About the Author: Anupama Wadhwa is pursuing MBA in Human Resources from Sinhgad Business School, Erandwane. She gives details about her internship experience at Reliance.
As soon as the announcement of the internship projects came out, I was excited and nervous all at the same time. It was time to pull up my socks and start preparing. With the overwhelming competition, I think it was normal to feel that way. Like most of my classmates, I too had applied for the summer internship through my college placement cell. When I first received an email from our placement coordinator about the opportunity at Reliance Industries Limited, I was a little circumspect about applying for the internship because the work location could have been anywhere in Maharashtra or Gujrat, and a quantitative aptitude test was the first qualifier. (I suck at mathematics!) However, after discussing the issue with my mother, and hearing some words of encouragement from my best friend, I decided to go for it without much contemplation. I appeared for the aptitude test and the subjective test (mostly about HR basics and Labor Laws). And to my surprise, I managed to clear both the tests. I was, then, called for an interview at Navi Mumbai.
The Reliance Corporate Park at Navi Mumbai is a breathtakingly beautiful campus, and it got me all pumped up for the interview. After going through my CV, and my application, the interviewers asked me about my previous work experience. They enquired about the portals that I had worked on and the recruitments that I had handled at my previous work place. When they asked me why I had selected HR as a specialization, I told them that I liked meeting new people and enjoyed having conversations with people. I told them that I wanted to pursue a career that involved communication because I had always believed that was a strength that I could leverage upon. And so, I was interested in training and development. Some of the functional HR questions were:
What are the types of training?
What is coaching?
What is mentoring?
What is a job description?
What is a job specification? If you have to hire a candidate through a consultancy, would you give them a job description or a job specification? Why?
What is Herzberg’s theory of motivation?
Finally, they asked me about my family and their educational qualifications. After learning that my mom is a single parent, they asked me if I would be okay with any work location. I told them that I had no issues regarding the location. They also asked me about the reason that made me apply for the internship. I told them that it was an opportunity to move to a different city and a chance to explore myself. The interview went pretty well, and I went back home feeling confident.
A few weeks later, I received an email informing that I was selected for the internship. And guess what? The work location was Reliance Corporate Park at Navi Mumbai; the same beautiful office where the interview had taken place. That email made my day. Finally, after my exams, I packed my bags and left for Navi Mumbai. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about my accommodation as Reliance had provided me one at their Beverly Park Guest House. As soon as I reached there, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful guest house. It was a luxurious service apartment with all the amenities that I was going to be sharing with one more intern. I was a little unsure about how the experience would pan out because it was my first time away from home, and I had to share the room with someone. However, I am glad that we had each other. Both of us bonded with each other and had a great time. I had a great Sunday evening, made a new friend in a new city and was happy. However, I couldn’t sleep the entire night because of the excitement and a little bit of nervousness.
Next morning, I reached the office, and I was introduced to my mentor and my team. I was with the Talent Management team, and my project was to create Individual Development Plans (IDP) for the First Line Leaders at Reliance. These FLLs were the employees with a High Upwards Potential rating. An IDP is an employee development tool used by organizations. It is a personal action-plan, jointly agreed by the employee and the supervisor with inputs from the manager. An IDP defines areas of development that the employee needs to work on to fulfill the mutual goals of individual career development and organizational enhancement.
The process of making an IDP begins with a detailed conversation with the employee. The employee’s long term and short term goals are defined and strengths and weaknesses are assessed. This conversation encourages the employee to put on their thinking cap and determine the gap between where they want to be in their career, and where they think they are right now. This identified gap gives us the key areas of development that needs to be worked on in an IDP. I had to ask probing questions and extract as much information as possible. The IDPs are also reviewed at regular intervals to track the progress of the employee and make any alterations if required. As a part of the Talent Management team, I was responsible for facilitating the whole IDP creation process. I was accompanied by an experienced team member, in all the meetings, who supervised the interaction and gave me feedback later on.
This project was an amazing learning experience for me as I met many different people, learned about different roles and competencies, and had some interesting conversations. We also had the opportunity to interact with the Cheif Human Resource Officer, and visit the Patalganga Plant. After giving presentations for the final evaluation, we had a farewell party wherein we were treated to good food and gifts. We clicked pictures with each other, made cherishable memories, and danced the night away.
On a personal level, I learned that if you want to learn, you have to be curious and proactive. Sometimes, asking questions is the best way to learn something. Even if you have too many of them, do not hesitate to ask questions. Now, after a wonderful internship experience, I hope I’ll get the pre-placement offer too. Fingers Crossed! :-)
Do you also want to utilize your time in developing new skills? Check out these latest HR internships.
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!