The summer internship is considered to be one of the most learning experiences in one’s MBA journey. However, the preparation for the summer placements is like a roller-coaster ride. The initial part of my preparation for the summer placements consisted of studying the key concepts that had been taught in class, reading about various marketing campaigns that companies had launched over the years, and staying up-to-date with current affairs. The second part of my preparation consisted of honing soft-skills which was done through mock group discussions and personal interviews conducted by seniors. One month prior to placements, the campus transforms into a study zone with students huddled in groups or sitting solo – their faces stuffed into laptops, books, newspapers, preparatory materials.
I got the opportunity to intern at Cummins India. Prior to this, I have worked in a non-corporate setup and this was the first time I got to work in a corporate entity. My project was in the domain of the auto parts retail business of the company. Despite the fact that I could not work in a conventional office set-up due to the Covid-19 scenario, my internship was filled with immense practical learnings as I had to understand the B2B aspects of auto parts distribution of Cummins. We had a 3-day immersive virtual onboarding process where we got the chance to interact with the senior leadership and also underwent training regarding the work culture of the company. My project mentor and buddy guided me from the very beginning on a bi-weekly basis. Through my discussions with them, not only did I get valuable insights about my project but I also got insights on how to use available data points to solve business problems. All my interactions with concerned stakeholders were conducted virtually in a smooth manner which introduced me to the agile working setup of the company. The supportive work culture at Cummins is also a part of my cherished takeaways from the internship.
I believe the hectic schedule of the first year of MBA filled with classes, assignments, projects, etc., prepares one with an acute sense of professionalism, time management skills, handling challenges, and how to work as part of a team. It is imperative to not get overwhelmed by the entire summer placement preparation as the process is quite intense. A positive attitude and the mindset to keep going are essential because what I realised during the summer placements was that interviewers are keener to know the candidate, his or her thought process, presence-of-mind, and ability to handle out-of-the-blue questions.