The Way ITC views this is- They give you a problem and you are expected to solve it in two months (or at least provide key insights). That’s it. You can ask for anything and the people will support you to the fullest. Best thing is, these people listen to what you have to say. You are put in direct contact with CEO of the division too. They have hired you because they want fresh, new ideas, different from what a professional with 20 years of experience can generate. Usually the problems are the ones which almost everyone has tried their hands on once, and you are their last hope, before they implement some heavy cost measures
P&G believes in challenging people at every role. They trust their employees with huge challenges right at their early stage and after that every role upward is an exponential challenge curve. I know people who within 4 years of joining the company have undertaken entire plant set-ups from scratch, who within 8 yrs in the company are Global leaders for entire technologies. Every technician is trained and expected to troubleshoot their line’s problems without having to go to their bosses. Each of us at our interns has been given near impossible projects or 2 simultaneous projects which in themselves are huge challenges. It helps bring out the best in people and it’s something I liked about P&G.
Even as an intern, the expectations from you are huge and you are expected to deliver the project within the time period. Here at the Chiplun Detergents factory, my project focuses on improving the overall efficiency of the packing machines. Simply put, I have to make the plant capable of packing more powder. It does not require all the technical knowledge of the courses though there are some cases where I needed to make models and simulate some processes. The project is pretty easy if you discuss the project with your tutor who guides you through the project. Speaking the local language gets you to gel with the employees very well and I do have this to my advantage a bit.
A core intern is a dream for most aspiring engineers and this internship provides you with exactly what you ask for. You want technical? You’ll be put right in the middle of a running factory and you are accountable for every single change you make. Just yesterday, I changed the speed of a motor that led to an hour of shut-down. I learnt my lesson the hard way but the company encouraged me to take risks, albeit the fact that safety and quality come first. Sure it isn’t a job for people looking forward to a desk job. It has a different thrill to it altogether
Let’s fast track to life at Parthenon. I am going to segment the next part of this blog into the important aspects of the Internship.
People: I believe people are most important; who wants to be part of Horrible Bosses 3 right? The people here are extremely amiable and forward. Consulting being something most IITians wouldn’t know of, tends to be difficult to grip at the start. The people here, right from the Associates to the Consultants are extremely helpful and don’t judge you by the stupid questions you tend to ask (I hope!). Brimmed with IITians, MBAs and CAs this place hoards a lot of knowledge and extremely efficient yet fun loving people! You learn to value time and understand what you could achieve in a day’s time. There is a popular saying in the office, if you don’t get something just ask someone nearby, it is always quicker. Irrespective of what you are doing, there is always a better way to do it.
It’s after the training period where the real fun begins, where we get a desk allotted to us along with our projects. Your desk and project are generally allotted on the basis of what skillsets you’d displayed during your interview (all the more reason to be careful about what you say on your resume!), although that may not necessarily be the case. There’ll be two facets to your daily routine – desk work and project work. The project is a long term assignment which we work on throughout the duration of our internship (and is basically, what we’re here to do). Desk work will revolve around helping out with the daily work that people on your floor do. It provides a great learning opportunity by way of analysis, getting exposure to different fields and areas of finance, and most importantly, learning how to interact with others. You’ll get to work on live deals that the bank is working on, help slightly in making pitches and I can’t imagine any better real world exposure for an undergrad. Depending upon how committed you are and how hard you work, there is a significant impact that you can affect on the working of your team. Your work hours will depend not only on your desk, but also on the predilections of your team (it’s slightly different for the GM interns – their timings are mostly dependent on the markets they’d be working on).
AmEx workplace is so cool that I ended up lurking around in office even when I had nothing to do. There are 4 buildings of AmEx in Gurgaon and the Analytics department (where all the interns join) which consists of RIM-COE (Risk & Information Management, Centre of Excellence) and IMS (Integrated Marketing Services) is in the newest building which is located at the prime location in Gurgaon. With Costa Coffee and Starbucks and many leading restaurants in the same building, you can never get bored.
The work culture is very informal. All the people are very friendly and helpful. The office has an open environment having no cubicles which cater to easier interaction with the senior leaders in the team. The timings are relaxed and typically starts in afternoon from Mondays to Wednesdays and early Fridays which accounts for long(er) weekends from 5pm on Fridays to 1pm on Mondays (Yay!). Several parties keep happening and I, myself have been witness to 4-5 parties over my stay here. AmEx pamper its employees a lot. There are innumerous perks of being an AmEx employee, right from getting AmEx employee discount in all the major restaurant chains, free Doctor visits to assurance of escort with women employees after 7 pm in the cabs from office to home. The AmEx transport service is very neatly organized and with pickup and drop arranged for every employee living in any part of Delhi-NCR.
GS is a firm where ideas are highly valued, and ideation is something that is not confined to the repertoire of the senior management. Even though you start off as an analyst, you are still carefully listened to by people high up the hierarchical ladder and are given freedom to pursue some of your own ideas while solving problems. You may have to put in more than the average work hours every day to get your job done, but it pays a lot and you get quite a few perks. It teaches you finance, and above all tells you how to survive in a cut-throat environment defined by extremely competent, demanding and smart people. As for the opening question, I think it’s very much possible to be living the very much coveted stereotypical life of an investment banker as perpetuated by the media once you’re well established within the firm – if you belong to the upper echelons of the employees at the firm such as a managing director or a wizened partner, the probability shoots up, but it goes without saying that it’s not easy to be part of the elite, which is why we they are called the elite.
Nomura Research Institute
My experience at NRI was spectacular. Over the course of the internship, I had the opportunity to work on activities related to four fields, which were completely different from each other. However, some of my co-interns were involved in only one activity. The diversity in my work ensured that I never felt work is becoming monotonous. The learning curve was exponential for me. Scripting good presentations, building a problem-solving approach and learning the best research practices were key takeaways for me from the internship which I am sure would help me wherever I go in the future. The work given to interns at NRI is crucial to the firm. Some interns even had the chance to work on live projects. This entailed responsibility of completing quality work strictly on deadlines and sometimes resulted in hectic work and long after-hours. (Only sometimes)
Citibank is among the top ten largest (Forbes) and the only standing global bank in the world (our floor president). We attended various sessions on how the company makes money and manages its various portfolios. So if you’re into banking and finance, here’s an opportunity to learn from the best. You are encouraged to ask for sessions on topics not covered in the planned ones (I completely made this one up, but I’m positive it’ll hold). Your project will involve machine learning so it won’t hurt to get a taste of it beforehand. I didn’t and it didn’t hurt anyway so it’s really up to you. You will be told to “learn” a lot of algorithms and methods but they don’t expect or need you to understand how or why they work. You just need to get a feel of what it does and when you can apply it. The algorithms themselves can be called through existing libraries so you don’t have to really do anything on that front. To be honest, I was a little disappointed by it, but since it was a relief in workload I’m not really adamant about the disappointment. The amount of work you’re given varies significantly and depends almost entirely on your supervisor.
They look for a person willing to take up challenges, making decisions independently, working under immense pressure and willing to travel. The job of a field engineer can be extremely taxing physically and mentally and hence it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Schlumberger encourages an intern to be self-motivated and take the initiative to talk to the employees and learn as much about this industry.
I had a very steep learning curve during my internship and I feel I got to learn a lot in depth about the oilfield industry which may not have been possible otherwise. My posting was in the Wireline segment at Nerul base, Mumbai which is around a 45-minute drive from IITB.
One thing that sets this field of work apart from others is that very early on in your career as a field engineer, you are given the responsibility of making crucial decisions independently. Starting with the inspection of tools till the completion of logging process, the entire responsibility is of the field engineer to ensure that the job is done correctly.
The job involves high risk and hence before working with any equipment, we are given proper safety training.
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