About the author: Rutuja Mehendale is a second-year MBA student from Hiraben Nanavati Institute of Management and Research for Women. She shares how she is exploring her inquisitive side and a new career option through a market research internship.
When the pandemic struck last year, I was working in a sales role at a tourism company. I had started this job when I was still in college and pursuing my Bachelor of Commerce. My plan was to get some work experience before applying for an MBA. However, since the tourism industry had been severely hit by the pandemic, I decided to drop that plan and started pursuing MBA. As everything was work-from-home, I had some extra time on my hands, so I decided to do something productive and started looking for internships.
My first internship was as an HR intern at Taxkamkar because I wanted to know if I would like to pursue HR as a career option. As a part of this internship, I had to recruit and onboard new team members. This involved evaluating their competencies and conducting their joining and exit formalities. A month before the internship ended, I also trained a small team. By the end of the internship, I had realised that I wanted to go ahead with marketing instead of HR.
Since I already had experience in sales, I decided to try something else in the marketing domain. While looking for new areas to intern in, I came across the term ‘market research’ and was curious whether it was related to marketing or a different field. Hence, I started researching about it and found it fascinating. I have always been inquisitive, and market research seemed like a field where I could tap into this side. Therefore, I started applying for market research internships.
TTBTE was one of the companies that I had applied to. Once my application got shortlisted, I was given two assignments: conducting research on food chain applications in Dubai and organising data in Excel. Since I had some experience with Excel, I was able to complete that task with ease. However, I found the first assignment a bit difficult.
Although the assignment was not comprehensive, it was still on par with the expectations of my future manager, and I made it to the next round, which was a video call interview. My mentor gauged that even though I did not have the necessary skills yet, I was a keen learner and could acquire them during the internship.
At TTBTE, we help people who either want to start their business or expand their existing business. We create various reports for them, such as an investor pitch deck or a marketing strategy. For example, during my first project, I worked with a dental company that wanted to expand its business in Ethiopia. This business had a presence in a small town in the country and wanted to explore the market in the capital city. We conducted market research to inform our client understand what his primary service should be and how he should operate.
After working on this project, my manager gave me more ownership over the next project that involved creating an investor’s pitch deck. Although the process of client handling went smoothly, I still faced some hiccups in other areas, such as understanding technical terms and creating presentations. Since it was a client in the AI sector, I was not familiar with some terminology. My manager helped me overcome these challenges, but did not give me the solutions right away. He encouraged me to find my own solutions rather than relying on him which I believe is a great mentoring style.
Over the past few months of the internship, I have developed a streamlined thought process. I have also learned how to find the right resources for market research and go through multiple reports quickly to gather relevant information. Lastly, I am learning how to create great presentations!
Even though I am learning a lot, I have not decided if I would like to make a career in market research. However, I am certain that the skills I have acquired during this internship will help me in any field I choose.
Are you intrigued by the field of market research? Then, apply for these market research internships.