QuantInsti - Shalaka Patil, BB1
BTech Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering, 2017-2021
Product Management Intern at QuantInsti, May 2020 - Jul 2020
Application Procedure and TnP Experience:
For the Biotech branch, no core companies come to IIT Delhi, at least for the first few weeks. Last year, only one core internship came, and they too required an analytical profile. But mostly everyone in Biotech prefers to apply for non-core internships through TnP, which includes Consulting which has some companies on day 1 and day 2, and a few companies for analytics like Finmech, Piramal, ABInBev. There are also software companies, but my inclination wasn't towards those.
I could only attend day 1 and day 2 of the recruitment season because I went for Forex after that. This year, they conducted everything virtually, but until last year if you were not on campus, you couldn't sit for the company. So I could not sit for the companies that came after day 2, and I did not get an internship in Phase 1. A few companies do come later as well, but only a very small number of these are open for Biotech. In this limited branch-specific experience available to me, my real experience was even less. I had talked to some seniors to understand how it all works, but the first-hand experience was of course lacking at that time.
When I returned to campus in January, companies were still coming, but I did not apply for them, since they were not that good, and I was looking for internships off-campus. And there were a few good options available as well. But then, another company, called QuantInsti came to IITD, sometime in Feb, for Product Management Interns. I researched the profile and consulted seniors and found out that it is a very good position in terms of learning. And personally, I found the job aligned with my interests. Also, the company was impressive. Its original product is a learning platform for Algorithmic Trading. After looking into everything, I applied for the internship. They gave an online assignment related to data analytics and product and market research, based on which they released a shortlist of candidates eligible for interviews. We then had virtual interviews. I got the internship there.
Experience during Lockdown:
A lot of people were getting their interns canceled due to the pandemic, so I was also concerned about how things were going to turn out for me. Before the pandemic, I was very excited about the whole internship experience. When I got selected, I had imagined going to Mumbai. I had googled their office, looked at photos, and searched all about the locality. But after the lockdown, I was not sure if the experience was going to be as enjoyable and interactive. I believe that internships are meant for companies to judge whether the intern can be a future employee and for candidates to answer whether they can see themselves working for that company, which was probably going to be difficult with everything being done virtually.
The first half of the first day was devoted to onboarding. We were provided with IDs and a complete setup of the company. A proper induction was carried out wherein we were told about the company. In the second half, we interacted with the people whom we were going to be working with; about themselves, about their current project, and their past work.
After the first day, we had a rigorous first week packed with lots of learning. The company was involved in finance and trading and we had little to no information/experience in the field. The company also organized many events and we interacted with a lot of people. It would have been a great experience if it had been offline nonetheless, it was highly open and interactive because the company also understood the problems brought by the pandemic and it wanted its interns to have a good learning experience. Our reporting manager encouraged us to contact different people for learning purposes, which increased interaction.
The company is currently working on a new product which will be for Algorithmic trading in India. The method is not as common in India as it is in the US, UK. Even in our college, we don't see people engaged in trading on a scale at which they're engaged in coding activities. My work mainly comprised of researching the go-to-market strategy for the product due to be released in January. That involved market research, knowledge about the product, competitors, understanding the customer journey, analysis of USP's, construction of the success matrix, etc. I worked on all these things and jelling them all together.
My experience was very good. The company was mainly focused on our learning from day 1 till the end and made us realize that that's what mattered the most at the end of the day. It's a very close-knit family, not a big MNC, but an Indian company of 80 people. So, everyone knows each other, there's a lot of interaction and a lot more to learn. We knew our deliverables, but in them, we were allowed to go beyond, make mistakes and there was some freedom associated with these as well. The company guided us and corrected us at each step. The feeling of growth was very evident. At all times, they were focused on our personal as well as professional growth. The company has also offered a PPO to me which I have accepted.