Summer placement is arguably the most important event in a first year MBA student’s life. It is the preceding period that makes most of the ‘busy MBA life’ stories. As if the regular lecture schedule wasn’t hectic enough, club/committee selections and other extra-curricular engagements suck a lot of time from the schedule. Amidst all the hustle, one rarely gets time to sit back and think. My case was no different. Fresher as I was, I had little idea about the kind of life that lay ahead. My inclination toward theatre and culture led me to become a part of the Cultural Committee. I finally got time to give my life a thought.
Upon introspection, I realized that doing everything was not possible for me. Drawing analogy from Strategy lessons, it was important for me to have a clear objective. I analysed my capabilities and came up with the three pillars of my life – creativity, spontaneity and interpersonal interaction. Now I was reasonably sure that Sales and Marketing was the field for me. My liking for marketing as a subject only cemented my realization.
As the placement week started, Industry Interaction Cell organized GD-PI and industry deep dive sessions to supplement the concept based preparation. In retrospect, these proved to be pivotal. It was time for pre placement talks now. Kellogg’s did not just give an amazing PPT, it hosted a breakfast in the college and brought along an air of ebullience. This catapult was sure to give a head start to anyone’s career. When I eventually got selected for Udaan, the 8-week internship program at Kellogg’s, I was on cloud 9!
The program began with a 2 day induction which exposed us to Kellogg’s brands and way of working. My project included the use of Social Listening and 5C’s framework for identifying new product opportunities and platforms for weight management. It was a great opportunity for me as I was working on a live, application oriented project. My mentors – Reena Singh and Sanjib Bose guided and encouraged me in the best way possible. I had complete freedom to do what I had to, yet my progress was monitored lest I’d go astray. I was given constructive feedback at every point. The going was in sync with a very important observation from the induction – “A little ambiguity in direction is good”. The idea was to be entrepreneurial at work.
Culture is, perhaps, the best part about Kellogg’s. Everyone who walks past passes a smile. The enthusiasm around the office radiates energy. There were instances when people went out of their way to help me! My fellow interns were my first resort to getting problems solved. Working together also meant a whole lot of fun. I would particularly like to mention the office birthday celebrations, Intern@K recipe contest, Kidzania visit and the all intern party. Learning didn’t end inside the walls of the office. People from partner agencies were equally enthusiastic about my project and always ready to help. Furthermore, I got access to softwares and webinars which helped me in my project.
Having had positive mid and final reviews, I must say that my learning here was not restricted to the tools that I used. Be it the induction sessions, the session with the MD, informal chats with directors, or discussions amongst the interns, every discussion was a learning. More than work, this internship exposed me to the right way of working. It is about taking ownership of work – ‘The only boundaries are the ones we create for ourselves’.
-Pragyae Maniktalia, IIM Indore