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Ankush Thakkar is a 3rd year Undergraduate pursuing a B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science.
I can vaguely picture you reading this to know more about the firm I interned at, having been in the same shoes myself, a year back. But before I am of actual use to you, let me bore you with a little bit about myself.
Mumbai is a crazy city and having lived here all my life, I can say that it has been a rollercoaster experience through school, college and now IIT Bombay. Having said this, I was really hoping for an opportunity to travel around for my intern. The “see the world, feel the world” feels that everyone at our age gets. However, as fate would have it, my intern at The Parthenon Group, was also in Mumbai.
Let me clear the air if this is sending out negative vibes. If you had seen my beaming smile, when they selected me, you’d know that there were no regrets whatsoever. Not the best narrator or writer out there, but I hope what I share with you below will convince you likewise.
Getting There – The Process
Two out of every three IITians wish to pursue a job not related to their current curriculum and I was no different, consulting and finance being my top priorities. When you open the placements page to see a Global Strategic Consulting Firm headquartered in Boston looking to hire interns for their Mumbai Office, it takes you less than a minute to submit your resume and apply for that internship.
In a less than a week I got an email confirmation that I had been shortlisted for the interview process. That marked the beginning of an eventful journey with The Parthenon Group.
D Day = interview day = NERVES!
I had the fifth slot with three rounds of one hour interviews with the HR section and a case interview in each. Their casual approach in the interviews helped do away with all tension and got me comfortable before I ventured into the guesstimate or case study. Their methodology was interesting; they even took a girl candidate for a walk during the interview.
For these interviews, the companies had given us mentors and buddies to get comfortable with the case studies concept. Thankfully for me, I had a great mentor/buddy who was able to take a few case studies over the phone and recommend some brilliant reading material which helped streamline my efforts further.
Working – The Parthenon style!
Let’s fast track to life at Parthenon. I am going to segment the next part of this blog into the important aspects of the Internship.
People: I believe people are most important; who wants to be part of Horrible Bosses 3 right? The people here are extremely amiable and forward. Consulting being something most IITians wouldn’t know of, tends to be difficult to grip at the start. The people here, right from the Associates to the Consultants are extremely helpful and don’t judge you by the stupid questions you tend to ask (I hope!). Brimmed with IITians, MBAs and CAs this place hoards a lot of knowledge and extremely efficient yet fun loving people! You learn to value time and understand what you could achieve in a day’s time. There is a popular saying in the office, if you don’t get something just ask someone nearby, it is always quicker. Irrespective of what you are doing, there is always a better way to do it.
Culture: There was a lot of buzz regarding the culture at Parthenon before I joined from the seniors who have worked here before and the stories we heard at the pre-placement talk. Besides living up to it, they offered much more! Right from the pantry food to the Wednesday snacks to the Friday brunch, this place was a foodie’s paradise! Everyday around 5PM the office would be filled with the aroma of Maggi and at 7PM you would find the smell of butter popcorn tingling your nose! Culture is defined not just by the facilities and traditions but also by the people here. If you are at your desk working you could always expect someone to drop by just for a little chat- the little things that could improve your day!
Work: I knew internships were all about learning new things but I was in for a treat. If you are looking to get an insight into the life at consulting, a Parthenon internship is the way to go! The standard internship process here would give you exposure to two projects (1 month long each) which would give you great exposure into the work involved be it the excel coding or sliding. Luckily for me, my projects spanned different sectors giving me great exposure – right from building a market fact base to conducting expert calls to the market segmentation and cuts (Still need to work on that though!). From this internship I could decipher that consulting is definitely the way to go for me and the fact that fact that it took less than 50 days for me to decide what I wish to do for the next 500 days, I would give credit to this firm.
Work Life Balance: This forms a crucial factor later on when you choose a job, than for an internship. For me, I had mild or almost no work during the weekends. You work with your case group so the hours of work may vary but they are not strict on the time you come in which is a benefit for those late sleepers out there. Though the people here work really hard, they enjoy the moments they do which is the beauty of this firm. It is something my father always told me; if you enjoy your work, you aren’t working, you are enjoying.
Office: When you set foot in the office close to 9am, the cool air of the air conditioner manages very well to rid you of the frustration of Mumbai’s commute before you are treated to one of best views in Mumbai- that of Nariman Point overlooking the Arabian Sea. You could see that view every day but when you are actually taken into the beauty of it, it takes your breath away! The office is extremely spacious with the absence of cubicles or cabins since, contrary to other consulting firms, the Partners, Consultants, Associates and Interns all sit, eat and work together. This is really helpful; you could approach anyone for any query and get inspired by those that work around you at the same time. Perfectly upholding their motto: Unconventional Thinking, Real Impact.
All in all, this has been a milestone experience for me, as a Summer Associate here and I would recommend this to anyone even vaguely considering consulting as a career path. It is an experience worth living. Have a go at consulting, the Parthenon style!