The summer internship is usually considered by PGP1s as a 2-month break off curriculum lectures, assignments with a stringent deadline, surprise quizzes and all the similar events at a typical b-school that keep us on our toes. Happy with the same thought, I was waiting for my summer internship to start at ICICI Lombard, in one of the most happening cities in India, Mumbai, the place I had never been to. All packed bags, and a super excited me, arrived at the hotel where I had to spend my two months in Mumbai. Appreciating the warm welcome by ICICI Lombard in terms of paid accommodation in a hotel for two months, I was excited for the first day at the company (especially after almost a year break from my last corporate experience).
The orientation sessions, lined up for couple of days, were very well organised wherein we could interact with Head HR, VP & AVP of different verticals (corporate solutions group, retail solutions group, etc.) sharing their role & responsibilities and explaining what is lined up for us, indeed made for a good start. I, along with other interns, was allotted the marketing research project for corporate solutions group for different Industries. We were allotted different mentors who were AVP/VP level people, at the start of the program and thus we could understand the standard of the deliverables they were expecting out of us. The first week, I spent some time doing homework on my part, to provide a rough roadmap on how I was planning to proceed with the project. Considering, we had our weekly reviews scheduled with our mentors; we were supposed to ensure we were well on time as far as our pace is considered. The first meeting with the mentor was tough, as the thoughts I had put on the table, seemed too scattered to him. Need for streamlining was the first input. I had very conveniently assumed that this being the very first meeting with him, nothing major would be expected out of me. The first myth was broken and the first lesson learnt – once you are into the organisation, the time you have been associated with the organisation doesn’t hold much importance, you are expected to pace up with other employees. Further reviews, feedbacks & inputs from the mentor helped me to shape up my ideas and bring clarity as to where more depth in my thought was needed. Challenging and thought-provoking would be definite litotes when it comes to describing my further experience as the time passed. As the time came for the final set of reviews with the top management, feedbacks became more demanding and at many times, I felt that I have not even done 1% of what I am expected to do. But this stress and tension worked positively for me as I was ready to go that extra mile to present something that would give them a starting point to further develop their strategies. No weekends or going around in Mumbai, for the last month. All that occupied my mind was my final deliverable to the company.
Just a few days before the internship was about to end, we were informed that 6 of 17 total interns had been selected to present their project to MD of ICICI Lombard. Three of us from IIM Nagpur were amongst those selected interns, and I was one of them. I felt ecstatic but at the same time I was worried- one last deliverable, and I had to make the most of it! I was all confident for the work I did during my Internship, but the presentation to top management involving MD, VP – Wholesale & Retail & Head – HR made me nervous. Finally, it went very well, much more than what I expected. Series of questions from MD, made me realise that he is looking at how far my ideas/suggestions can go. Some recommendations and new business opportunities were very much appreciated by him. In the end, it was this appreciation that made me realise that hard work is always rewarded. My time at ICICI Lombard was nothing short of an adventure – reviews, feedbacks, deliverables, appreciation, and meeting some of the sharp minded people there.
The best thing I liked about ICICI Lombard is the seriousness by which they look at the projects allocated to Interns. Days after Summer Internship, I am still in touch with my colleagues at ICICI Lombard discussing my research work and about how things can be taken forward from where I left. I think no work can make you more contented! The way I understood what things the top management expects when it comes to meeting with them, was a great learning. My summer internship experience or “Anubhav” (Internship Programme at ICICI Lombard) as they put it, was definitely enriching and something that helped me understand or at least gave me a heads-up on what I wish to pursue in the long term.