About the Author: Suraj Agarwal, a student of KPB Hinduja College of Commerce, University of Mumbai, shares insightful details about his internship adventures at Directi.
Every turn in a man’s life has its own lesson to teach, and the summer of 2016 was not so different for me. I wanted to make the most of my spare time which made me apply for internships all across India. My applications ranged from volunteering for a cause to front-end sales profiles, but I struck gold when I got a call from Directi, for 2 months internship. The selection process started with a written test based on general knowledge and essay writing. The successful candidates then moved to the group discussion round, where a social issue and its counter effects on professionals were discussed. Shortlisted ones then went on to give personal interviews with the Talent Acquisition senior associate, CHR senior associate, and then the reporting manager of the intern. I was asked to share the most thrilling experience of my life followed by my thoughts on the skill development initiative by the Indian government. Two days after the interview, I received a call confirming my selection for the internship. I received a congratulatory email with my offer letter and a descriptive list of “what to expect on your first day” from my hiring manager.
On the first day of the internship, all the interns were asked to assemble together. We played a lot of ice-breaking games wherein I got to know other interns and also that I was the youngest one! We felt really special – a section was reserved for us in the cafeteria, pizzas were arranged for lunch, and free snacks and goodie bags were distributed. This was followed by a day-long induction and documentation formalities. Within a week’s time, I got acquainted with people not only from my team but also with employees across functions and business units, and in some cases, even across locations.
In Directi, human resources department was further bifurcated into two sub-divisions – talent acquisition and corporate human resources (CHR). While talent acquisition team took care of all the recruitment and human procurement needs of the organization through campus and lateral sources, the CHR team was accountable for all the later processes like onboarding, employee engagement, learning and development, talent management, leave and attendance, and compensation. I joined the CHR team. We were hired to streamline the induction and onboarding experience of the new campus joiners which included tech, graphic, and business development hires from May to June across various locations (viz. Mumbai, Bangalore, and Gurgaon). We were accountable for the following actions:
• Creating/re-innovating presentation content and handouts.
• Rearranging documentation and feedback cycle for new joiners.
• Engaging the new-joiners before their onboarding through social media.
• Working on HRIS automation and implementation exercise.
Parallel to this live project, all of us were individually assigned a research project on the side, pertaining to our interest in a particular aspect of HR. I picked a project on the high-potential development of employees.
A typical Monday at work used to start with meeting and facilitating ice-breakers for a fresh batch of new- joiners from the campus hires by the company. I swear the sight of smiling faces and the powerhouse enthusiasm are the best medicines for the Monday blues! I welcomed evenings with intense discussions on social topics with my co-interns over a sizzling cheese-burger and Oreo milkshake in the cafeteria. Post the work hours, hitting the gym at the office and working out with some senior employees of the company was like the cherry on the pie. For my research project, I was exposed to talent management tools and techniques such as 360-degree feedback process (FLOOP), talent leadership pipeline, etc. I was pegged with a lot of experienced employees across locations for their inputs. I also contacted department heads of major companies to get an insight into their best practices and formed a strong network. For the 360-degree feedback process, I figured out the tools used by organizations. I researched the various new initiatives taken by organizations to increase the effectiveness of the program, evaluated their pros and cons, and highlighted the changes that could be made in our own process.
Every Friday, I connected with my assigned mentor for the project from the Gurgaon office through a video call from the conference rooms named Gotham City and Kings Landing; it was so fun! Along with this, wearing shorts and flip-flops to work, working on bean bags, having some free delicious food, a well-dressed concierge at your disposal, and a choice of picking between foosball, table-tennis, carom, and snooker to unwind is something which forms a part of the attractive list of perks of being an intern at Directi. It was not just the awesome work and the culture that was something worth a talk – we had a steady flow of events like the Hawaiian Luau themed ‘Friday night chill session’, the annual town-hall where we got to meet both the founders, the Turakhia brothers, the national HR meet of the company wherein we got introduced to the HR heads working across different locations!
The farewell was the hardest – I didn’t want to leave but the college beckoned. In my final year classes, I was able to understand the concepts and processes much better by building context with what I had seen being practiced or researched at Directi. In a nutshell, this internship not only shaped my managerial acumen but also gave a new dimension to my personality. As a part of my curriculum, I was expected to make a full-length report on my internship experience which I aced with perfect 100/100 marks making me a university topper!
Do you also wish to work with a big brand? Apply to these cool HR internships and get ready for the exposure!
Editor’s note – If you also have an interesting story to share, you can now participate in Your Internship Story Contest 2017 and win cash prizes and goodies worth INR 1 Lac!