About the Author: Ho Joyce Loksee, a student of the University of Hong Kong, talks about how she got a virtual internship with a company operating out of India and how the multi-cultural experience helped her evolve as an individual.
Just like dreams, learning and sharing aren’t restricted by any boundaries. I had never imagined that I would be working with people from India and the United Arab Emirates, places that had always fascinated me. I got the opportunity to get in touch with Internshala when I was an exchange student at the University of Melbourne in the previous semester. I’m a Chinese national and have lived in Hong Kong for most of my life. As I was always interested in consulting, I began looking for internship opportunities in the same. Konsalidon caught my sight by the interesting business that it did. Konsalidon focuses on helping niche consulting firms to match with potential clients.
The selection procedure was divided into two stages. The first stage was a general screening to screen out candidates who were not passionate about the role. I had applied for the profile of marketing intern and so I was asked questions like why I found management consulting interesting and what I hoped to achieve from the internship. I was also asked to highlight any previous experience that would help me in managing this internship. These questions were sent through email and candidates were expected to send back their answers as soon as possible. I replied that I was passionate about business analysis which helped me in consulting. I used my previous internship experiences to highlight how I had successfully analyzed a business problem and solved it. I also mentioned that I hoped to improve both hard and soft skills from the internship. It would also enhance my research skills and client base building skills. And as Konsalidon was a diverse company with employees from various countries, it would definitely sharpen my skills of communicating with a variety of people.
After I cleared that round, the second stage was a telephonic interview with the founder of the company, Varun Malik. It aimed to choose people that understood the work that the firm did and possessed values that aligned with the firm. I was asked why I chose to intern at Konsalidon and how I thought it would differ from my previous experiences. Next, I was asked about my expectations from the role and how the role aligned with my career goals. Lastly, I was asked how I could contribute to the firm. I replied that the major difference between Konsalidon and my previous internship experiences would be the scale of work. My previous experiences were in multinational companies where interns didn’t have much power and couldn’t make important decisions. In Konsalidon, however, interns were treated as full-time employees where they could work directly with senior management and give important inputs and ideas, which could be a precious opportunity for me to grow. Also, as I had always wanted to become a management consultant, this internship was highly relevant for me. I gave satisfactory answers to other questions too and was hired for the internship. I was ecstatic!
My first project involved building a customer database, according to different search criteria such as regions and consulting services offered. After a certain search target was reached and assessed by the senior management, I was told to reach out to the potential clients through email or LinkedIn message. Later on, follow up work would be conducted. Konsalidon provided excellent learning materials to guide us through different research methods such as LinkedIn’s advanced search function. Later on, I was assigned to a project involving the launch of marketing campaigns for a law education institute. As I’ve always been interested in advertising, I also handled one of the sub-campaigns in which I researched different fictional lawyers and collected their best quotes that suited the business nature of that institute. That project gave me a great chance to explore the nitty-gritty of various law procedures. I’m also someone who gets bored quickly and so I always dread a repetitive job; however, Konsalidon and the consulting domain never allowed me to get bored as we were assigned to diverse new projects ranging from financial industry to construction industry. I could never guess what I was going to face next! I also researched on the industry services that Konsalidon was offering. For instance, I focused on researching the financial services industry and explored various topics such as microfinance, sovereign wealth fund, etc. We were required to present decks to senior management to explain the future prospects of the specific industries.
I was the only Chinese employee and most of the others lived in India or UAE. At first, I was nervous to communicate with people from different nations as they had their own culture and language. Sometimes, when they posted a picture regarding a national day or festival in their country, it took me some time to understand what was going on; however, all these experiences made my virtual internship really valuable. I got a chance to work with people from different countries directly and learn from their culture. In the end, I would just say that there’s no limit to what one can learn with an open mind. So, don’t let anything, language, culture or even location, to limit your learning opportunities!
Do you also wish to gain international exposure? Apply to these cool international internships and get ready for some exciting adventures!
Editor’s note – If you also have an interesting story to share, you can now participate in Your Internship Story Contest 2017 and win cash prizes and goodies worth INR 1 Lac!