21 Dec 2015 19:40 IST

An internship of two cities

Palak Vasa, MBA student at Welingkar Institute of Management (2014-16), writes about interning in two countries

Living a dream: this sums up my internship experience with Siemens Financial Services (SFS). I remember appearing for the first stage of qualifying for the internship, which was an aptitude test. At the time, I was clueless as to how my life was going to change in the coming months.

I was among the top 20 students shortlisted for the interview. Subsequently, I was selected for the internship with SFS India. To my surprise, within a few days, I was informed that I was further shortlisted for a round of interviews which would lead to an internship at their global headquarters in Munich, Germany. It was my eureka moment; there was something special which was on its way and I was meant to seize it.

I went through a rigorous round of interviews with the SFS India CRO, CFO and CEO, followed by a few telephone conversations with senior personnel from their global teams in Hong Kong and Munich which revolved around questions of what, how and why. The one question that constantly ran in my mind: isn’t this too much for an internship selection? But this was no ordinary internship. One fine day, a mail popped up in my inbox saying that after all the screening, they were happy to host me for their BRIC and Second Wave Emerging Countries Internship Programme. It took me a while to believe what I saw, and it was only later that I realised that I was going to represent India as part of the programme.

The duration of the ‘Glocal’ internship experience was five months, in which I split my time between the team in the Mumbai office and the team in the Munich office. In Mumbai, I was part of the vendor management team, and in Munich, I worked in the project management team. As a result, my internship report was titled Local and global perspective of commercial activities, business excellence and project management.

While I had already started growing my business network during my period in India, I had to expand it beyond boundaries. This was my first trip out of India, so this will always be close to my heart. I realised that I was not visiting Germany as a tourist, but as a professional and to an extent, a new citizen.

It was a humbling experience to discuss business topics and problem statements with global heads over numerous coffee or lunch meetings. That being said, many discussions with colleagues also involved a lot of cultural give-and-take. The amalgamation of my learnings in India and learnings in Germany is something I will always cherish. I returned to India a truly global citizen leader.

It gives me immense pleasure to share that after all the evaluation, I was further conferred with a pre-placement offer (PPO) to join the company at their Bangalore office, which is going all guns to expand their business in the South India region. I have accepted the same and I will be joining the vendor management team, which is their business development arm.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Welingkar Institute of Management and Siemens Financial Services (SFS) for this enriching internship experience, which has been a huge turnaround for my personal and professional development.

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