Monday, July 27, 2009

Internship - the last mile

I’m on the last week of my internship here. While work has gotten less exciting in the past three weeks (i.e. no traveling), it’s been information overload. I had one really slow week that frustrated the hell out of me – it’s hard enough to wake up in the morning, even harder to make it to work when it’s pouring outside – the least I expect is to be busy for the nine hours I’m at work. Instead, I had enough work for about an uninterrupted half day and then I’d wonder what I should be doing. Not that I minded it so much. You see, sitting in the middle of the action, you pick up stuff just from hearing and seeing. So although I didn’t get an opportunity to work with as many people as I would have liked to, I did get to learn a lot from observation (kind of like the way I learnt to cook!).

But that was just the one week. The one after that has been pretty busy. My final deliverable is a creative brief to an ad agency, one that encompasses a number of brands. After some analysis on the regions we are piloting this initiative (that I’m working on), we came up with a few brands that have the highest salience (how’s that for jargon?). I have spent the better part of last week meeting with the brand managers of these brands and studying brand materials I have obtained from them. While I have enjoyed meeting these people and learning about the brands and how they have been designing the campaigns that I see on outdoor overheads (OOH) and commercials (TVC), I wish they had time to talk to me about other stuff… like what keeps them here, what they like about their job, what their career graph has been etc. Basically the typical networking buzz except that I actually really WANT to know this about them. More than just an exposure to the workings of a typical CPG firm, I am using this internship to evaluate whether I want to return to India after Darden. Unfortunately, people here have been way too busy and I am constantly aware of the long hours they put in everyday, including Fridays.

On Saturday morning I return home for a few days before I have to leave for VA again. It feels like my ‘vacation’ is ending. It was great having free evenings with no cases to prep for the next day. I am actually reading – the newspapers, magazines, books… I have enjoyed walking around Nariman Point in the evenings after work, looking at headquarters of a lot of major corporations. It’s been a welcome change to be able to watch Sunday night movies on tv, with nothing to ‘study’ for Monday morning. But I’m ready for this to end because I really want to spend some time with the family, not just hurried weekends like I had over the past two months. In the meantime, I have this week to get through.

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