Daily Winner for: – 16th August 2013
Weekly Winner (Popular Choice) for – 16th Aug – 22nd Aug 2013
Name of the intern: – Roshan Kadam
Institute: – Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management
Organization interned with: – Volkswagen India Private Limited, Pune
“Patience is the key to success; wisdom is to know that success doesn’t happen overnight”
This is what the last Summer Placement season taught me. After being turned down by a number of companies, I was lucky enough to get through a Summer Internship Program in a leading German automaker, Volkswagen India Private Limited, Pune.
Being a mechanical engineer, it was a dream come true to work for an Automobile OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). What more could an aspiring Operations Manager dream of? The fact that I had to relocate to Pune for a couple of months added to my happiness as I got an opportunity to explore yet another metropolitan city. I was asked to join on 20th of March, immediately after my second semester exams. I reached Pune a day before to get things in place. Finding accommodation was not an issue, as I had a few friends working in there.
Early morning on the 20th of March, as I boarded my pick up van there was this song playing on Radio city ‘Haan yahi rasta hai tera, tune ab jana hai’ from the movie Lakshya, and that set the vibes in me. As I entered the main gate the security personnel frisked me and allowed me to get in after verifying my credentials. I waited at the spacious lounge until the HR executive addressed me. I completed the joining formalities and was informed about the Do’s and Don’ts inside the Factory. After a sumptuous lunch, the HR executive introduced me to my project guide (Manager-Production) and he took it over from there.
The first day’s experience was the most memorable one. As I entered the production facility, all I could find is cars, cars and cars; I looked up, to find few more cars moving on the overhead automated conveyors.
My guide asked me to have a closer look at the operations that were carried out on various workstations, before assigning me a project. As per his orders, I stood at every work station for a couple of hours to understand the assembly process. As I stood there with a copy and a pen in my hand to note down my observations, there were mixed responses from the workers on the assembly line with some being indifferent to my presence, some curious to know what I am there for, and some working promptly, thinking I am doing a Time motion analysis on them. But as days passed, they realized that I won’t cause any harm to them and many of them became my close acquaintances.
The coordination and flow of information between workstations, the Fool Proofing methods used, the automation used to ensure that the right parts go into the right car was worth watching. They followed Just In Sequence, an ability to assemble cars of different brands (Volkswagen and Skoda) simultaneously on a single assembly line. This was something I had read only in books; it was a pleasure to witness it. The production facility was equivalent to an area of four football fields!
The food was good enough to satisfy an epicurean like me, considering the fact that it was a manufacturing company. Standing 10 hours a day on shop floor was tough at least after being used to sitting in classroom for a year. A nice thing I observed was people greeted each other by shaking hands irrespective of whether they knew the other person personally or not. Many a times, this helped in breaking the ice.
A week later, I was assigned a project. It was about process optimization at a workstation where the numbers of defectives coming out were beyond permissible limits. I had to do data collection, a cause and effect analysis and provide suggestions for improvement. I was happy with the project as I had an opportunity to interact with a number of people on the shop floor and it involved applying the concepts I had already learned. The most boring part of this entire exercise was data collection where I had to sit and record the reason why a particular car was defective. The remaining part of the project was quite interesting and appealing. With persistent help from my guide, I was able to deliver my project on time.
The best part of the entire internship were the weekends. Pune, well-known as the ‘Deccan Queen’ offers much to tourists and travelers. For those interested in history and architecture, Shaniwar Wada, Aga Khan Palace and the Parvati temple are a must visit. Fergusson College (FC) road is the favorite hangout spot among youths. Punekars have an insatiable craving for street food like Vada Pav, Missal Pav, Daabeli, Pav Bhaji etc. The city has a good climate that suits everybody all year round. Some years down the line, I wish to settle in this beautiful city.
Overall the internship was a temporary break from the college life just to realize how good the college life is.
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