversity of experience. Post the collection of responses from Gig Workers from various domains and roles, an analysis was conducted to arrive at results. Various archetypes were formed and parameters created for comparative studies. Also, results were arrived at how archetypes were spread across various traditional and non-traditional roles among Gig Workers. An organizational view of the Gig enabling environment along with suggestions for survey recommendations and way ahead was presented to the leadership and project team at Aon.
I am thankful to Aon for giving me a project which was challenging and very relevant in the current scenario. This project brought me out of my comfort zone and also helped me understand my short-comings where I need to put in efforts to build my knowledge. Through my summer internship, I learned that one should always be open to learning and challenges. Being out of the comfort zone may feel suffocating, but surviving enhances greater learning. My family and friends were always there to support me whenever I was stressed or felt low and I will always be grateful to them. I would like to thank my mentor Mr. Prashant Shukla, practice leader, Mr. Anirban Gupta, and the project team who were encouraging and supportive throughout my internship. Without their guidance at every step and considering the complexity level of the project, I would not have been to execute it without their support.
The advice that I would like to give to the batch of 2019-2021 and other batches is to be open to learning and not to assume any situation. Prepare yourself in such a way that you stay strong throughout your internship and to understand that sometimes the project may not turn out to be the way you might have expected. There might be delays, long hours of work, last-minute submissions, and doing work beyond what the project charter states. Take it as it comes and does not get into a panic state. Have good subject knowledge and also do good research about your project. Be communicative with your mentor and your team members and clarify as to what are the expectations and the deliverables. It’s okay to not know something, but also be responsible to sit down and invest time in learning those things that you don’t know. During the internship, its also very important to take care of your health and well-being, take enough rest, eat well, stay hydrated, and in a positive state of mind. Don’t let external factors be a distraction. Take a break, pursue your hobbies, and stay connected with your batchmates and seniors because sometimes they may have the solution to your problems!
Do not go with a mindset of getting into a particular company. There are various parameters that you are judged on and if one is not able to crack an interview of an organization, understand that it’s not because you are not capable but also it’s important that your values and personality should be aligned to the values and culture of the organization. It’s essential to be the “right fit” to avoid hurdles during the course of your journey. Be confident and read well (concepts related to academics, current affairs in the business world). Be very sure of every point in your CV and communicate well. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know something during an interview. Last but not the least, stay calm, composed, and patient.
Ensure that you are adding value to the organization where you intern. That creates a difference to them as well you and it expands your learnings. I will always remember my summer internship experience and, once again, thank you Aon for giving me this wonderful opportunity!