Daily Winner for: – 23rd August 2013
Name of the intern: – Shweta
Institute: – School of Engineering and Technology, Jain University
Organization interned with: – GE Industrial India
It was that time of the year, again.The time when you’ve just finished finals week and looking forward to spending some quality time with your bed, but, its not meant to be since you have to pull your socks up, look sharp and head out for a month or two or even three(!!) of unpaid exploitation in the name of an Internship. It was also the time of the year when almost all your friends, update their ABOUT section on Facebook, competing with each other to see who’s got an internship at a better company. That is, your news feed is crowded with intern updates.
So, here I was,12 months away from graduation with a Bachelors degree in Engineering – also with no clue what to do with my life, sleep deprived, irritable and about to commence a summer internship with a company that’s been consistently in the Top 10, “Best Places to Work” by Forbes. Yes, it was a disaster in the making.
Throwback to first day of work, getting dressed in my best “formals”, perfect hair and makeup and armed with a plastic smile, I walked into the sprawling campus slash work site of exclusive, high-end business neighborhood. After being verified by security(who did a better job than most Indian airports), I was led into the reception area of the company. The highly perceptive receptionist, had gathered for me, an array of beverages and reading material before my arrival. Every person I encountered after this point, was cheery and helpful, which shocked me thoroughly as, I was expecting a bunch of snobs.
After the debriefing, I was assigned a desk with a pretty modern computer and was told to personalize my work area. Yes, that was my task on Day 1. Also, Facebook and all other social media sites weren’t blocked. Shocking, isn’t it? Here comes the biggest kicker, the CFO(!!), yes the big number crunching bad wolf, walked up to me and introduced herself(!!), taking time out to get to know my goals and even offered some career advice. The rest of the day went by pretty quickly, there was a good coffee machine and free lunch for everyone. I was so surprised with their stellar work culture and environment that, I was really looking forward to coming back the next day, and the next day,and so on.
In what is another plus point to the company, was how seriously they took employee satisfaction,comfort and entertainment. The office timings were altered to avoid peak hour traffic, how relaxed the work environment was,how nobody had one bad thing to say about the company and the cricket matches between the various departments that acted as a stress buster and social gathering of sorts.
So, was it all hunky-dory? Absolutely not. There were times when I thought the employees were going to pop their capillaries as a result of the shouting matches over the phone. Or the times when conference calls, would go on for nine hours straight. But, nobody seemed to be stressed or disgruntled as they enjoyed what they were doing.
Since I was in the finance department, I was given tasks that changed weekly. One week I was asked to do Customs Taxes, the next, I was to do Sales Taxes. This aided my overall experience as I wasn’t working on the same domain for extended periods. I received abundance of help and mentorship from almost all of the highly experienced employees in the department. They were open to the smallest of questions and even dissuaded me from stressing out or taking things too seriously.
There was never a dull day during the complete period of the internship, the amount of learning involved was tremendous as well as enjoyable. The abundant help I received from the employees was definitely a key factor in making the internship a successful one. I was genuinely sad on the last day of work and was surprised how I was even given a surprise send off party from my department. Without a moment’s hesitation, I would willingly go back to work there.
Back in the usual grind of university classes, my friends seem to find me spaced out with a retarded smile on my face when, I’m recollecting all the good and fun times at work. I guess Forbes didn’t lie about the “Best Places to Work” list after all.
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