Akshita Kanumury (XIMB) - Steel Industry

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Name: Akshita Kanumury

College: Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar

MBA Batch: 2014-16

Summer Internship Industry: Steel

Location: Kolkata, India

Profile: Sales & Marketing

Brief Project Description & Responsibilities:

My project was essentially about mapping demand & supply of Ferro Manganese and also computing appropriate pricing for it using a pricing model, along with Mrudul Parikh from JBIMS. Responsibilities were to collect both primary and secondary data, triangulate them by taking insights from seniors in department and making recommendations to the company based on the analysis performed.

What was the overview of the project? Elaborate with some details

Project Title was "End-user mapping and pricing in Domestic & International markets". The project primarily required a basic understanding of the steel industry and its back-end processes. This was achieved by daily interactions and knowledge sessions with associates handling different functions (procurement, exports, logistics etc) within the department. This helped in getting acclimatised with the jargons, terminology and changing trends. Once the foundation was set, the work on the project began with full force. With inputs from all corners, we were able to create a real-time "Pricing model" that could generate outputs by altering different constraints. Also, we constructed a "Customer Priority Matrix" analysing the purchase behaviour and past data of customers. These models helped in suggesting final recommendations to the company.

Share your daily routine & overall summer internship experience.

My daily routine involved getting suited up in formals by 8.30, grabbing breakfast and heading to the office either by cab or metro depending on the traffic and time at hand. Once at office, my first half mainly went in making a to-do list for the day, reading up from secondary sources of data like journals, reports, websites etc and schedule telephonic or personal meetings with concerned people. Break for lunch and interact with interns from different B-schools working with other departments and know about the projects they are working on.  The second half mostly revolved around making phone calls and meeting the concerned people. Once this was done, the progress was updated to out mentor and necessary changes were made based on the inputs given. The overall experience was extremely enriching and a true case of "learning meeting fun".

How was the selection process conducted?

The initial screening was based on the personal, professional, academic details and answers filled in the form. All the short-listed people were then divided into groups of 8 for a moderated Group Discussion (GD) observed by the panel who were eminent executives from the company. The topics given during the GD varied from group-to-group. Our group was told to come up with our own topic by taking consensus from all the members. We chose "Business Ethics in the corporate scenario today". After the GD, there was another round of shortlisting done by the panel and the selected candidates had to appear for an interview. The interview had personal questions, general discussion about B-school life. The academic knowledge was also tested by questioning on fundamentals taught across different subjects. Also, a real-life scenario was given and our approach to the problem was tested. The various steps through the selection ensured one had a rounded personality overall.

What were your key learnings from the summer internship?

Professionally, I have learnt how to approach a problem and solve it in a structured fashion. I have also improved by leaps and bounds in using tools like Excel and Powerpoint. I have also mastered the art of negotiating with people. At a personal level, I have learnt dealing with both success and failure with the same attitude. I have realised it is very important to keep calm and stay confident at any juncture.

Three tips would you give to your juniors

1. Always be sincere in your work however important or trivial it is. It is completely ok to be unaware of certain things but be honest about it and show proactiveness to learn and correct yourself if wrong.

2. Network with as many people as possible in the department and maintain a cordial and friendly rapport with each one of them. Take the discussions beyond formal conversations during tea breaks . Find out about the company structure, policies etc and also project those facets of your personality which you think are in line with culture of the company.

3.  Step out of your comfort zone and take up tasks that are challenging. Never hesitate in taking help whenever you feel you have encountered a road-block. Keep your guide in loop under all circumstances.

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