26 Jul 2021 19:40 IST

‘Even top brass was accessible at Samsung’

As an HR intern, I observed how processes affect people in real-time in high-stake decisions

As a B-school student, hands-on learning is much more useful compared to bookish knowledge. That’s why I was eagerly waiting for the most important milestone in my B-school journey — the annual internship. It not only paves way for a successful, enriching, and fulfilling career but also familiarises us with the workplace culture and practices of the corporate world. I was up for a thrilling journey at an organisation that would give me the best of both worlds — ample opportunities for growth and a meaningful experience — Samsung.

Right after getting short-listed, I was quite excited at the mere prospect of interning at Samsung. To bag an internship at Samsung set a strong foundation for my professional growth and gave me a head-start. Samsung touches almost every Indian household with its vast range of products. To be a part of such an omnipresent brand was nothing short of an adventure for me.

Beginnings

The induction took place over a span of two days. It was particularly ensured that the virtual internship does not act as a hindrance in building real connections with the company and other interns. The induction programme helped me form some great friendships and connections with co-interns, and led to a deeper understanding of the brand, its leaders, and the processes.

I was the only HR intern in the HRD team. The entire team was so warm and welcoming with everyone just a call away. My mentor, who was at top-level leadership role, was kind enough to let me in on in-progress HRD interventions at the company. It was highly gratifying for a fresher like me to get observe changes affecting people in real-time, the thought process behind making those decisions, and how risks are mitigated in high-stake decisions up-close.

New learnings and experiences

I was given a strategy project at the beginning of my internship. The project required me to diagnose pressure points in HRD, evaluate current interventions, accumulate resources on best practices, and conduct a gap analysis to finally issue recommendations. I started out with exploratory research and internal interviews, and at that point, it became sufficiently clear to me that my project will entail a lot of primary data-collecting and processing.

To assimilate internal primary data, I designed a survey and a qualitative interview questionnaire. Administering both methods was seamless, thanks to the infrastructure provided to us by Samsung. There exists an entire survey portal called MOSAIC, which not only helps with a scientific survey design but also has an inbuilt analysis mechanism. Approaching individuals for interviews was also very easy due to the availability of Knox Messenger, where everyone at Samsung was only a ping away, and that includes even the senior-most pros.

I was also given a chance to get featured on the Samsung Newsroom platform having authored an HRD newsletter. That should speak volumes about the opportunities available to interns to showcase their skills.

Takeaways

To know that my contributions have a direct impact on the developmental approach towards employees pan-India was one-of-a-kind feeling. From interviewing 50+ top HR professionals inside and outside the organisation to surveying over 500 junior and middle managers, the best part about my internship was the amount of exposure I received despite the virtual nature of the project.

It helped me understand ground realities, what different job roles entail, and the confluence between HR and a sales-driven organisation like Samsung. The scope of my project let me apply my B-school learnings such as social research methods, training and development, and management of competencies.

My virtual experience has been enriching to say the least. I wish I get to make a visit to the Samsung office one day.

(The writer is pursuing her MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur, and holds a law degree as well. She is a part of the HR and IR committees. She can almost always be found obsessing over dogs, travel, music, board games, and coffee.)