InternXperience @Aris Bioenergy- by Vinit Vasudevan #54

My fruitful summer internship at Aris Bioenergy was a combination of collective remembrance and a milestone for my personal development. I am extremely glad that I could successfully apply my classroom knowledge to project the feasibility for an upcoming flagship project of Aris, which is one of the leading alternative energy startups in India. With its unique business proposition of turning used cooking oil into biofuel, Aris Bioenergy have won multiple laurels on a global scale and they were looking forward to host interns to work on their expansion strategies

Actual Interview process:

Though it sounds cliche, the questions in an interview are usually aligned to your CV and the profile of the company you are interviewing in. If you have prior work experience, you can expect questions related to your work-ex, or else if you are a fresher, you might be tested on the foundations of your undergraduate studies so that the interviewer can assess your knowledge base. Though it totally depends on the interviewer, you can even expect questions related to the domain in which the organization operates. During my interview at Aris Bioenergy which was taken by the CEO of the company itself, I was grilled about my work experience and how I would align their domain to my previous work experience. I was asked questions on the basics of project finance and feasibility which we study as a part of our curriculum at SCMHRD. I guess they were eager to know whether I was open to learning new things, which I was.

Internship Experience:

My internship was supposed to start at the beginning of April, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, things got slightly delayed and the structure of the internship was changed to a virtual one. However, the virtual framework did not have any repercussions on the internship. The on-boarding team at Aris was very helpful and left no stones unturned to ensure that we interns don’t feel left out. I was assigned a live project to study the feasibility of a commercial plastic pyrolysis plant and to devise a business plan with the objective of attaining maximum viability.

For this project, I had to thoroughly research the market conditions and identify key financial and commercial traits. I also interacted with multiple stakeholders to identify problems faced in the domain of plastic waste management as well as with various vendors for supplying equipment. I also studied the best practices followed internationally and how they could be replicated in our country. All this came in handy for projecting future cash flows for the project and designing a sustainable model, which was appreciated by the senior leadership of the company during the final review.

I was lucky enough to be mentored by the COO of the company. He was gratuitous enough to solve any query that I had, within a very short period. Through his insights, I was able to perceive the business through the hindsight of senior management. I also learnt in depth the various financial aspects of a project that a business has to compute before indulging or investing in it.

Learning from the first year of internship and how it helped me during my internship

Being a student of the Infrastructure Development and Management program at SCMHRD, we get to learn subjects like Project Finance and Feasibility, Social Cost-Benefit Analysis, Project Management as well as get an in-depth knowledge of the various infrastructure sectors such as transportation, energy, etc during the first year of our program. This knowledge imparted has what helped me sail through my internship

On top of it, I have always been an energy sector enthusiast and so for me, this internship has been an icing on the cake as I got to work in my desired field as well as work to eliminate the real-world problems such as plastic waste management.

Tips for the juniors:

The one piece of advice I have for my fellow peers is to be in constant touch with your mentor. Try to get his/her feedback as frequently as possible and don’t hesitate to contact him/her if you face any difficulties. Network and talk to as many stakeholders possible to get a comprehensive overview and then build your conclusions.

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