Just a few twists and turns and ups and downs, after that you are ready to rock and roll. Sanket wasn’t able to get an internship earlier inspite of trying hard, and when he was selected for one, he wasn’t ready to believe that. Well, boy you did a great job. Not only he learned but also had a deep insight in the work culture.
Getting summer placements from college in MBA isn’t just a random passable occurrence especially if you are not from IIMs and IITs and other premium colleges of the country. Being a fresher its all the more “tumse naa ho paayega” thing when you see bunch of techie-engineers talking in their own engineer-fundoo lingo giving a “Chatur Ramalingam” vibe all the time to we poor little commerce fresher grads. As and when each student was getting placed for summers, I was confused whether it’s a good thing or bad thing – good that the competition is cutting off or bad that the companies might have to take us as we were the leftovers.
So there came a company Lokusdesign, Strategic branding & Design thinking consultant offering just what I wanted – Marketing and Branding profile. I applied for it just like I applied for 9 other companies before that, half of which I couldn’t even go past the eligibility factor, let alone reaching the GDPI melodrama. Five days after applying, an email came from Lokusdesign and that had my name along with two other students saying we are being recruited. I obviously thought it was a mistake – they must have meant is selected for GDPIs but wrote “recruited”. I mean I wasn’t able to get through eligibility for so many companies and here I was told I was recruited – obviously funny. It’s like Bangladesh Cricket team not able to win a single match against the A-star teams and suddenly dismantles Pakistan, India, and South Africa in a complete series and without even crying for “no-ball”. But the real shocker came when I confirmed it from my Placement secretary who told me that yes I was recruited. As if that wasn’t enough to shock me hard, they told me I will get 7k stipend too.
Cut to my internship, I had all the usual pre-conceived notions of corporate culture but shockers kept on adding – the atmosphere in the office, if I may call it an office was as informal as one can think. The work initially given to us was just going through company’s history, which, fortunately, was just 13 years old. Well, that is one advantage of not working with Tata’s and all other old and prolific firms. After going through the history, I was asked to break down each case study of the firm into 2-3 sentences to make it easy while pitching to other companies.
The best part of working in informal culture was there was very little of monitoring by our mentors. The YouTube videos played great filler when there was very little work to do for a very long day. Oh wait, officially YouTube was blocked but cracking that didn’t take me more than a day. The same work took too long to complete as our mentor believed in perfection and we were rehashing same work again and again until we got it perfect to the T. The real bouncer was when we were asked to start pitching to other companies about Lokusdesign. “Pitching” is the euphemism for sales. So basically we had to market our company to other through cold calling. Jiska darr tha wahi hua.
Sales calls turned out to be funny to me. Half the calls were rejected at the reception counter itself. Excuse my immodesty but I wondered how did people who couldn’t even pronounce some of the basic English words were authorized with rights to reject such important calls! But with that becoming order of the day, I later realized it’s part and parcel of the job.
The best part of the job although was after I got through the reception counter and had a word with the higher level executives – some marketing heads and some communication heads. They are mean, ruthless and impatient in those 2 little minutes of phone calls but the challenging questions they threw served lot of learning to me. It gave a perspective of what really does a marketing head of big companies wants from companies like Lokusdesign.
While working on the project, what also added to the experience were the people around, or may I say friends around. We were asked to not use words like Sir or Madam and call everyone only by their names. Now that’s cool and also helped me break the ice easily. Also having lunch with the HR head and half dozen more interns on the regular basis really made life easy in office. In the last week of our internship, our work was on the verge of finishing and I was wondering if I have learned something concrete in these two months! Well, I left that on time to come.
Our last day was like a big fat Indian wedding in Karan Johar’s movie – sappy, sob-sob, emotional, and like all those sad Whatsapp emoticons. In our final “Bybee” speech, my co-intern from my college wrote a poem for his experience in company and only made it tough for me to live up to that kind of speech. But as I spoke, words just slipped from my heart and made up for a heartwarming farewell. Now when I look back, I feel as an enthusiastic talking about my internship experience with my family and friends as I am feeling right now jotting down the entire experience.
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