Summer Internship is one of the most important and crucial times for a MBA student both at career as well as a personal front. It is a stepping-stone into the corporate world, testing waters when it comes to deciding what you want to do in your career. This applied to me as well. Being an outspoken city girl from an engineering background, I always thought marketing was my future as opposed to a finance one due to my lack of prior knowledge or work experience in the field.
During the summer placement process, I landed an offer from the Investment Banking Division of a reputed bank, one of the most coveted financial roles on campus. My interview experience was one of the most memorable and interesting ones I have had till date, probably a story for another time!
Given my lack of expertise in the field, I was very skeptical before starting off my internship. However, this summer proved otherwise.
Packed with thorough and rigorous training sessions, assignments, deliverable, the internship proved to have a very steep learning curve. It helped me expand my technical knowledge. But my internship proved to be a lot more than that. It helped me develop my personality and hone my skills. The bank I worked in boasts a very strong culture within the organization. Being on the floor, I realized the magnitude of that. No one on the floor was ever too busy to help us interns. The commitment was so strong that some people ended up staying back for over 2 hours to help interns with their work, teaching and guiding them. No question was too dumb or stupid to ask. They had an open door policy where anyone could walk up to anyone, including the VP to discuss anything ranging from problems faced, suggestions, doubts or even cricket! They stressed on an eye for detail making me learn to be a perfectionist in everything I do, including something as insignificant as font size, color, or spacing.
Apart from having a hectic work schedule, the team made it a point to provide regular de-stressing opportunities. There were weekly cricket matches, regular parties and networking dinners to give the interns an opportunity to bond and connect with senior management from other divisions even, and broaden their horizons. These sessions helped us become more confident, improved our networking skills and enabled us to interact with highly successful and intelligent people apart from the distressing they were primarily aimed for.
There was a regular feedback mechanism in place which helped me improve and learn from my mistakes, and plan the next leg of the internship in a much more aware manner.
Personally, this period made me a more confident and a stronger individual. It helped me approach people without inhibitions, improved my communications skills along with my technical capabilities. There are many instances where we feel that a particular domain is our forte but soon on entering the corporate world realize that the reality is very different from what we had envisaged. Summer internships are a great way of aligning the reality to our dreams and expectations. Never having imagined a future in the banking sector, let alone be an investment banker, this internship made me realize that this is what I want to do in the future once I graduate from the institute.
– Paridhi Agrawal, PGP 2015- 2017, IIM Indore