About the Author: Aakash Gupta, a student of International Management Institute, Bhubaneswar, talks about his internship and his experience with a government organisation.
April was approaching, and I was scouting for a summer internship when my college placement cell arranged for a recruitment with Kotak Securities. The forty-three students who were willing to intern with them were interviewed over the phone in the placement room. The interview went like this –
1. Tell me about yourself.
I briefly cited my educational and family background along with the projects and assignments I had taken on.
2. What are securities?
I was expecting this question since the company dealt in securities. I stated the definition I had mugged up from Wikipedia. She objected to my crammed definition, but I justified by saying that I had come prepared.
3. Why did you select marketing as your major?
I told her that I preferred to move around looking for new opportunities instead of doing a monotonous job which was why I chose marketing.
4. Do you have any specific location preference?
I told her that I had already moved from north India to east India for my PGDM, so I was quite flexible with the location.
After a week, I was informed of my selection for the personal assessment test. I received an email from Kotak Securities containing a link. I clicked on it and after filling my personal details, I answered two questions, which were –
1. What do you think about your yourself?
There were around fifty words like smart, callous, helping, cunning, etc. with check boxes, and I had to select the characteristics that resembled my personality.
2. What do others think of you?
The same words were listed as options.
I replied honestly and submitted the test. After 2 weeks, the results were announced. I was selected with three other students. On the first day of my internship, I interacted with the employees and the vice president of my department was allotted as my project guide. I was asked to choose a project of my interest which seemed interesting since most organisations have pre-decided projects for interns. I was interested in research but it couldn’t work out for me, so I met the HR and suggested the topics of my choice. I was transferred to the private client group division since that department didn’t match my interests. The deputy vice president was assigned as my mentor. My first task was to coordinate the promotional event at the BMW showroom co-sponsored by Kotak Securities, where all the prospects and customers of BMW were invited. At the event, our team interacted with the guests and informed them about the offering of the Private Client Group (PCG) division. It was a wonderful experience for me as I love to organise and manage events. The next task was to get the consent of high-profile apartment owners for conducting Aadhaar camps in their premises. I managed to get their permission even though two of the team members had already been denied permissions. My mentor was quite impressed. I was vested with the responsibility of collecting data from the invitees by asking them few survey questions for our investors meet at ICAI, Kolkata. Apart from all these promotional activities, I collected data of EPF (employee’s provident fund) exempted establishments of Kolkata. This was a tedious task since I had to connect with the finance department of the organisations and ask them if they maintained their PF accounts by EPFO or on their own. I could only collect the data of 2 companies in three days, so I called the EPFO office at Salt Lake, Kolkata, for help and was asked to visit their office. I discussed it with my mentor who wasn’t convinced with the idea but gave me a letter of India Labor Organisation stating the new reforms to be followed.
Ready to embrace the challenge, I went there only to find that I was refused to be recognised by the person I had had a conversation with. Unwilling to give up, I recited my requirements to the functionaries of the department that dealt with exempted establishments. They told me that they couldn’t provide me with a confidential data of a government organisation. I thought of giving it one last try and explained my project to the person in the next cubicle. He advised me to meet the assistant commissioner of the PF department. I visited him and was asked to bring an application on company’s letterhead. I did so but was asked to get a permission from the commissioner. I visited his office twice and pitched my project; as expected, I was asked to revisit and contact the clerk. To my disappointment, the clerk asked me to get a letter from the commissioner citing that he permitted the sharing of data unofficially with me owing to my repetitive visits. I narrated the whole story to my guide who motivated me to try it one last time. To my amazement, the clerk filed the request for my application and asked me to get it approved from the commissioner. My hope was shattered when I found out that he wasn’t there; luckily, another officer approved the request in his place, and I got the data. It was a wonderful learning experience visiting the government organization. When I finally got the list, I walked through the office with my head held high. I was highly appreciated by the team. I also conducted a survey to analyze the investment pattern of investors. As I was inclined towards research, my project guide gave me the opportunity to do a research by providing the data of investors. In short, my experience with Kotak Securities was phenomenal, and I look forward to working with them in the future.
Do you find Akash’s journey amusing? Apply to these marketing internships and venture into new possibilities.
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!