Infrastructure Development and Management, a specialization offered by SCMHRD, Pune is a techno-managerial course that hones the skills of the students towards envisaging their managerial knowledge in real-world business problems. Prior to joining this course, I worked for 24 months at Mytrah Energy India Pvt. Ltd. with QSHE & Systems. This helped me gain experience in verticals of Quality, Health and Safety for Renewable Energy generation projects pan India. Working on the Environmental and Ecological studies which were carried out before proceeding with the projects and the Due diligence audits for both greenfield and brownfield projects helped me understand the importance of mitigating environmental impact as a business perspective.
Scrolling through the newspapers, following the leads on current affairs became a part of my lifestyle as I started prepping for my interviews. Understanding the repute of UTCL as the largest cement manufacturer in India with a manufacturing capacity of 117.35 MTPA with a pan India footprint and strong supply chain network gave me an overview of their efficient business strategy as a whole. This helped me envision my interview revolve around operations and supply chain management. Reading past articles of successful mergers and acquisitions, strategies related to their ever-expanding business, developing new greenfield projects, etc. helped me grasp details about the POA of UTCL. To add up to this, a revision of my past work experience and the significant results achieved during that period and a brush through of concepts of supply chain management and project management helped me make my preparation wholesome.
In my opinion, an interview is the best way to analyze the effectiveness of one’s communication skills. The selection process was a two-step process where the first round happened to be a group discussion on current affairs. The interview had both technical as well as HR rounds. The technical round was focused on my work experience, my reason for specializing in IDM and most importantly, it revolved around my concepts of supply chain management, logistics, inventory management and overall operations. After discussing the solutions for the situation-based problems that were proposed the positive nod from one of the panelists boosted my confidence within. The HR round was quite a refreshing experience as I was asked about my expectations from the internship and about my career goals.
Ulchemies-2020 is the two-month internship program at UTCL. It was duly planned and the deliverables were segregated and defined well in advance. As the internship took a virtual mode due to the COVID-19 outbreak, networking and getting information was a major challenge. I worked with the logistics department where my project was “Increasing the Efficiency of RH Firing and Direct Dispatch”. My major deliverables were “to propose a granular plan to increase the efficiency” and “optimize the overall end-to-end logistics cost” for which I got to interact with a lot of people at the manufacturing plant, sales department and also with the regional and zonal heads. My mentor was very helpful and supportive throughout, which made my two-month stint at UTCL a smooth experience.
My Key Takeaways:
Having a work experience in a similar profile and prior understanding of the corporate culture made it easier for me steer my internship.
- Implementation– I learnt how practical constraints play a vital role in the execution of the concepts I studied in my first year of MBA.
- Trust– The inter-departmental coordination and the reliability on colleagues in a scenario where the employees were going through an overall change management in terms of “work-from-home” was a great source of inspiration.
- Setting up milestones– It is always good to give yourself smaller milestones with fierce deadlines to keep up the momentum of work. Prioritize the work accordingly.
- Effective communication – Hesitation is not a choice while resolving queries or doubts with the mentor/stakeholder. It’s always better to solve the doubts and have a clear thought process as you dive further deep into your project deliverables.
- Time Management– Having a sorted schedule worked for me. I got my mentor onboard to block a few minutes of his day for my regular update which helped me keep a track of my deliverables.
- Final review– My mentor said, “Keep the presentation crisp and also keep the points to deliver clear in your mind while presenting your final review”. This advice from him helped me create more impact in my final review.
Advice to the Juniors:
1.Stay focussed and determined. Learn to balance between the academics and committee work as this helps the most during internship when you have to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
2. Hone your communication skills as it is the most helpful asset in the corporate world.