How IMT Nagpur students bagged internships during the pandemic that shaped their careers.
In a time when multiple summer internships were revoked by organizations after organizations, some companies did make sure that the promises were kept and the students received a very different internship this year around. We spoke to three such students from IMT Nagpur, who went through hardships and difficulties before and during the internships, but came out victorious, thanks to the academic pedagogy and rigor that the institute imparts in its students. While Sanjana Singh bagged an internship with the Outlook group, Ashima Shafiq cracked an internship at Bata and Anush Mehra at CRISIL. Following is the excerpt of the interview.
Sanjana Singhi, Summer Intern, Outlook Group
1) A BBA and then an MBA, was MBA and Marketing always something that you wanted to explore in life?
Students usually struggle to ascertain what they want to pursue and the ways in which they can pursue it. However, in my case, I was crystal clear about what I wanted to do – MBA in Marketing. Since I was determined to pursue an MBA, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing seemed a step in the right direction as it provided me with a strong foundation which proved to be greatly beneficial while I was doing an MBA.
2) Tell us about some aspects of your IMT Nagpur life that taught you the principles of Marketing? How has being a member of the Placement Committee helped in the overall learning process?
As an active part of the Placement Committee, my objective was to market our students to the recruiters. My experience while working for the committee has been a key contributor to my personal growth and development. It has instilled a sense of responsibility and accountability in me. Additionally, it has helped me develop several soft skills such as communication, networking, presentation, team management, time management, multi-tasking, and many more.
3) You interned with Outlook in the online marketing and sales space during the months of COVID-induced lockdown. How has been the overall experience, what challenges did you face, and what were the major learning?
I was looking forward to the opportunity of working in a corporate environment which would have given me the chance to understand the ways in which a formal organization functions. Unfortunately, the pandemic put an end to such expectations. It felt like a loss especially in terms of networking opportunities that usually come along with internships. However, I must give due credit to the Outlook Group for adjusting to the “new normal” rather swiftly by instituting a “Work-From-Home” set-up for the internship – especially when other organizations were laying off full-time staff.
A major challenge for me was to achieve ambitious sales targets for magazine subscriptions at a time when consumers were only spending on essential items and cash flows were dwindling. With a lot of perseverance and continuous guidance and support from my mentor at the Outlook Group and my faculty guide, I was not only able to achieve the sales targets but surpass them by a reasonable margin as well. This exercise taught me that there is much more to Sales than just selling – it is also about the after-sales services rendered to the customers.
4) What next for Sanjana in the world of Marketing and how is IMT, Nagpur helping you reach there?
I have categorized my goals under short, medium, and long term. In the short term, I aim to find an employment opportunity that is well-suited to me and can meaningfully contribute towards building my skill set. In the medium term, my primary goal is to focus on knowledge-building and acquiring relevant experience in the field. In the long term, my goal is to be a leader and to be a part of an organization’s C-suite leadership driving vision and strategy. Eventually, I plan to address my entrepreneurial nature and embark on my own venture.
IMT Nagpur has been enormously resourceful – not only in helping me develop a deep understanding of what Marketing entails but also in giving me opportunities to get practical insights.
Ashima Shafiq, Summer Intern, Bata
1) An engineer venturing into the world of social media marketing and then opting for a B-school degree? How would you look at it in hindsight?
Being an engineer gives me the prowess in logical thinking, while my move to social media marketing was purely out of curiosity but it made me realize the importance of analytics and understanding the perspective of consumers to become a better marketer.
With a degree in management, I was able to get a more holistic view of the entire marketing process and develop a quicker and creative approach of thinking.
2) How did you marry your experience in the social media marketing space with learning from IMT Nagpur to make sure that you have a holistic understanding of the business world in these two years?
My experience in Social Media Marketing made me realize that I need to understand the concepts of marketing in a greater depth to understand the consumer’s perspective. IMT Nagpur helped me do just that and I was also able to experience how to create and exchange ideas and apply them profitably during these years.
3) Take us through to the day of summer internship interview. What exactly do you think make the cut for you at Bata and how has been the internship experience from then on?
Even though the day was stressful, I tried to stay calm and relaxed and be myself, because I believed that it is the only way that will help me understand the company and vice versa. I believe what made the cut for me was that I was eager to learn and open to understanding the perspective of others and was able to present my ideas in a simple yet creative way.
4) What next for Ashima?
I wish to venture in the business world, with the knowledge I have gathered as my weapon to power through in this ever growing world of analytics so that I am able to provide better solutions to people and businesses which help improve the world.
Anush Mehra, Summer Intern, CRISIL
1) After your Bachelors in Management Studies, you worked with CRISIL. Now that you have interned with CRISIL from your B-school, how have the two experiences been for you?
My experience with Crisil both as an employee and an Intern was very fulfilling. As it provided me with the opportunity to help clients make meaningful and insightful decisions. As for my employment, it was focused on the research domain and for my internship, I was working with the Rating’s team to understand the growth prospects of an industry.
2) What were some of the things that you think prepared you for the summer internship process, given that this year was a different year for every B-school student out there?
I was well prepared for the internship even though it was in an online format due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I believe the strong pedagogy at IMT Nagpur coupled with my past corporate experience prepared me well to perform at my best level even from the home setting. In addition, the online format of classes just before the start of the internship allowed me to get a feel of things as to how it will be in the internship this year.
3) Three things that you think you displayed during the internship which ensured that the project that you were working at was conducted successfully? How has the learning at IMT Nagpur helped you to achieve this?
During my internship with Crisil, I worked with a detail-oriented mindset, comprehensive research skill and drive to succeed. This allowed me to successfully complete my industry research report. The constant support of the faculty during my internship helped me bring add-ons to the project which helped make it more comprehensive and meaningful.
I believe, my 1st year at IMT Nagpur prepared me well to undertake a research piece and deliver it successfully.
4) What next for Anush, a finance major, looking to make it big in the world of finance?
As for my future, I see myself working in the equity research domain and developing adroit financial modeling skills and knowledge of the area. As it will be helpful in setting the career path right for me as I see myself taking up supervisory responsibilities over time and moving into the investment banking domain with a focus on the M&A and valuation practice area.
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