Firstly, my degree helped me prepare the core concepts for the internship process during the internship. I remember the interview essentially required more soft skills in a conversation.
There were three aspects to my interview, HR, technical, and Management oriented. So for HR, it is more inherent in you. In terms of the management part, my experience in Enactus helped a lot, and it helped me validate my claims about my soft skills. Concerning the core/technical part, there is no end to it, but you need an excellent CGPA to make it into ITC because they are very stringent about getting high CGPA candidates only.
I am in one of the lucky branches (Chemical Engineering) due to the availability of a wide array of possible internships. I wanted to have a varied experience, and ITC aligned well with my theoretical knowledge gained in IIT. I wanted to have this experience to give justice to my degree honestly.
The intern was at ITC Limited, which is an FMCG company. I worked offline at their chocolate and coffee plant in Haridwar. Firstly the experience of being in an offline setting, I remember my main objective for the first week was to survive through 10 hours of factory life a day.
I used to work for 12 hours a day, out of which 8 were spent standing on the shop floor of the factory, so it was a physically taxing endeavor. My main job was to optimize costs to reduce wastages and increase the net yield while lowering the company's production costs, so I had to devise solutions for the same. There was a lot of evident application of concepts I learned in my courses. The idea in the internship was that you do not need to be technically prepared to a great extent, but you need to be willing to learn and grasp things in the process.
When you go for the intern process, make sure to talk to your seniors. When I went for my internship, I wasted a week because I was not approaching my seniors. Still, in that corporate setting, the senior managers are easily approachable and helpful. It would be best if you used that to your advantage. What a company expects from you is that you should learn new things. They do not expect a lot of knowledge on your end, all they desire is that you are curious and ask questions.
Secondly, in your interview, they did not expect you to solve all the questions because I remember that I was unable to solve all the questions in my technical interview. Still, they cared more about my soft skills while conversing with them.
The first half of my internship was highly theoretical. Still, after my midterm review, there was this one day where we had to run a trial on my devised solution. On that day, I was acting as the manager of the entire factory, and the whole day’s production or losses would have solely been on me. Coincidentally a new senior-level manager was also flying in the same day, so that sense of ownership and responsibility is something I distinctly remember. This felt like the day which decided whether I got a PPO or not.
Interviewed by: Vibhor Jain