Summer Internship with Henkel – Debanjan Nag from National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai

Daily Winner for: –  4th August 2013Debanjan

Name of the intern: – Debanjan Nag

Institute: –  National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai

Organization interned with: –  Henkel

Sins of past seldom do leave you. This philosophy remains with you for the entire life when you confront successive “no shortlist” during summer placements for securing 68% in your 12th standard. All the ghosts of past (read bunked classes in schools and tuitions) float in front of you when leading paint and chocolate companies do not call you for an interview during day zero of summer placements. You tend to lose you cool and a lot of things after such high impact kicks in your confidence even if you have more than 75% in your 10th standard and engineering. Being a fresher and majoring in industrial safety and environmental management, consultancy firm was the last place I would have liked to intern but the slots were exhausted and so were the manufacturing firms.

But my stars began to change. At a time when only eleven of my batch mates were left to be placed for summers, Henkel, the 150 year old industrial adhesive giant shortlisted me for an interview. With renewed vigor and confidence, I went for the interview in their Mumbai corporate office. They say , “When you are pushed against the wall, there is no other way than to move forward.” The interview went tremendously well and the next day our placement committee conveyed my selection. The next few months passed by studying operations of various adhesive and chemical companies.

Cut to induction day. Apart from the gallons of coffee from the CCD installed coffee machine, the interns from various parts of the country consumed knowledge and experience from the various mentors they were allotted. The best thing which happened to me during my internship was my mentor who had an experience of 26 years in the field of industrial safety and sustainability. I had a discussion with him for over an hour customizing my projects aligned to my areas of interest and academic background. Being an electrical engineer I got to work on two projects – channelizing energy in a safe and sustainable way in their Turbhe plant facility and improvisation of ergonomic safety in the office premises. Apart from the handsome five-digit stipend, the company provided us with internet data cards, a personal cubicle and transport services.

My plant had a happy and energetic bunch of people which was quite infectious. The HR manager was too caring, the plant manager was surprisingly helpful and to add on to it the interns had free lip-smacking lunch. I made friends with some junior engineers and blue collar employees who helped me a lot during my projects due to their ample knowledge at ground level operations. A month went by and the project work was going smooth though there were varied challenges to address.

I had one of the nicest experiences was when the interns were invited to a town hall meeting at a nearby hotel regarding goals and road map of Henkel at Africa, Middle East and India level. Besides meeting the top management from Shanghai (China), Dusseldorf (Germany) and Dubai and grasping whatever I can as a budding manager, this whole new atmosphere for me was quite enriching. Add delicious breakfast buffet platter to that!

I had finished my projects a couple of weeks before the scheduled deadline and that gave me some time to prepare for the final presentations. At last the D-day came when the interns had to present their blood and sweat clad projects in front of the top management of the organisation. The event was held in The Park Hotel and to be brutally honest I was far more than tensed. The panel had the Henkel India president, Mr. Jeremy Hunter, who previously was the Henkel Australia-New Zealand President. I’m still not sure whether it was the overall ambience or the sheer names on the panel that made me go numb. But I knew I had delivered what I was meant to do and a wave of confidence kicked in when it was my turn present. I was the seventh presenter and we had a small coffee break after that. Mr. Hunter came up to me and said , “Very well done young man. We have full time employees for all these stuffs and you did it in 8 weeks ? Amazing.” I was in the seventh heaven and could not respond much except a “Thank you, sir”.

A month and a half later I received a Pre-placement interview from Henkel and currently waiting for that in utter excitement. The boy who scored 68% in 12th standard got the first PPI of the Industrial Safety and Environmental Management batch at National Institute of Industrial Engineering.

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