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Three golden rules to make the most of your Summer Internship while pursuing Management studies

You must speak with Mallika Singh (PGDM batch 2016-18) of Goa Institute of Management (GIM) to understand just how much an intern can learn from her summer stint.

Mallika would reach her workplace at 8.00 am and, some days, would continue working till 10.00 pm, almost non-stop.

Summer of 2017 for Mallika was as insightful as it could be. 

She started from Goa and reached Bengaluru to join the ‎Rs. 78.8 billion revenue generating Britannia Industries Limited. Little did she know about the kind of exposure waiting for her at the company! Gaining experience, sharpening skills, sensing one's interest areas, connecting with people - these are golden attributes of an internship program. Mallika experienced them all. Result? She could develop an in-depth research on "Finding the reasons for decline in premium creams and giving recommendations to Britannia".

There is no alternative to planning prior to execution. Mallika believes, "One needs to be clear about what the guide and mentor's expectations are and make a roadmap to begin with." For successful project delivery, it is absolutely necessary to understand the overall process and to get a hold over the broad picture. For instance, one needs to be a keen observer of consumers, sellers, and competitors while visiting markets. Later on, the observed data can be used to draw insights. Market visits, consumer interaction, focus group discussions, and data analysis were part of Mallika's daily work routine.

We need learning strategies. For Mallika, three prime strategies helped her sail through:

  1. Ask questions and get clarity on the whole process, rather than focus on only the project requirements
  2. Always keep the guide and mentor in the loop and accept frequent feedback
  3. Be consistent and work hard

Internships expose students to the rigours of corporate life - they are crucial gateways to beyond-the-books learning. "The exposure was far beyond the scope of any book. Britannia is known to give hands-on experience, resulting in immense learning. Britannia made sure that interns learn everything from start to end. They made us visit factories, depots, distributors, as well as stores."

Training and advice from experienced professionals go a long way. It is essential for an intern to work closely with the mentor at the company. This is something that Britannia focuses on. Mallika says, "My mentor helped me a lot throughout and was very approachable and supportive." She is all excitement when asked about one of the most interesting moments in Britannia: "Getting a chance to present my findings in front of the MD as well as all the other functional heads!" Indeed exciting!

Come placement season, the practical knowledge, hands-on learning, and domain expertise gained from the Britannia stint will surely give Mallika an edge!