Practical learning is an integral and indispensable part of a management programme. While all B-schools include this in the curriculum in the form of internships, Sri Balaji Society (SBS) has improvised a short programme (in addition to the internships) as part of the curriculum called, Corporate Internship Programme (CIP). The programme aims to give us our first brush with the corporate world. Right from the start of the PGDM session, I was looking forward to the CIP as I had heard mixed reviews from seniors about the same. This was an important part of the PGDM programme for me, as I was a fresher and my curiosity about the corporate world was at its peak!
So what exactly is the CIP at SBS?
As part of the CIP, we are assigned with the task to approach different companies to convince them into visiting our college for placements. It sounds like a monumental task, and trust me, it indeed is. Nevertheless, we went ahead and took up this challenge. After-all, this is the mantra that SBS lives upon – Problems are opportunities. We started figuring out ways to get an appointment with the assigned companies.
Being my first real-life project I wanted to excel in it. So I spent days trying to contact the top management of the companies and tried to get an appointment.
After a lot of effort, I was able to secure just two appointments out of the 6 companies. I realized how difficult it is to get one’s foot in the door at such places. This did disappoint me a little but I set forth anyway looking forward to securing appointments with the rest too.
Day 1 and I made my way to AndheriSeepz, where the company was located. I reached the place and mere getting into the complex was a big deal! I had to convince the guard for nearly 20 minutes and finally he let me in.
As I treaded towards the event management firm for the appointment, all sorts of thoughts raced through my head. While, I had done all research about the company, its CEO, its culture and how Sri Balaji society’s students would perfectly blend in, and was prepared for every question, I was very nervous nevertheless.
At the reception desk, I got to know that the concerned person was busy in a meeting and would take some more time. With my heart racing and mind wandering towards all kinds of questions, I waited. I waited for almost an hour when the concerned person arrived and all I had was 10 minutes to pitch my Institute.
Looking back, I realize those were the most productively used 10 minutes of my life! I explained all about the specializations at offer, about the entire batch of students with work experience and how we are exposed to the real life industry experience. I don’t know if it was what I told him, or the way I told him, he looked really interested so those 10 minutes turned into 25 and we kept talking. At last, I was able to get his contact details and he promised to visit the Campus! Was I on top of the world? Oh yeah! And why not my first meeting ended with a promise of a visit! Nothing till then had made me so proud and confident. It infused so much confidence in me that I now wanted to approach all other companies with this renewed enthusiasm.
Despite this wave of positivity and zeal, not every company was easy to convert. There was one where I was refused entry to the campus and I had to return despite several trials. By the end of four days, I had converted 3 out of the 6 companies. For a novice like me, it was a moment to celebrate!
The entire experience taught me how to understand people and put my communication skills into action, also I learnt about different industries and the way they function. I had heard a lot of seniors and batch mates whine about it. But personally, I feel, this was the best way to get a brush of the corporate life. One may question the need for the CIP when we have internships to learn from. But I feel differently about this. As an intern I am part of a company and treated a bit differently. Though it is a learning experience in its own right, in CIP I got a perspective which internship would not have provided. Cold calling, getting an appointment, pitching and finally closing the call is a process, the first-hand experience of which I got in CIP. I cherish my entire CIP experience and treat it as one of the learning experiences of my life!
Written by Aashna Narang, Batch of 2018-20. Aashna is a PGDM student at Sri Balaji Society, Pune.