An Internship to Remember

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I could hear the sound of my own breathing while walking on the pavement in broad day light, despite the noises of the vehicles on the highway behind. The sun was pouring down fire unconcernedly and the scorching temperature must have been around forty degree celsius.I was attired in stiff formal clothing; even the wrist buttons were closed. I was wearing black formal shoes whose sole was ‘straight line depreciating’ with every passing day of the field work.Despite having clean polished it in the morning, it looked like a shoe that had been snatched out from a Delhi waste management truck. My foot inside was numb.I carried a heavy bag on shoulders, containing a water bottle, a laptop, and lots of brochures of all varieties of trucks.

My partner,walking besides me had the same descriptions except that he was fatter than me, had more patterns on his shirt made because of the sweat and supposedly, more frustrated. We were walking towards the Netaji Shubhash Place Metro Station silently.Both of us knew we had a bad day.We couldn’t locate most of the offices,while the ones we could locate,had either closed down permanently or the concerned person to be met was unavailable.After having travelled around for so many hours, making plenty of inquiry, and trusting blindly the Google navigation, only to end up at wrong locations, we had accomplished nothing since we started our day’s duty from 9 AM.It was 3 PM and we had at last decided to return back to our place at Noida sector 16.My partner,Ravi,had always been a talkative person.But on this 36 th day of our internship,he had finally entered the silence mode.Perhaps he had become more contemplative now, just like any other person, who is talkative when life is rosy and becomes contemplative when life gets tough.But then,I still think it was more of a frustration than contemplation that had made him silent.He might not have been getting the right words to spell out his frustration. He had already been abusing the Google navigation some hours ago,because of which we had landed up at a wrong address, and had to retrace our steps(after being guided by a policeman) in such a hot afternoon. I didn’t want to interrupt the silence as we proceeded.

Walking mechanically in the heat, I felt the sweat drenching down my forehead. I took out my handkerchief to wipe it. As I put the handkerchief back in my pocket, my partner spoke all of a sudden- “And everybody thinks that MBA people only get to do the lavish jobs!”

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“Yun hi nahi mai Rajnigandha ban jaata hoon”(I don’t become Rajnigandha(a mouth freshener brand) just like that)- read the massive billboard at the iconic Rajnigandha chowk(square),at  Noida Sector 16 crossroads, which attracted my attention while I was sitting on a railing waiting for the bus that would take us towards Safdarjung Enclave.It was the first day of my internship and I was pretty much excited.Being a fresher, this was going to be my first experience with the corporate world.I had my own fairy tale like predictions.Having completed my first year of MBA,I was laden with enthusiasm to put all my knowledge into practice.I had mildly dreamt of the possibility that my contribution in the internship will give such a boost to the company that the CEO himself will be willing to know about me in person.I had brushed up my concepts of market research and had thoroughly studied about the trucks and trucks market,because that was what my project was going to be about.

“511- Daula Kuaan”shouted my partner Ravi,who was more pragmatic than me that day,”get ready, this one we have to board”

del1Swarms of office going people-girls and boys, men and women swarmed in like honeybees towards the bus.I began to get the flavour of having become one of those corporate people now, who run to catch buses, tell people you are in meetings so can’t talk, make fun of your bosses and in the bus discuss with random people how the government is not doing its job well; work relentlessly all weekdays, spend the hard earned currency to drink on weekends and then curse Mondays.I was excited to experience all these things in the course of my internship.

***

“An axle with two tyres has the load handling capacity of 6 tons, while an axle with four tyres,two on each side has the load capacity of 9.6 tons.Hence a 25 ton truck has 10 tyres” We had a 5 hour long session for getting to know about all the technicalities of trucks,their costs,capacity,pollution regulations and design variants.We were taken to the dealership to see the trucks physically and understand the differences between the different variants.It was a merry day.We got to meet many people of high ranks in the business and we had lunch together which helped us become comfortable with each other.Dining together is always a good way for ice breaking and I was glad for having gained a place in this niche coterie.

Later in the evening  we were handed a database,containing the information of several builders and contractors in Delhi who could be the prospects of our company.It was a rough database.Some addresses were incomplete,some companies’ phone numbers were missing, some companies’ purchase manager’s  name was missing or someone’s whole address was missing.Our job was to update this whole database. search the internet, call on phone, pay them physical visits,and get to know about their projects,their current fleet size,their upcoming requirements of trucks,and intimate them about the trucks of our company.”Find out who makes the purchase decisions in their companies, meet them, understand them, build relation with them-and create a comprehensive database with all these information.” This was going to be our final deliverable.A project of pure primary market research.marketresearchmainimage-e1448320475924

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Sitting back here in my hostel room, I recall those days of travelling in those posh and dingy Delhi lanes,  locating addresses, meeting all sorts of clients, dealing with them professionally , discussing their projects and explaining about our trucks  while sharing tea with them in their corporate offices. Finally, we were able to categorize more than fifty prospective clients who could possibly make a purchase within the next 6 months.

The experience and exposure I got through this project was unparalleled. An added accomplishment was the delight of exploring the whole of Delhi in the process.(I could write a whole another post about the myriads of things I saw, experienced and learnt from Delhi.It was a life changing experience,literally!Delhi is magical!) But for this post I would only say that I got a chance to travel in all the color lines of Delhi metro, end to end; And by the final week,I relished the delight of having progressed from a ‘confused novice’ asking the ways, to an ‘oriented expert’ guiding the ways.

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