The selection procedure of ITC is quite intensive. First students were shortlisted on the basis of the resume (which is generally displayed during the PPT). There is also an application form that needs to be filled and submitted on the ITC website, which is important in the shortlisting process and the final interview. ITC usually has 8 CGPA criteria, however, this may or may not hold. Usually people with some PoR and ECA are shortlisted.
Next is a Group Discussion of about 20 minutes involving 7-8 people. A topic was given, and the group had to arrive at a conclusion through discussion. In my GD, the topic was about the culpability of a certain person, given a situation. Usually, 2-3 people are shortlisted from every group.
Lastly, on Day 1 there were 2 interview rounds, both of which consisted of 2 interviews. Each can typically be between 20-40 minutes long. There is no strict demarcation of tech and HR interview. They usually talk about your past experiences, PoRs, academic activities and KITES form. The first round panellists are generally younger recruits while the second round panellists typically occupy high positions in the firm.
The overall project was based on the development of sustainable paper packaging. Have you seen paper cups at Nescafe and Amul? They are not exactly recyclable because they use a Polyethylene layer to provide a barrier against the liquid. My project was more on the lines of Research and Development where I worked on a product on which the company is yet to launch commercially in the Indian Market, reducing the amount of plastic used in the packaging.
My roommate got drunk once or twice and has had some interesting conversations with his managers. I also remember an intern from IIT Roorkee who was talking to a senior HR manager about his love life (He promised he won’t drink a cocktail of whisky and vodka next morning :P). The best part of the internship, however, was the orientation at ITC Windsor, Bangalore, in the month of March.
How was the work culture?
The work culture at ITC is pretty rigorous, the company administration consists mostly of IITians. However, the system is set up to support the intern a lot. For example, whenever I wanted to conduct experiments, I could stop a 90 crore machine at my will and do anything as long as could explain the theory and logic behind my ideas. People respect IITians and their thoughts and ideas are warmly welcomed by CXOs as well.
Students should expect to spend 10+ hours at the factory. I remember pulling 20+ hours shifts a couple of times to finish experiments and get trials done. You get the ownership of a project and the improvements you suggest get reflected in crores. Perks of working in the FMCG sector.
The internship was highly rewarding and taxing, both. It took a lot of mental strength, but the overall experience was definitely positive. It gave me the confidence to stand out of the line and voice my opinions.