03 Nov 2016 19:37 IST

Creating a lifetime of memories

Interning with HUL was an extremely rewarding experience

“Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.” But in my case, swap love for an internship and fairytale for a lifetime of memories, and that would be my internship experience at Hindustan Unilever Ltd!

Amidst back-to-back mid-semester exams in the month of March, my phone beeped with an email notification whose subject read: “International Summers | United Kingdom”. This would be my first ever trip abroad. My heart skipped a beat and from that moment I knew I was in for a roller-coaster ride that I had never experienced before.

The internship started at the Mumbai head office of HUL with a three-day induction programme, packed with sessions led by senior leaders, consumer home visits, team building activities and a lavish celebration to add icing to the cake.

I was fortunate to work with the global HRBP team of Home Care in the Global HQ of Unilever at London where I worked on a total of four projects in my eight weeks there. The exposure was unique and incredibly enriching. There were days when I found myself completely immersed in doing attrition analysis, and others were spent brainstorming with the communications team to find effective ways to deliver crisp content or designing creative content for the global rollout an internal app. In a matter of two weeks, I was given complete ownership of the projects that I was handling!

Interning with an organisation like HUL is an extremely rewarding experience. The mentors and tutors take care of you but at the same time, they constantly thrown you out of your comfort zone and put you in situations where you either sink or swim. Every day is a new challenge and you learn something new.

The level of trust and confidence HUL lays on its interns is incredible and unmatched — after all, not all organisations would invest hefty amounts in sending their interns on foreign stints with fully sponsored luxurious accommodation or have inductions programmes with personalities like Anurag Kashyap in attendance!

I found that people at HUL are exceptionally brilliant and yet so humble — be it the Vice President - HR of Home Care, Anuradha Razdan, who took a personal interest in ensuring I was on track and that the projects were value-adding, or Unilever’s Chief HR Officer, Leena Nair, who you can spot dropping by at the employees desk despite her busy schedule.

Some of the key mantras I was taught are:

* You can’t just wait for things to happen; you have to take initiative to change the status quo

* Learn to get out of your comfort zone. It’s never too late to work on your weaknesses

* We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges

I will always remember my time with HUL, not just for the experiences I got and lessons I learnt but also the amazing people I interacted with.