Name of the intern: – Nishant
Institute: – IMT Ghaziabad
Organization interned with: – Pricewater
To begin with I was pretty clear on a few things in my mind before my summer internship began such as which brands I wanted to target, the kind of work I wanted to do, etc. The reason I was very particular about my internship was that right from the beginning our professors had put a lot of emphasis on the importance of summer internships. I began my hunt quite early as compared to my peers, who had chosen to wait for the college to do its job of getting them their summer internships. By the time the college started its process in December, I was already sure of where I wanted to do my internship.
From day one we were told that an MBA is all about connections, networks, relationships and being pro-active. So obviously my best bet was my family: I started with approaching my relatives who were in the field of Finance or those who could connect me with the right people in that field. Brand was my priority and the next important thing in my mind was the quality of work. As for the monetary aspect, who doesn’t want more money? But honestly speaking, the stipend was not on my priority list, at least for my internship. I had made up my mind that I would target only “The Big Four” and the financial institutions, so whoever I approached, I conveyed my intentions very clearly and, trust me when I say this, being specific really helped a lot.
Finally after a lot of calls and e-mails to various people, I got what I wanted; a confirmation mail from the PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC) Pvt Ltd. and that too from their Gurgaon (Delhi NCR Region) office. I was sitting in my hostel room when I received the e-mail and I literally jumped off the bed on seeing it, as if I had just got placed! The mail had clearly mentioned almost everything from timings to dress code to code of conduct and god knows what all, so I read and re-read it very carefully till I remembered most of the details by heart.
My First Day: Suited, booted, and full of enthusiasm, positive energy, and high hopes, I reached the office before time. But my expectations got a blow as soon as I entered the office. Things were not as rosy as I thought they would be. Though I was greeted well by the concerned HR Manager, there was some sort of coldness which instantly pushed my high spirits down. She briefed me extensively on the company’s operations, speaking for almost one and a half hour. After this briefing session I was asked to wait for a while and was abruptly allocated some (random) seat. This seat was in one corner of the office, facing the wall, and didn’t have a system for me to work on, let alone any other utilities like stationery. She told me to ask someone in the IT department to get a system installed. I did so, but I never knew that the IT works this slow in big firms like PwC; it took them 4 days to install one desktop. Well, I took it all in my stride and hoped that things would get better once work would start.
The Story Ahead: I wanted to join the Advisory/Consulting domain because it is considered to be more useful for MBA students. However, I was put in the Transfer Pricing (TP) domain which falls under Tax & Regulatory Services (TRS). The good part was that I had to directly report to the Associate Director (AD) and I also developed an interest in the work once I started reading about TP. My mentor (the AD) was a really cool guy. He gave me his time and shared some good stuff to read so that I could understand what exactly they do in transfer pricing. Once I was comfortable with the basics and the concepts of TP, he gave me a little research work to do. This proved to be very helpful to strengthen my understanding of TP. I did it very seriously and came out with good results which earned me his appreciation. This work took me around 20 days to complete after which I submitted my findings in the form of a report to him. During this time I had built a good relationship with him and I found that although he was very senior in the team, he was always very approachable.
However, after completing this assignment, I was all on my own. He got too busy with his work schedules and meetings and he could hardly spare any time for me. Eventually he instructed the managers and the senior managers under him to assign work to me and mentor me. Since I considered this internship to be an important stepping stone in my career and I wanted to leave an impression, I chose not to sit idle and kept pestering my seniors to give me work. My intention was to learn as much as I could in that duration of 8 to 10 weeks. Unfortunately no interesting or relevant work was given to me. Although this situation was making me feel worse inside, on the brighter side, I made some really good friends in the team during this time. I shared with them my intentions of joining PwC after my MBA and almost all of them responded positively, taking time out of their schedules and helping me learn the intricate internal workings. Some of them even counselled me regarding this field as a career. These interactions were full of insightful advice as everyone in the team was well established in this field. I took all of the advice with enthusiasm.
In The End: Though it was a short duration of around 2 and a half months, I had varied experiences. There were times when I was totally demoralized and their demeanour made me feel like I was a liability to them but then there were other times too when I was given a lot of importance in terms of responsibility; for instance, during my first client meeting experience. To quantify it a little, if I were to measure my experience on a Likert Scale (1 being the worst and 5 being the best), I would rate it somewhere around 3. The reason I rate it average is that I expected to see a system in place, which I couldn’t see. Since I was an intern, I was not given access to almost anything (no access card, no library access, no access to the internal portal etc.), there was no planning regarding what projects interns would be working on, or even who their mentors would be. It is understood that it is not possible to share a lot of company information with interns and investing on them is also not often seen as feasible. However, I feel that interns could be at least assigned a mentor beforehand, who would be entrusted with the responsibility to guide and involve them in the work from day 1, thereby creating a win-win relationship.
We talk about skills shortage, but corporates fail to see opportunity in the internship system to develop domain-specific interest in interns and give an impetus to their skill development. This could go a long way in creating win-win situations for interns as well as corporates as future talent hunters. This internship not only gave me a good insight about TP but also showed me how far I could push myself to get recognized in a melee. In big corporates it is very difficult to get recognized and one has to be the best in one’s field to get that recognition. Although I wish there was more support for my learning process, all in all, I loved the work and certainly came out feeling I learnt something new and useful.
Found Nishant’s internship journey exciting? Check out these cool MBA internships and step into the corporate world already.