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Hello everyone! I’ve done my third year internship at Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and am here to talk about it. It is one of the leading FMCGs in India, having presence in personal care, home care and foods sector. I was working as a Supply Chain intern in its Haridwar factory. During my internship, I was expected to solve a prevailing factory problem, in order to de-bottleneck the production process. Let me divide my internship blog into three parts for ease of explanation; My Work, Life at HUL, What I Learnt
Hindustan Unilever treats you well. Our internship was kick-started with a brief induction session at the Head Office. We were provided with a world class accommodation (read ‘5-star’). For the next two days, a large number of activities and sessions were planned for us. The Ice breaking activities were fun and sessions were well aimed and coordinated, from an intern’s perspective. They did a very good job in making us feel special. Soon after that, we were all sent to our respective factory locations (True for most supply chain inters). We were allotted our project charters and briefings. Briefing part is done by a ‘tutor’. He is a senior manager in the company. His job is to guide and evaluate you throughout the project. In my case, he was the head of the plant, I was working in. Once you are clear about the problem statement, you are given complete freedom over the way you want to tackle the problem. They provide you with all the resources and help needed to implement your ideas. While I can’t talk about the specifics of the project (Classified :P). Let me take you through the roadmap of the project, and what my work involved:
- Analyzing the past loss records and interviewing people to develop understanding of problem. De-cluttering of the problem into various ‘buckets’ based on Pareto analysis.
- Identifying action points in each buckets. Floating projects and assembling teams to deliver them
- Working out activity networks, finalizing contractors. Insuring execution of all the projects
- Checking results and making tweaks. Handover to internal stockholders along with training to insure sustainability. Recommending scope of parallel replication.
All the projects required basic engineering acumen and an in-depth understanding of the problem statement. You also need to understand the work culture and to some extent, human behaviors as well to be able to place sustainable solutions. You receive an ample amount of guidance from your tutor; they focus on your learning a lot too. Overall, I felt the work to be quite satisfying.
Life @ HUL
People in HUL were in general quite awesome. A large chunk of the management team is hired through internship programs. You get people with a similar mindset. The internship is 6 days/week, work hours are long but everyone is up for some adventure on Sundays. I was able to pull off 4 trips during my 7 weeks of stay at Haridwar, including a hill station, a trek, river rafting, cliff jumping & more. People were up for post work hangouts to nearby places (read Ganga Ghats) and partying scene was quite good. It has kind of work hard play hard culture. If you are into that you can sure have a lot of fun.
What I Learnt
This internship provides you an insight into working of a factory and the functioning of a mega-organization. Post internship, I noticed a difference in the way that I view things. Well, there are a few things which I would like to highlight separately:
- Communication skills: Finding a solution to complicated problem is not sufficient. Communicating it to right audience in right manner is equally important.
- People Understanding: Understanding way people do things is extremely crucial. It will help you design better solutions as people will use it ultimately. It definitely is useful in more ways than one.
- Most importantly, I also realized that college days are really very precious. Almost everyone I met in HUL regretted not being in college.