Disha Shah underwent a virtual internship with XFI Solutions and shares a very new aspect of internship. Disha is an MBA student at Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies. Read on to discover how she coordinated with her mentor overseas at Australia.
Virtual Internships are a trend that has caught on in recent times. However, due to the newness of the concept and its departure from conventional internships, I was a bit apprehensive about opting for one. Nevertheless, I decided to apply for an internship at XFI Solutions due to the richness of the job description provided. Selected out of 90 applicants, I was elated. However, due to the virtual nature of the work, I was unsure of how my internship would shape up. Not only was I interning in a firm based out of Australia, the challenges it posed in terms of communication gaps were tremendous. My apprehensions were soon put to rest once I started getting acquainted with the company’s style of functioning and the various clients that the firm handled. Being an e-solutions provider, the organization had a vast array of services for clients including but not limited to Application Development, Website Development, Social Media Management, Word Press Development, Search Engine Optimization, etc. Overwhelmed at first with the amount of information I needed to grasp at a very short time, I soon got the hang of things. Credit also goes to my mentor who made sure I had the right amount of data to comprehend and work upon every day.
Communication with my mentor was to be done on an instantaneous basis. The time difference between Australia and India though posed some hiccups at first, the clarity of our schedules came within a week of the internship. Also, for better communication, we made use of an assortment of tools like Whatsapp, Skype, Basecamp, Todoist and TeamViewer. Not only were the daily tasks assigned to me via Todoist and Basecamp, the company’s files relating to previous assignments could also be seen with the help of Basecamp. This made my task all the more easier and helped me function with ease.
In my capacity as a Manager, I was to handle all aspects of Marketing and HR in the firm. My first week of internship mostly dealt with maintaining a database of prospective sports clients and researching content that was to be put up on social media. Soon after, I was given the charge of all digital marketing aspects of the firm. I was required to handle the social media pages of various clients. What once seemed like an eternal balancing struggle in managing 16 social media pages in total on different platforms like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter soon became the easiest task with the help of various tools like Hootsuite. News, updates, promotions were all managed for various clients using this tool. Digital marketing also included making using of various Advertisement platforms on Facebook, Google and Linkedin. Creating campaigns for promoting special schemes and driving traffic to the clients’ websites was the primary objective of this activity. I was happy to handle a marketing budget in my internship itself of 50000 INR per month. The best part of advertising on these platforms is the instantaneous measure of effectiveness available. Our campaigns successfully drove 50% of the traffic to the company’s websites. We also made use of email marketing campaigns and they became central part of our campaign due to its influential nature.
Not only this, I devised marketing strategies for 2 firms based on a mechanism that involved getting certain answers in the form of an questionnaire first and applying the knowledge of the same into developing effective marketing strategies. Here, we looked into the competitors strategies and conceptualized a framework with which our client would become the market leader by concentrating on its USP and differential advantage.
Coming to the HR aspect of the internship, I was handling the HR function of 1 client which involved short listing candidates for them and communicating the use of a mobile app, designing a manual and communicating orientation programs that were to be held in Geelong. Handling and dealing with such a large number of applicants was the biggest learning experience that I could decipher from the continuous queries.
Besides handling other clients, XFI was also in the phase of a transition and was soon going to re-brand itself to Enterprise Monkey. This required recruiting freelancers for designing logo, website and collateral of the firm. In the time frame of 3 months, I recruited 3 graphic designers and 1 Web Developer and I was also given the freedom to lead this team and communicate the deliverable in terms of designing our website and various collateral. Leading a team of 4 in my internship was another activity that I too heads on and successfully managed.
I can surely state that my internship experience was the best part of my MBA journey so far since it has helped me in familiarizing myself with the latest in the field of marketing and HR. Whatever had been taught to me in MBA had brushed theoretically on the concepts of the same. I not only go to handle an entire marketing budget; plan marketing campaigns; recruit and lead a team of freelancers for a firm but was given the encouragement and freedom to improve continuously. The internship not only provided me with a tremendous amount of learning experience but also challenged me to the core. Memories of my constant battle with time and deadline meeting capability; elation and happiness on getting the first stipend; appreciation from my mentor and a delight of seeing my work in functioning crosses my mind as I put my story of internship into words. I did not realize how time flew during the three months of summer internship and am extremely grateful for the experience and knowledge it added.
If Disha’s experience motivates you, you can view the latest internships.
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