Yashjeet Varshney, a first year student at MDI Gurgaon has spent the last few days toggling between managing affairs at home and attending virtual meetings with business leaders at Samsung India, where he is doing his summer internship.
“I learn new things here every day and many new perspectives that a business school can never provide. Frankly, even though this internship is virtual and I may not be as fortunate as some of my seniors to get an in-office experience, the last two weeks have been absolutely exciting and I don’t know how I’d ever go back to routine college life,” he says.
Yashjeet is among 34 interns from India’s top B-Schools who got selected for the prestigious IGNITE (Inspiring Growth & Nurturing Interns Towards Excellence) internship program – a springboard for many young B-school grads aspiring for a coveted corporate career.
It’s a motley group of students from IIM-Ahmedabad, IIMs – Lucknow, Calcutta, Bangalore and Kozhikode, XLRI Jamshedpur, MDI Gurgaon and FMS Delhi. As the offices are shut for safety of employees as per Covid protocols, the young students are leaving no stone unturned to make the two-month long summer internship program ignite their spirits.
“Our spirits are high. Unfortunately we are not able to raise a toast together because of this program going virtual this year too,” says Sameer Wadhawan, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources at Samsung India. “At Samsung, we believe that young talent, like in this lot will be Powering Digital India – Samsung’s vision for India,” he adds.
The people managers at Samsung have been working from home too, and it has been quite a challenge to keep the flock together but they have ensured the interns go back as empowered or more as any of their seniors. There are some misses for them surely, but the gains will outshine them.
First, let’s see what they have been missing: their first stride and warm welcome into Samsung’s plush Corporate Office on the 24th Floor of Two Horizon Center in Gurugram, the in-person meetings with Samsung leaders, a tête-à-tête with them over coffee, the first office pal, the visits to the exciting break out areas, the gym and cafeteria where ideas abound as much as the delicious spread of food. And of course, the after office parties.
But there are plenty of firsts in a virtual office as well: The first cloud meeting, with patchy connection issues at times, first virtual catch-up, the first virtual brainstorming session, virtual meetings and ideation sessions. And it seems our bunch is enjoying it too.
“I was really hoping to have an in-person internship experience. I have always been passionate about new places, people, and culture so would have loved to see the Samsung office and meet colleagues,” says Sejal Sinha from IIM Kozhikode. “But the virtual mode has been just as intriguing. I absolutely love how the Samsung culture has kept it all so alive even through the current situation and its challenges.”
Anushka Dhawan from XLRI Jamshedpur says the best part about this internship for her is that even the senior most leaders are so readily available, “when we need any inputs from them.”
“Everyone has been keen on sharing their experience and insights with us making all the learning so much more fun. I am yet to fully believe that I am interning for a brand that is so omnipresent. Samsung is a part of almost every Indian home,” she says.
There is more coming up. Stay tuned.