“Make the best out of the crisis”– words we as summer interns were told when our induction process began and also the words that resonated with me and challenged me to make the best of my internship.
I started my journey as a L’Oreal summer intern in April. I was given a project in one of my preferred domains under the commercial division and in which I always wanted to work in – Modern Trade. The project required me to Re-design the Go To Market structure for Modern Trade. Considering that it was ought to be a virtual internship, I didn’t feel out of place for a second, it was like being welcomed to a big family with open arms, despite the pandemic situation we all were in. The induction process was smooth and with constant social media posts and the importance that was given to us, it felt like entering into a journey we would always remember.
Once we were given the charters, the most important thing was to understand it thoroughly which took me 1-2 weeks. This would not have been possible without the continuous interaction with my mentor. It did not take much time for me to realise that “over-communication” is the new practice at work considering the virtual scenario as well. There were continuous overviews about the divisions which were kept every week for us to understand L’Oreal in a better way. These also included sessions on sustainability, something that L’Oreal firmly believes in, and masterclasses held on a global level. Along with it, there were campaigns organized for us that kept us engaged. We were also a part of several important meetings which made us feel like a part of the global organization.
Being given a sales development project, benchmarking was an important aspect to get major insights. This meant composing informative questionnaires with all the details I would need. With the help of my mentor and various stakeholders in L’Oreal, I was able to understand various aspects of day to day activities, how the business was carried, the expectation, and challenges present. This was in itself a productive task. This activity also helped me refine my questionnaire further and make it crisp for benchmarking purposes. With the support of my mentor, my alumni connections, and college seniors, I could bring out a detailed analysis of the Go To Market structure of various companies in the FMCG sector in India. Completing this task by the right time interval was an achievement for me. This brought me to the second phase of recommendations. For this, I created another questionnaire to understand the challenges in more detail and also support my conclusions backed with data. In the latter days, my project also helped me to refine my excel skills in the best way, being a data-intense project. It required continuous visualization of the data sheets, connecting the dots, and presenting the data in a preferred way. Through this, I was able to bring in effective models as my recommendations using aspects of geography, influence, and business split while keeping up with the existing structure as well. Along with it, it was important to address the challenges that came with it, the future scope, and how the pilot should be performed.
The challenges for me were on three fronts, first, to utilize the questionnaires and analyze it to the benefit of the project, secondly, to gather the important insights from various communication channels to make the benchmarking resourceful, and thirdly, bringing up the models from the analysis of enormous data to the form which can be explained and understood by others. Thus, it was beneficial to gain that extra knowledge about the company, their practices, and brushing up the skills before starting the internship that helped me to overcome these challenges in the best way. Overall, it was indeed a “Transformative” experience and the best one so far, which would not have been possible without the constant support and encouragement from people involved, who made this a smooth sailing process.