Priyanka Banarjee interned at Centre of Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad this summer, and shares her excitement of interning at her dream university. Priyanka is a student at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, University of Delhi. Read her stimulating story in her own words.
‘When one thinks of excellence in management education, the name that usually pops into mind is the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, or IIM-A as it is commonly referred to. Lakhs of students sit for the CAT every year, hoping to get a seat in this coveted institute. Having featured in many lists of top institutes for post graduate management in the world, it’s globally recognised too. If an acquaintance were to ever mention that he or she studies at IIM-A, we’d probably respond with an ‘Oh, wow!’ while mentally thinking that that person is set for life! Though, of course, that’s not entirely true, and though not everyone who graduates from there makes it big in life (whatever their parameter of success may be), it doesn’t change the fact that many look at it as their dream college. In fact, quite a few students from Delhi University join IIM-A each year.
For a Business Studies student like myself, for whom an MBA seems like a fairly obvious choice to go for in the future, the institute’s charm increases even more! Which is why I leapt at the opportunity of doing an internship at IIM-A’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) last semester. After receiving an encouraging nod from my principal and teachers, I set off for Ahmedabad, to work with the Centre’s incubation program called iAccelerator. During the five weeks there I lived on campus (which might I add, is downright beautiful and sprawling), ate all my meals at the Mess hall, attended various seminars and workshops along with the students there and experienced the Navratras in its full glory. Since my main duties involved working on marketing for the incubation centre and the start ups it was providing mentoring and funding to, I got to interact with the founders and team members of the start ups who were from various parts of the country, each with an interesting story on what got them to start their own ventures.
What surprised me was how warm and welcoming everyone was! Whether it was dispensing some good old wisdom about life (most people there were older than me), or sharing their food with me every day, because of which I got to taste authentic Gujarati food (and no, not all their dishes are sweet). I think the best part was when the folks at the incubation centre (after knowing me for maybe 6-7 days), celebrated my 19th birthday with me! We all went out for dinner (their treat!) and they even flourished a cake for me at the end of the day.
Though as a Bengali, I missed out on Durga Puja in Delhi, the fact that I tried my hand at Garba and Dandiya in Ahmedabad compensated all the plates of biryani I could have possibly had at any Durga Puja pandal in C R Park! I was pretty much free to move around as I pleased (I have never had this degree of freedom in the past; this was the first time I’d stayed away from my family for such a long period of time–yes 5 weeks is a long time for someone who’s never stayed away from home!). I went out to quite a few restaurants (Awadhpuri, Yanki’s, The Cream Centre, Goodies, Souq and Uppercrust), attended the Dandiya celebrations at IIM-A and NID and went to this fascinating place called Manek Chowk. Manek Chowk is in the old part of Ahmedabad, and has an interesting story to it. I was told that earlier, the place was a jewellery market (one of the biggest of its kind in India), but to reduce the possibility of theft, the market is now used as a street food market at night, after the jewellery shops shut down. It also doubles up as a vegetable and flower market in the morning!
So, in these five weeks, I had the chance to see IIM-A as an insider. And though it wasn’t as a student, it was still a beautiful experience and after a while, I felt as though I belonged there, whether I browsing through the books at the Vikram Sarabhai Library, or drinking numerous cups of coffee at the many cafes on campus. With my internship now over, and the old routine of exams and classes settling in, my desire to join the institute has grown even stronger. Though statistically, I might not stand much of a chance, I’m glad that I got an opportunity to get a taste of what, hopefully one day, could be.
FYI! You can view the latest Internships in Ahmedabad here.
Editor’s note- Have you got an internship story to share? A chance to win cool Internshala T and other cash prizes by sharing your internship story here.