The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. To reach your desired company there are no shortcuts. While there are a lot of factors that depend on chance, there are certain things that you must do to the best of your capabilities. So that when the time finally comes, you can shine the brightest.
To crack the interview of your desired company, there are certain competencies that you must build. I categorize them as follows:
Domain Knowledge – Needless to say, if you are applying for a position to an organization as a marketing intern or a finance intern, you need to know exactly what you are signing up for. So in an interview, you will be asked at least the basic questions on your field of interest or your specialization and must have a certain depth of knowledge supplemented with examples and case studies.
Current Affairs – To successfully navigate the business world you need to be aware of what is going on in the world. What are the different issues that are existing and how you can provide solutions to these problems? This improves your body of knowledge and at the same time makes you good in conversations. In retrospect, I think my best interviews were more like open conversations.
Company Knowledge – If you want to leave a lasting impression then it is imperative to know the ins and outs of the company you are applying for. Know their financial position, know about their board of directors, their CEO, or Chairman. Also, be aware of any recent news articles that came up about the company so that you ask good questions when the opportunity arises.
Industry Knowledge – Company knowledge and Industry knowledge go hand in hand. To be able to field questions on “How should the company take its next steps?” or maybe “If you were the CEO, what would you do?” then industry knowledge helps a lot. What are the upcoming trends? Who is their closest competitor? What is their marketing strategy? etc.
Overall internship experience
My overall internship experience cannot be summarised easily. Starting from the onboarding process to the learning and development and then being mentored by some of the most talented professionals is something out of a fairytale.
My joining like most others who faced similar challenges was not on time. I had to wait for a long time to get the call to join the organisation. However, there was for good reason for that. No one was prepared for the disruption the pandemic brought in our lives.
However, the management was very proactive in dealing with the crisis and they first resolved the challenges through informal means. The internship taught me that not everything is black and white and not all things get done over emails and Zoom meeting sessions which I had expected seeing the way things were getting done by my friends. It was a really good experience learning first-hand the implementation of the concepts learned in the class.
Key Learning and takeaways from the internship
Baring the physical labour the work was hard and tedious. It was sheer grit and perseverance that kept me going through difficult times. Other than the practical marketing aspects I also learned the human aspects of a business. Businesses run with the help of people and rely on their consumers to succeed.
During my brief stint, I had interacted with more than 50 different consumers and found about their daily life and consumption patterns. It allowed me to draw insights from the data that I gathered and predicted some of the operational changes required and forecasting of demand in the near future.
My thanks to Britannia Industries for providing me such an enriching experience. It was truly amazing to have worked for the organization.Learning from the first year of your MBA and how it helped you during the internship
There are a few things that I learned from my first days of MBA that have helped me through my internship. Surprisingly they are not related to my academics. They are personality skills that I learned through my MBA journey in the first year.
Perseverance – From back to back all-nighters to finish assignments and reach deadlines to making the most of the day with classes and extracurricular activities, perseverance is required to stay on top of your game always.
Collaboration – The modern workspace requires you to collaborate with your co-workers and come up with innovative solutions. Case study competitions and various team activities fostered a sense of teamwork and collaboration made it very easy to work with others while in college.
Flexibility – Staying in one place within a turbulent environment is not possible in the management landscape. So you are required to be highly flexible to the current situation to better navigate the challenges.
Work Ethic – A strong work ethic is highly valued across industries. When I commit to some work I ensure that I see it through till completion.
Advice to juniors
Management is not an exact science. There are no hard and fast rules, or proven strategies that work everywhere or every time. So the way to approach management is to learn the core message and then use your judgment to draw insights and create new strategies. Learn from the old, make your framework, and apply to new cases. While it is important to have your views on certain topics, it is also important to be flexible with your views. Businesses and environments change all the time. Nothing is set in stone. So you have to keep an open mind and be prepared to hear a difference of opinion.