Internshala asks Mr. Gajendra Chandel, Chief Human Resource Officer, Tata Motors about the benefits of running an awesome internship program.
‘Swimming is not learnt in the classroom’ – this underlying motto at Tata Motors has made their internship programs one of the most sought after in the most reputed colleges of India. Internshala recently caught up with Mr. Chandel to learn what actually goes into the making of the Tata Motors Internship program. Excerpts-
Hello Gajendra. Thanks for taking out time of your busy schedule for Internshala. Talking of Tata Motors Internship Program, could you please provide a brief overview?
Hello! Glad to help. At Tata Motors, we run two types of internship programs – one for the top class engineering institutes & the other for some of the best B-schools.
As part of their curriculum in the final year of engineering graduation, students from selected institutes undergo a six month internship program on specific business projects. This is expected to give us better insights about the students thereby helping us in decision for offering PPOs.
The internship program with B-schools is an annual, two month stint during the summer wherein campus selected students from premier institutes intern with us during their summer break between the first and second year of their course. This is called the B-School SIP program.
What processes do you follow to recruit interns and what qualities would you want to see in a prospective intern?
Interns are shortlisted on basis of certain minimum eligibility requirements of merit, followed by group discussions and behavioral interviews. They are then put through aptitude and psychometric tests based on the quality of execution of project assignments and recommendations from business panel. Thereafter, a detailed pre-placement selection process is undertaken that entails business simulation, presentation to the selection panel and a final personal interview. For final placements or absorption in the company, the interns are assessed throughout their internship period followed by detailed reviews with a leadership panel.
As for the qualities, we look for interns brimming with passion, high motivation and creativity. Attitude and behavioral competencies are also crucial to enable the right cultural fit.
During internships, what kind of roles/projects are interns given and what should they expect to learn from it?
Interns work on live business projects with business impact outcomes. They are assigned dedicated project mentors who are subject matter experts. This achieves the twin objectives of giving them an exposure to real business scenarios as well as deriving fresh perspectives from this young talent on problem statements / live projects of the company.
Do you happen to remember any particular project(s) where interns played a critical role?
It would be difficult to point out any one project. Over the years, there have been a number of high-impact projects where interns have played an important role either by way of bringing in vital research work or bringing down costs, bringing in new marketing ideas, execution of launch plans, etc.
What are the top three mistakes that interns generally commit and you would like to warn a prospective intern about?
While it is expected of an intern to commit a few mistakes, we don’t term them as mistakes per se, but as learning experiences. At Tata Motors, the interns are encouraged to:
- Shift from campus to a corporate mindset.
- Relinquish fixated, rigid ideas and instead harness their learnings from the organization.
- Be open to explore the wider work environment by interacting with various stakeholders.
In what ways has the company benefited from the internship program?
We’ve had numerous benefits from the internship program, such as-
- Young minds working on our projects, bring in new perspectives and fresh thinking to the table.
- Selecting interns by testing their ability to think of ways to deal with real life business scenarios gives an edge over selecting them through the regular campus selection process.
- Those who we are not able to offer or do not join us for any reason, may work with our customers / suppliers / channel partners or even be our company’s customers directly or of Group’s products.
What are the three things about Tata Motors that would make an internship experience of a candidate unforgettable?
- A vibrant cadre engagement framework beginning with selection from campus to evaluation in real life business environment & even leading to absorption to corporate.
- Solid mentorship of project guides which gives on-the-job experience and a proper handshake of knowledge / skills to equip them for employment of their choice.
- A cordial & open work environment conducive to learning & taking risks coupled with ample opportunities to innovate and contribute in live business projects.
Thank you, Gajendra for providing astute insights to the famed Tata Motors Internship program. We’re sure the prospective interns on Internshala platform will profit a lot from it.
You heard it from the boss himself. Now read on to explore the challenging story of Ms. Chandani Gupta, MBA, BITS Mesra, who did a summer internship at Tata Motors.
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