After the final semester exams got over, I was in dilemma. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make a ‘practical’ decision by taking up the jobs I had or to let them go and pursue my interests. I was passionate about marketing but didn’t have any experience. After much deliberation, I finally decided to follow my passion and didn’t join any job. I wanted to develop a management perspective to build my profile and get the much-needed experience. So I spent two months searching frantically for internships by networking and asking all people I knew in my circle, but to no avail. I had lost hope and almost conceded to join the job at hand when I overheard my friends talking about Internshala. Frankly, I didn’t believe that I would get an internship by applying online as compared to networking; however, I was desperate and so decided to give it a try. I made an account and was overwhelmed by the myriad available options. To top it off, there was an internship opening for a marketing intern at IIM Bangalore – one of the most coveted management schools in India! I immediately applied and was asked to write two essays on why I needed this internship and why I chose IIM Bangalore. I was apprehensive, as more than 80 people had applied for the same when the requirement was only for one or two!
After about ten days, I was shortlisted and informed to be prepared for the second stage of the selection process – a Skype interview. The interview was brief, lasting about 20 minutes. The questions mainly dealt with my undergraduate course, why I chose to be an engineer, what was my motivation behind the shift to management, my interests and hobbies, and lastly why I wanted an internship despite having jobs at hand. The interview was a good experience after which all my doubts about whether I was making the right decision vanished. My hopes were building; I got the call for a final face-to-face interview at IIM Bangalore.
The interview was taken by the Chief Marketing & Development Officer and the Head of Programs at IIMB and it lasted for an hour. In the beginning, I was asked the basic questions – to introduce myself and share my educational details, extracurricular activities, and awards received. I answered comfortably, emphasizing on extracurricular activities such as debates, theatre (mime) participation, and representing my college at state level festivals. I also spoke about organizing events and conferences at my college. Following this they dug deeper, asking about why I was interested in marketing, where I saw myself after this internship, and in what ways this internship could add value to my career. I told them about my plans of pursuing an MBA in India/abroad and how this internship would be really beneficial in realizing that. Then I was grilled for my decision of leaving the jobs for pursuing an interest. I said that as I was a fresher, I wanted to be equipped with practical knowledge and experience in the field of my interest, before entering the industry. By now, I could feel that they were convinced by my answers. Lastly, I remember that I struck a common chord with one of the interviewers – love for poetry. I told him about my passion for writing poems and we spoke about this for the rest of the interview.
A couple of weeks later, I got a mail from Internshala stating that I was hired for the marketing internship at IIM Bangalore. My happiness knew no bounds! I started my internship from September’16 at IIM Bangalore and my life took a grand turn. Every day was a learning experience and I was enjoying it. I was involved in the marketing of long duration programs, both postgraduate and doctoral, at IIM Bangalore. I worked with my team in organizing information sessions and open houses for various programs. I organized sessions at various companies and marketed the flagship weekend MBA program at IIM Bangalore. I also worked for the placement cell of IIMB by creating links with the industry and getting new recruiters to campus.
Almost 3 months into work, I was assigned the role of a research assistant for 2.5 months under the guidance of a marketing professor of IIM-B. It was a project on designing and conceptualizing of academic programs compatible with market needs. It was a really enriching experience! In a way, this internship has been a solid foundation for my career. The knowledge and mentoring I received are unparalleled. I know the links forged will be a support system in all my endeavours. Now, I’m sure that I will work in the marketing domain only and pursue an MBA in the near future.
About the Author: Kaushik J completed his B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from BNM Institute of Technology, Bangalore. He shares how he got an internship at IIM Bangalore and how the experience helped him convert his passion into a career choice. This article was first published on Internshala, an internship and trainings platform.