About the Author: Piyush Sharma, from National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), takes us through his journey from a nervous fresher to an SCM intern at Vodafone India.
Summer Internships were the most widely discussed topic from the beginning of my MBA journey. Being a fresher who had never worked in an actual corporate environment, I was both excited and nervous about my summer stint at Vodafone. Nevertheless, I was determined to give it my best shot and learn as much as I could through the two-month internship.
All the Supply Chain Management (SCM) interns were placed at the corporate office in Mumbai. I realized that I had a world of opportunities to learn from. The exposure was surely huge but it came with added responsibilities. My journey began with the week-long induction, wherein we got an overview of Vodafone’s business in India and abroad. The week was packed with insightful sessions – right from how a call gets executed when we dial a number to visiting a distributor and analyzing how the SIM card availability is maintained at the smallest of shops. We were lucky as we also got to visit the Vodafone Business Services (VBS) office. The technological inventions made at that office mesmerized all of us.
The first week went by really fast! Then came the actual work; all of us (SCM interns) were given projects under the ‘Enablers and Operations’ team. The project given to me sounded interesting, even though I had no clue how to go about it at that very moment. Just when I was thinking about how to begin, my mentor told me that the project would go live in July with whatever work I do on it (that made me more nervous). Determined to succeed, I chalked out a plan and started working accordingly.
Two weeks went by and I gained momentum. Regular discussions with fellow interns, senior managers, the DGM, and GM gave me wonderful perspectives on different topics related to my project. In the middle of the fourth week, I was given an additional responsibility of two more projects! I decided to give it my all and complete the work in the allotted time. The new assignment required me to talk to all the stakeholders of Vodafone-suppliers, SCM employees, the technology teams, as well as the team at the shared services center of Vodafone based in Ahmedabad. I also got the opportunity to interact with the Vodafone global team and discuss my recommendations with them. After all the hard work, all my recommendations were finally approved! It was the most wonderful feeling ever. Soon after, I worked on the implementation of the ideas. The two months taught me more than any other experience. This was not confined to the work front, but the enriching experience too.
Amidst all the work, I also enjoyed a lot with my fellow interns who have now become really good friends. Travelling by the Mumbai locals, taking a metro to skip the traffic on the roads, and what not – I got to live the true Mumbaikar way.
When Vodafone says “power to you”, it strikingly proves it when all its employees are given full freedom to explore and bring out the best in themselves. One just needs to be out there with a passion for learning! My key learnings from this internship are as follows: 1. there is a difference between how an idea looks on paper and how it actually gets executed. 2. All your recommendations should always be backed by coinciding data. 3. Interacting with people provides you with a lot of new ideas and perspectives. 4. A smile on your face and politeness always helps! All in all, my first corporate experience turned out to be fantastic!