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‘Creating a strong LinkedIn profile is the first step towards building your portfolio’ 

Apeejay student Saransh Sharma explains how internships are necessary for building a skillful and successful career



“After completing your 1st year of degree programme at  Apeejay Institute of Management and Engineering Technical Campus (AIMETC), a student is supposed to pursue a summer internship so as to be equipped with the required knowledge before the placements finally begin,” emphasised Saransh Sharma, 2nd year MBA student at AIMETC. The 21-year-old recently completed a  45-day internship with Ludhiana Beverages Pvt Ltd, the official bottling partner for Coca-Cola India.In this interview, Saransh shares about his first-hand experience as an intern and more. Read edited excerpts:

Why did you pick this company? How will this internship add to your portfolio?

The only reason to pick this company was this is a family-owned business and is a major distributor of Coca Cola in different resorts around the city. I believed someone like me, starting from scratch, could be at benefit if I got to learn from this company. Considering how prominent the Coca Cola company is, an internship with them is surely going to put me in a great position.

What has the experience been like so far at the company? What did your work involve?

My projects involved covering around 80 outlets in the city and having their survey taken. The projects were named, “Trade Marketing Pilot” and “Cross Sectional Marketing”. It has been a rollercoaster ride. The first day appeared quite challenging to me, as I started covering the outlets on my own which came out to be a mistake, as I was supposed to be covering those with particular area operators, as my mentor told me. Once I was good to go, then it was all about ringing up the different area operators, finding them through GPS and covering the outlets. It was laborious but rewarding indeed.

Do you think this internship will help in your placement process? How? 

I will answer this one with a Heraclitus quote, “No one steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he is not the same man”. The two beliefs that I am certain about from this internship are knowledge and the experience regarding how the market system works and how I, as an MBA graduate, is supposed to carry myself there. Plus, considering how massive the company is, I believe I have the opportunity to ace in placements.

Why internships become important in career development? 

Our education system is structured in a way that it’s more focused on cramming and clearing. Education needs application and the situation in the working environment is quite different from what we read in books. Like, if we speak about ‘14 Principles of Henry Fayol’, not even half of them are applicable in an organisation, as they do things quite distinctively. So, I believe that internships are quite necessary for building a skillful and successful career.

Share three tips for students to make
the most of an internship 

a) From my personal experience I would say keep your mentor updated with all the details and all that’s happening with the project allotted to you. This is to eliminate any sort of flaws and if there are any, those can be rectified  immediately.

 b) Second advice would be to keep focus on your interpersonal and communication skills development while being on an internship. This could be the best chance to improve on these factors, if one is an introvert. I consider these skills to be of paramount importance, no matter which field you are from.

c) Third piece of advice that I would give is to build connections, as these are really important. The things you can get access to and can make happen with connections is unbelievable. Building a LinkedIn profile is the first step while doing so.

What do you plan to pursue after completing your degree from AIMETC?

To be honest, people around me keep telling me that I should be joining my family business. Plus, considering how the entrepreneurial culture is being promoted nowadays, I believe that’s where I should be going ahead with. But I am always eyeing the jobs in the FMCG sector, and if my schedule gets set like I can manage both, then I would prefer that.

Which companies or sectors are you targeting to join?

The companies I would personally look out for are Hindustan Unilever Limited, Pepsico or Coca Cola. The sector, to be specific I will prefer will surely be FMCG.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.