Posted in Internship Experience Stories, Total Reads: 416
Name: Rajat Agarwal
College: Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubneshwar
MBA Batch: 2014-16
Summer Internship Industry: Market research
Location: Gurgaon, India
Profile: Research Analyst (Trainee)
What was the overview of the project? Elaborate with some details
The company is a start-up that conducts market research (social sector) and field surveys. There is a dedicated team of field partners that works in collaboration with the researchers. I worked on multiple projects, notable among them – Indian Statistical Institute- Pragati Abhiyan Study conducted in Delhi/NCR, to understand supply chain issues faced by potato and dairy retailers. I conducted field work, coordinated the field staff and monitored the whole process. I also got the opportunity to work on a study conducted for the Sesame Street and the Metlife Foundation, which involved media content testing with young children. On another assignment for Tokyo University and the Centre for Economic and Social Research , I single handily hosted workshops with medium and small enterprise entrepreneurs.
Share your daily routine & overall summer internship experience.
My usual day at the company started at 10AM , but on days when I had to conduct field trips or meet clients, it could wary. In office I would first review the to-do list for the day , that would set the tone for the day. The metlife/sesame street study was conducted in the office premises so while that project was going on we had to be in office only whereas for other projects that involved field trips like the supply chain project I mentioned earlier, I had to coordinate with the field partner as to which territory he will be covering on a particular day and then I would plan accordingly. Overall the SIP experience was amazing. I learnt how to work at the ground level. I must say amid all this field trip and travelling Delhi Metro was the saviour.
How was the selection process conducted?
It was a multiple round process. In the first round we had to give few write-ups, based on which we were selected for the second round that again had couple of essays on market research. After that there were two rounds of telephonic interviews. In the interview I was asked about my past work experience (especially Teach for India) and extra curricular activities. In the final round I was asked to suggest how do I go about improving certain facets of the start-up and after that I was selected.
What were your key learnings from the summer internship?
Coordination with the field partners. I learnt that no matter how many strategies we device sitting in our plush offices, it ultimately boils down to how the field staff conducts the market research/field survey. We have to understand their point of view and work in tandem with them. Since I was working in a start-up I learnt that you cannot say no to any task that is given to you so basically one needs to know a bit of every thing .Managing resources- we don’t always have a lot of resources at our disposal like in big organizations so we have to make the best use of them.
Three tips would you give to your juniors
• Go for the SIP with an open mind; take up any task/challenge that comes your way.
• Try and make as many contacts by meeting
• It doesn’t matter if you are working for a major FMCG giant or a year old start-up , as long as you are willing to learn and add value to yourself , SIP will always turn out to be a great experience. All the best.