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The concept of internships, according to me is one of the most important aspects of college life. It gives us an opportunity to grab a sneak-peek into the professional realm. This is extremely useful, as the experience thus obtained translates to a basis for making important career choices in the future. One only has a very basic idea about what kind of work he’d like to do when he is at the learning stage. The perspective gets refined when one can observe and understand how the concepts he’s learnt apply to situations operating at the professional level. The more one observes the better. So basically, always look forward to a chance for an internship (irrespective of whichever year you’re studying in)!
My pre-final year’s internship was at KPMG (never mind the full name). It happens to be one of the top four companies in the world in the field of auditing (the pack is actually referred to as ‘The Big Four’, the others being Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and PWC). The profile was Data Analytics. One of the major reasons why I got selected for this internship was my past internship experience at Plancess Edusolutions, where I was involved in “rigorous statistical analytics, business development and market research”. Most (but not all) of it was Google and Excel really. Yet I’d never imagined how the work that once felt somewhat bland could help me notch an internship at a company like KPMG. Moreover, now as I look back, (esp. when I have to Google something at KPMG) I realize Google and Excel are really inescapable!; but more importantly, I understand that every work you take up—at any company—loads you with a value whose true potential you can never foresee, nor overestimate.
The experience at KPMG has been unforgettably pleasant. We were posted at the Goregaon office in Mumbai. The work environment was very comfortable, the people very friendly (although sometimes things get too sophisticated), and the value in the work I am doing was felt. As always, this internship was a rather steep learning curve. My profile deals with Software Asset Management (SAM), and licensing contracts. The department is “Forensic” which happens to be one of the major wings of the company, and my branch (the sub-department) is called CCS – Contract Compliance Services. Team CCS is involved with conducting software audits of the clients of “very” well-known software companies, at their behest. What follows is the analytics of software licensing for these third-party clients, with a view to curb the revenue leakage hitherto suffered by the software companies. It’s a pretty simple process. A company say SOFT, learns through research that one of its clients, say another company XYZ utilizes a series of their software products, but without bothering to get them licensed. SOFT then comes to KPMG and asks us to investigate XYZ through an audit which our team conducts. On the basis of the findings, we do an analysis of the licensing policy best suited for XYZ. On several occasions, interns were set off to audit offices independently. There was a lot to gain from this process (apart from hosted lunches). One of the most important aspects was the sharpened client interaction skills. Additionally, interns were required to write research papers on the impacts of IT in various sectors. This involved some “real” rigorous research. Besides this, we were intermittently given some Excel work which was too simple to elaborate, but it helped refine our Excel proficiency.
Although the work might seem pretty heavy, we actually enjoyed a lot of free time. A majority of the acquaintances we interns made were at the TT table! There were a couple of coffee machines which ensured an infinite supply of caffeine throughout the day. There was a mini golf course too. The office really is pretty cool–I’ve fallen in love with this place. We also learnt a lot through various insights shared with us by our colleagues in the form of anecdotes and tips. We enjoyed many social events like inter-department soccer matches, and promotion treats! We often travelled to office with one of our directors, who happened to live bang opposite the Main Gate. It was fun. The people here, as I said, are very friendly.
One of the few downsides I see to this internship is that there was no IITian in our department. Most of the employees in KPMG (known for its auditing swag) happen to be commerce graduates. Quite a many of them happen to be CAs and CFAs. The only engineers we encountered were in our department – Forensic. Most of the lot was IT or EXTC engineers. Yet, the absence of an IITian in the team was hardly felt, except for when it came to light that CCS is not exactly the work any IITian had chosen to do as yet. The profile does not open for IITs. Still, in neither way was the work we did below us, as I have stated above in a more general context. In the professional realm, everyone continuously evolves, and exposure and insight are catalytic to our growth.
In retrospect, I can confidently say that KPMG has been my best interning experience so far.