Handling Focus Group Discussions with senior members, withdrawing a high stipend per month, and reporting directly to the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) – elements of a dream internship!
You won't easily come across a Management intern withdrawing a stipend of INR 60,000 per month for a three-month stint. You won't easily meet an intern single-handedly conducting Focus Group Discussions with senior employees at the office, facilitating a part of the Diversity and Inclusion Audit process, and directly working with the Human Capital team of the company. Rachel Mathews of PGDM batch 2016-18 has done these and more.
Rachel did her Summer Internship with Arcesium, a post-trade technology and professional services firm. More than an internship, she says, it turned out to be an "important aspect of PGDM life". Reporting to the CHRO, she was spending her day working on various tasks beside the two key projects of the company.
From maintaining the Client Orientation Framework to brainstorming on the Diversity and Inclusion Audit process, her summer went on her toes. Realizing their importance, she adopted three practices right from the beginning:
- The onus of the project lies completely with the intern; s/he needs to drive it when within a busy team set-up
- Communication and efficiency are the keys to survival; therefore, finish the task and let your manager see the final product
- Pause and observe; it is absolutely imperative to understand the culture of the organization to sync well with its vision
Soon Rachel started linking her classroom learning with workplace requirements, receiving incredible support from the Arcesium team to further boost her learning. "Arcesium has flexible working hours, but I preferred to get in early. I had broken down my project into different tasks. I worked on two main projects, besides handling several other things. This required me to frequently interact with all the members of my team."
When asked if an internship is over or under rated today for MBA graduates, she says, "I feel that it's neither overrated nor underrated. I feel colleges should leverage the internship experience of students and build their course around it."
Why does she think like this? Why did the internship work so well for her?
Rachel thrived on the opportunity of brushing shoulders with professionals and learning from them. It ensured the internship broadened the scope of her learning way beyond the classroom. "You realize that application of concepts is a completely different ballgame. For example, regarding employee engagement, you learn that when the company's vision aligns with an individual's, the employee is engaged. But in practice it's different, because all employees have diverse personalities."
Rachel reminds us that the Diversity and Inclusion Audit was an important roadmap item for the Human Capital team at Arcesium. It meant she could work directly with the CHRO. She also had the chance to meet the CEO of the company. These are experiences that interns rarely have during their student years. "I was amazed by the trust the manager showed in me when it came to handling Focus Group Discussions on my own. The experience has now given me the confidence to take on professional challenges without feeling daunted."
Posted on 28th July 2017