Vivek Kumar from FMS Delhi believes in the above statement after completing his internship in a leading Steel manufacturer of the country. He realized that it is not about applying your concept, it’s about facing the realities of industrial life and moreover strategies are not made in comforts of board room, it originates from the hardship at lowest level. With these lessons he enters “Winner of the day” Hall of Fame on Internshala. Congrats, Vivek! Next step – “Winner of the week”!
Daily Winner for: – 2nd Aug 2011
Name of the intern: – Vivek Kumar
Institute: – FMS, Delhi
Organization interned with: – A leading steel manufacturer in India.
Summer Placement is the biggest show in a B-School, even bigger than the final placements. For many, it decides their career path, the company they will eventually work with, and the kind of work they will do or they won’t like to do! And the fight starts much before.
After a much fought battle during the summer interviews, where my best friend for 2 months didn’t allow me to speak in the GDs, somehow I got a company for my summer internship. I had attended 5 interviews in two hours and by that time I was ready to spend two months polishing shoes in Connaught place if it would have been remotely recognized as an internship. I went ahead with a rigorous analysis of the stipend and facilities. Overall, I was quite happy about the company. Icing on the cake, the company even offered a PPO!! So I started reading every minute detail about the company with a keen interest, started networking with the company seniors and added that company as my employer on Facebook.
So determined to make a difference, I reached the company at a very ‘Desi’ location compared to my friends who were at places where one needs a VISA to travel. It made little difference to me, more so after experiencing the hospitality of the company. I was picked in a nice car and taken to a comfortable guest house. All interns were given a car for the first week, much more than I expected! Eight of us had a two day induction to start with. While some of the interns were quite enthusiastic in the sessions on ‘Values’, ‘Safety’ and ‘Ethics’, I was feeling quite sleepy. Person sitting next to me was having similar feelings. We blamed the nice air-conditioned room for our state and went ahead with the obvious. It took two days for the HR department to allot us project but that gave us a nice opportunity to explore the city. When I finally got to meet my project guide, I discovered that the guide had no idea about a summer trainee going to work under him. When told about the project, he said, “How can you do this in two months, even six months are less for it, but its good, you try. At least it would be an attempted failure!”
A confident MBA that I am, I was all ready to give it a shot! On my first day, I asked my manager, “Sir, what is the inventory policy being followed here?” The Manager just smiled in return. And then he said, “Forget that you are an MBA from a top B-School. This is a manufacturing company and you need to speak the language that the workers speak and understand, otherwise you will never be able to connect with them.” With my first (un)learning, I realized the importance of summer internship. It is not about applying your concept; it’s about facing the realities which distort these concepts beyond recognition. I came with a dream of working in an AC cabin, and here I was, measuring the dimensions of various warehouses along with some workers. Most of my valuable learning came from these workers who were not even matriculate. I realized that a high school pass storekeeper knows more about Warehouse Management that any MBA student in the world! You don’t always need a HBR case and a high profile professor to learn the lessons of management! I travelled on trucks, went plant to plant in the scorching sun to see inventory levels and even counted SKUs as a part of my project! In those difficult days of struggle, there came a sweet moment when I got my internship cheque. I had worked before, so the excitement of first salary was not there, but it was easily the hardest earned money!
At times I hated the things my guide wanted me to do. Many-a-times I hinted him that these data are useless, but once I completed the analysis, I realized that strategies are not made in comforts of board room, it originates from the hardship at lowest level. When I made the final presentation, I myself was surprised to see that I did help the company solve some issues. The appreciation from management was worth sweating for two months. Coming back from the internship, I felt that I have gained some new perspectives and had an idea of what to do next year. But all said and done, there is one important learning that I must share from my summer experience – I should comfortably bunk all classes in final year, for what is taught will never be applied. For what is applied, isn’t taught anywhere!
Was this helpful? If yes, please like the post on facebook (below) and help Vivek become winner of the week and win the prize (Rs. 1,000/-) that he truly deserves!