About the Author: Ashna Kumar, a student of Army Institute of Management, Kolkata, shares how she bagged an internship at HPE and how she developed as a potential employee there.
I worked at an organisation that provided me with not only a highly rewarding internship but also a platform to grow on a personal front. I landed this internship through the alumni community of my college who are currently working at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The selection procedure consisted of four rounds of interviews. The first was the screening round wherein I was judged on the knowledge pertaining to my field and my communication skills. I was asked to name five excel commands for big data and the difference between primary and secondary research with examples of a few research methodologies. I answered the questions with ease and progressed to the technical round was technical wherein I was judged on the basis of case studies. The interview went something like this –
Q1. You have a list of 10000 partners with their revenue, sales, employee size, location, etc. and another excel sheet with the same partners but different data. How will you select top 30 partners for next quarters? What would be your approach to select partners for potential business growth?
I analysed the question and repeated it to make sure that I had understood it correctly. For answering the question, I chose a simple logic of bucket listing the partners under small, medium, and large based upon their revenues. Along with the products and solutions that a partner was working on, I chose the employee size, which indicates the global presence and customer base; higher the employee size, more the turnover ratio. Then, I used the multiple criteria decision making environment which I had learnt during my first year.
Q2. How will you solve this problem if you don’t have any data and what assistance would you require from HPE?
I gave a one-word answer – ‘Google’. I justified this by stating that I would fetch the required data from sources such as hoovers.com, zoominfo.com, owler.com, Market & Market, annual reports, etc. I added that I’d require them to provide me with the access to tools or software through which I could get this information.
The third round was the HR round which seemed easy but was a little tricky to crack. The HR asked me about my strengths and weaknesses, what I knew about HPE, and how it had evolved. She asked me the difference between HP and HPE. Apart from this, we discussed the relocation, stipend, perks of interning at HPE such as airfare. Lastly, she asked me if I had any questions for her; I enquired about her role at HPE and the work culture there. She answered my questions and gave me a few tips for the next round. The last round was a business critical round taken by the senior director. The interview started with a quick introduction. I introduced myself following my kiss rule – keep it short and simple! Then she asked me about the research work I was keen on doing and what I expected from that internship. I told her that I was open for any research field provided that it was interesting and that I expected to learn a great deal from the internship. She appreciated my thought process and talked about my family and India as she put up in Washington DC. Throughout my interviews, I reflected a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. Neither did I beat the bush around when I didn’t know the answers to their questions nor did I ask any irrelevant questions to them.
Soon after the interview ended, I received a call from the HR stating how glad they were to have me onboard and that they had even revised my stipend. I was to join the research and development site in Bangalore and was offered a whopping stipend of 60k, flight and cabs all covered. HPE was a true game changer! I utilized the time before my joining working on my excel skills, familiarizing myself with the organisation, and gaining knowledge relevant to my project as the intern program provided a pre-placement offer to remarkable interns.
When I walked through the gates of HPE for the first time, all I could think was, ‘Okay, this is a huge place!’ The campus had colourful corridors that narrated the evolution of HPE. My first day at the office started with welcome goodies followed by an interactive induction session with the HR. I was informed about the business, work culture, my roles and responsibilities, and the fun activities that were carried out there. The organisation ensured that the employees had a proper work-life balance; there were games, gyms, basketball and tennis courts, etc.
I worked on a project titled ‘Technology Partner Research and Identification’. I ideated and executed the project end to end. Alongside, I implemented multiple criteria analysis strategy and TOPSIS. A part of my job was to study the ISV market, locate them, initiate the communication mailer, and invite them for Technology Partner Program. I researched into the market and technology shift of the server business vertical. My responsibilities were to help in the growth of solution global business unit by identifying potential business partners. I studied the mission critical server market, researched into the collection of primary data and converted it into a meaningful analysis for identifying potential technology partner lead and answering the whos and whys of business dynamics. I also prepared reports and presentations on each stage for further analysis.
I worked on live projects which had an impact on businesses. My job was challenging and helped me develop as a potential employee. I didn’t have to be an expert there, I just had to be willing to learn. I was told on and off not to be afraid of asking questions. HPE reflected the global diversity and what bound us together was the passion for building technology to make things better. The organisation groomed me in accordance with the highly competitive environment out there and helped me understand various business verticals.
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