How your internship helps you to have experience in the nitty-gritty of Management? How your summer training makes you explore learning’s in the practicalities of MBA? How do you best acquire knowledge from your internship?In this special series of ‘MBA Internship Experience’, Careers360 brings insightful experiences from Management students, who learned strategies and applied theories to successfully complete their internship project
An ex engineer with Tata Consultancy Services, Soochna Sahu who is currently pursuing her PGDM at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai campus, underwent her summer training at Godrej & Boyce in the Sales division. During her internship she worked on the project on ‘Consumer Durable Space’. Read this interview to know how she coped up with the challenges of working in the Sales division and learned about the importance of collaboration required across divisions.
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Careers360: Where did you complete your summer internship from? What was the size of the company?
Soochna Sahu: I did my internship in Godrej & Boyce Mgf. Co. Ltd., Appliance division at Bhubaneswar branch. Godrej Appliances is into white goods manufacturing and is part of the holding company of the Godrej Group. The Bhubaneswar office has around 200 people working for towards achieving the mission and vision of Godrej.
Careers360: What project did you work on? What was the timeline for execution of different stages of the project?
Soochna Sahu: I worked on a project in the sales & marketing domain. The project title was: Secondary Field Force Management in Consumer Durable Space.The project was spread across a span of 2.5 months. The timeline of the deliverables were made clear at the beginning of the project.
The first month was spent in developing the questionnaire and interacting with the respondents. Next month was used for proper tabulation and analysis of the data. In the last 15 days, final reports were made for the presentations to the senior management. In between, I was also involved in managerial activities related to the project, training of respondents and a new product launch for the dealers.
Careers360: Please share a project summary.
Soochna Sahu: My task was to meet the secondary sales force team consumer which is durables team of Godrej and its competitors – LG, Samsung and Whirlpool placed at the shop floor. The next step was to interact, observe and understand them in order to understand the secondary sales force management system in Godrej. This was done through a carefully formulated questionnaire, which covered all the criteria of the system. The project also expected me to identify the problem in the prevailing system so as to give a proposal for improvement. The market research was to be carried out in 3 different places – Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Durgapur on 160 consumer durable customer advisors. I studied the placement of consumer durables in a dealer counter and customer handling by customer advisors. I also conducted below the line (BTL) promotional activities for Godrej durables and organized a new product launch for the dealers.
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Careers360: How did you execute the project?
Soochna Sahu: I got the opportunity to visit as many as 25 dealer counters in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Durgapur. I did a survey on the consumer durable customer advisors at these counters to understand the practices and problems of the secondary field force management system.
Careers360: What were the key challenges that you faced while doing your internship?
Soochna Sahu: Sales and market research job involves a lot of travelling and convincing skills. A major challenge faced during the internship was travelling to various areas which I had never visited. Another daunting task was to persuade the customer advisors to participate in the survey and provide accurate data.
Careers360: What was your key learning’s while doing the project and overall learning after completion of your internship?
Soochna Sahu: Sales works in collaboration with different departments, so did I. Working across different departments was a learning itself. I got hands on experience of working in the sales domain of the FMCD industry and thus know the industry in and out.
Because I had a chance to interview new hires for customer advisor post, I found that though they were not that qualified academically but had apt knowledge about the industry. I also learnt the art of being patient while serving a customer.
Careers360: How did your corporate mentor at internship help you execute the project?
Soochna Sahu: My corporate mentor guided me a lot throughout the internship. His guidance played major role in the successful execution of the project. He reviewed my work on a daily basis. His insights on the industry and job role were much valuable. I will carry them forward in life.
Careers360: Share a memorable incident from your internship days.
Soochna Sahu: A life changing moment was when I decided to a write an article for the in-house magazine of Godrej. The article was about a customer advice who is physically challenged but never let that be an obstacle in his work. An interview with him taught me a thousand lessons for life and gave me an inspiration which was enough to work hard to achieve my goals in life. He proved that human spirit and endeavor can overcome any physical disability and help achieve great heights provided the individual has determination to succeed.
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