There is the learning which you receive in college. And then, there are the practical lessons which you gain at work. And the best way to build skills and understand an industry is through undertaking an internship. This and more from Arnab Biswas, who shared his intern experience with a host of internships in Airtel, Oyo Rooms and Engineers India Limited.
Arnab’s Intern experiences:
Arnab, a B.Tech student, is currently pursuing his degree in B.E. Chemical in Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Patiala and is in his final year. Here is what he had to say about his multiple internship experiences.
You have interned at Airtel and OYO Rooms – corporate environments, with OYO still functioning with a startup feel. How were those experiences?
My internship at Airtel was the best internship ever, not because of the brand value itself, but because of the amazing work culture they had and the keen interest my mentor showed in my project though it was just a 1 month internship.
With OYO it was a work from home internship where our main task was to acquire clients for them. There wasn’t much interaction with my mentors and I wasn’t able to learn much on that front.
You have done quite a few internships in diverse roles. Why did you choose these internships?
I’ve done 4 internships till date – IDPL, EIL, Airtel and Oyo Rooms. Two of these, IDPL and EIL, I did to show against my college course requirements.
My Internship in Airtel and the one in Oyo Rooms, were both marketing internships and involved analysis as I’ve got keen interest in the sales and marketing field and would like to go that field in the near future.
Hence, I took the opportunity which I have and try to improve my skills as much as possible via these internships.
Your worked recently with EIL (Engineers India Ltd.). How did you get that internship? Take us through the process of application and interview process.
I applied for the internship through a relative. I was keen on pursuing an internship in EIL as it was mandatory to complete an internship in a core engineering company for 6 months as a part of my course. It was a fairly short process; I submitted my application with college score cards and a request letter from my college for the internship.
What was your role in the internship?
I worked in the Research and Development department (R&D) where we basically researched and implemented the knowledge in improving the existing tools and equipment used in industries.
The focus was on increasing their productivity and output.
During the 6 months, my first 2 months were project research and finding all kind of relevant data and formulas and past case studies related to it.
Next, I started on developing an excel software as a part of my project where I was given weekly deadlines by my mentor. I generally used to meet my deadlines before time due to which I also ended up learning more about my project and got a lot of time for formulating my final report.
What did you learn from the internship?
I am interested in pursuing a career in management and desire to work in a corporate setup which is why I was keen on improving my non-technical skills. It was because of this that I chose to do a project that would improve my Ms-Office skills, especially excel.
What I have learnt during the internship will no doubt help me in the future. I had an open discussion with my mentor about my career goals and which is why he assigned this project to me that would help me.
You also co-founded a company – BiggBinder. Tell us what it is about and how does it fit in your career goals? What did you learn from that experience?
BiggBinder was basically created to tackle the logistical problems and innovate in the online logistical fields required in conferences. I myself participate in a lot of debating events which required a lot of logistics. I saw the opportunity and the market and decided to take it up.
Our main goal was always satisfy our customers and not concentrate on profits because my co-founders and I knew that we won’t be able to dedicate time to it once we get campus placement. This was just an initiative to test our skills.
For me personally, this helped me in improving my networking and improve my marketing as I handled the customer relations, orders and queries regarding the products, and since I want to go into consultancy field in the future I got to get a hands on experience in it with BiggBinder.
How do you manage juggling your course work, internships and managing your company?
The functions of BiggBinder are pretty much divided between 5 people, I usually take calls, discuss orders, clarify doubts, help the clients, basically all in all keep the relations and orders placed intact, whenever I get time I work for BiggBinder by promoting them at the debating events I go to.
Regarding my course work, I’m in my final semester now so for once It’s been easy handling everything else till now but it’s becoming a bit difficult for me in the final semester with my campus placements and projects going on.
For the time being, BiggBinder has minimised its functioning and all the co-founders including me are trying to pursue and secure a good future for ourselves.
How do you cool off? Do you take part in any extra-curricular activities?
I love participating in Model United Nations (MUN). I’ve been in to them since 2012 and generally chair those conferences now. At MUN’s I get to meet new people, improve my network and sometimes realise my own flaws on which I try to work. So MUN’s have helped me develop as a person over the years and introduced me to many amazing people.
What advice would you give to engineering freshers seeking internships?
The one and only thing I’d suggest you right now is, don’t go after money but go after learning experience. Try to get internships where you think you’ll be able to learn a lot. It’s this knowledge which will help you get better jobs in the future.
What are your own career plans?
Ideally, I would love to pursue a career in the consulting industry and work with top firms like KMPG, McKinsey and EY. I am looking out for a good company to work with immediately after graduation where I would get to learn new things. I am not focusing on a huge salary as I understand I have to work hard and build my skill set.
After working for 2 years I will decide what to do further, MBA is an option I am working towards.
As Shah Rukh Khan says in Kal Ho Na Ho, “Haso, Jiyo, Muskuraao, Kya pata, Kal Ho Na Ho”, so I don’t think much of the future, I just believe in myself and try every day to get any consulting firm off-campus as well even if the pay is not that high.
Were you inspired by Arnab’s story? Do you have an inspiring internship story to share? If you do, let us know in the comments and we will feature you in our intern experiences. For more internship stories and advice, subscribe to notifications from our blog.