Just before the onset of my SIP, all I wished for was a great project through which I could experience the corporate culture. After a lot of global(Marketing/HR/OBP/SSR) and semi-global(Finance/Operations) gyaan during my first year, finally it was time for me to realize the importance of globalization by applying that gyan to leave some mark in the firm I was hired in.
Me despite being a marketing guy was hired by a bank. Why I applied for internship in a bank is altogether a different story that cannot be told but experienced once you start sitting for the summer placements. I was hired as a business analyst with some global job description. I was happy as 1) They offered decent stipend(It becomes important by the end of the first year when you would have drained a lot of cash) 2) The organization was big 3) I would get comfortable with the financial aspect of business(Being an engineer, I know shit about finance). I was excited about the project. I had done lots of marketing projects in form of competitions during my first year and i was excited to do another marketing project by being within the firm. I would be great.
Coconut fell on my head on the very first day when I came to know that I had been put into operations department.
Operations….Really??? I always avoided operations subjects. I just can’t get them. But now, I had to work in operations department for next eight weeks. What would a marketing chap like me, do in core banking operations.
I accepted it or I should say that I had to accept this hit on the very first day. We were asked to report to another office from the next day. Another shocker as the allocated office was 28 kms from my place(Trust me 28 kms in Mumbai is unimaginable distance. Here you don’t really measure distance rather you measure time taken to cover the distance).
Anyways-No option left-commute daily for 56 kms-accepted. After our induction, as 500 ml of divinity trickled down mu throat, I started to digest the impositions. Still I was hopeful about getting a good MARKETING project in operations department. So dumb of me. But yeah, I am a hopeful person.
Next day-task-project allocation-excited-in office before time-met my mentor. By the end of some light conversations:
Me: Sir, we are supposed to do a project here, kindly let me know what project has been assigned to me.
Me: -_- (WTF!!)
Trust me that silence was devastating for me.
Mentor: Okay! Give me some time
After a while, my mentor(Who is the director of the firm) called me and allocated a junior manager to me. She is sweet but talkative. We talked about what not? Life, philisophy, her husband, my girl friend, food, travel, arrange marriage, love marriage etc etc.
In between she used to tell me about company functions, department functions etc.
But where was the project??
Two more days passed by.
I used to roam around the lavish office with the coffee cup(Free filter coffee is the best) all day. My mentor being a very senior employee, didn’t have much time for me. This made me feel neglected. (I even told my HR that if company didn’t have work for me, why did they even hire me)
I knew now that I had to do something.
I started by interacting with employees and knowing about all kinds of processes. Seeing me around all the time, my mentor ( the senior guy) started to hand me over little work like making swim lanes, doing pareto etc. I did everything he said without any hesitation that made him develop trust over me. Few days back, I got to lead a live project that is of high importance to the firm. Though it is a operations project but I no longer care for my project. I now care about the experience. Gradually the employees have started to accept me as part of their community and I feel I am no longer treated as an intern here.
This didn’t come for free. I have been:
1) Interacted with employees on professional as well as personal front
2) Going to office half an hour before my manager arrives(It allows me to stay ahead of him). As soon as he arrives, the first face he sees is mine 😛
3) Learnt about the processes as soon as possible. It enabled me to easily communicate with the employees. Its about getting their lingo on your tongue. Trust me, nobody has time for interns here
4) Staying calm
Project no more matters to me. Now, it’s the experience I am looking for.