General Motors – Shruti Khairkar

278 Views, Posted on: July 12, 2017

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So, up until my second year I was as clueless about what to do as Batman’s love interest (to do or not to do). Getting a marketing intern in the second year was, I would say, an important “lesson”. And boy was I blown, by the level of dislike for the work (there’s a high probability that only my work sucked, no offense to other marketing jobs). And thus I left and was a jobless/intern-less collegiate, sulking with what the world could not offer. But life is not as nasty as we make it to be, and I was introduced to the world of technology, by a very close friend.

Now it is crucial to understand that I was always afraid of pursuing tech, because I didn’t think I could “cope” with it. But I put my foot down, and worked for that one week intern, I had obtained through my yet another remarkable feat (yeah, right). And didn’t I love what I was doing! Every day I learned something new, every day I used my brains to do something productive, hell, I was productive. And I learnt so much in that week that I had never imagined or intended to.

And so the third year began, with newfound interest in core/tech interns. My enthusiasm in electives too escalated more than I thought it could; it was pretty rad. Now I don’t know about the number of core interns that came during the odd semester, but what I do remember is (surprise) I didn’t get any.

Flash forward to the even semester, submitting resumes and forgetting what I had signed up for, it was all a daze. Until one afternoon I saw my name shortlisted for the interviews of General Motors (yay). Now I had pretty much negligible hopes of getting into it to tell you the truth. So I did what anybody would do, try to give my best. My telephonic interview was scheduled at 10 am on a Friday, and since we had had a lot of quizzes before Friday, I was sleepy. And on Thursday night I thought what any rational mind would, that I would sleep early and wake up early and PREP.

So I woke up, not to my alarm ringing but to the phone call of the General Motors hiring team. They grilled me about a project on my resume, asked me “technical” questions and I gave crude answers which made the interviewers laugh (on me/ on my answers?). Here’s the thing kiddo, interviewing for anything? Be as thorough with the resume as destroying evidence after murder, no shit. The ray of hope? The interviewers said the HR will contact me further (to tell me how sorry they are they missed the golden opportunity to work with me? NO!).

Since the “blunder” of the interview, I took off on a camping trip with friends to seek solace in the mountains. Come back, open the training blog, no selections yet, worried.

Now it was the next Tuesday afternoon when someone from the HR called and asked, how was your interview, and me being me, blabbered “uh..yeah…it was okay..uh..good…uh it was..okay” (stop!) So the HR, completely bored by now says, “oh well..yeah…you are selected”.

Now GM is quick, quick to select, quick to interview, quick to send the offer-letters, quick to finish off with the formalities. And the HR replies within an hour of emailing them, even if the last date of work was explicitly mentioned in the offer letter (blunders, blunders!)

BANGALORE

Now the office is located inside the International Tech Park (ITPL). Excited, I reached ITPL at 8 when the reporting time was 9. But I was denied entry (wut?!). Listen carefully: always, I repeat, ALWAYS keep your Aadhaar card/ PAN card with you while going there or they won’t let you in! So after pleading and crying and contacting the GM office (Main gate ID card training was useful :P), they were kind enough to send an email to ITPL authorities to let their noob intern in. I reached GM at 9:15.

The first day was orientation, papers, more orientations, more papers, and drowsiness to be honest. Here I was, day 1 at an MNC and blundering my way through (hurray). But the people at GM are amazing, (so chilled I tell you!) not what I had anticipated at all. I met with my manager, with my guide, and all the people in my team, and everyone was so warm and welcoming, they made me feel like I belonged here.

I’ working in the Vehicle Engineering department, Computer Aided Engineering, Interiors. Work here is distributed, not only in the departments of GM India but we work together, in collaboration with GM North America, GM Canada; to name a few. I personally got to interact with so many people, across so many departments, thanks to my guide. I worked there, on the CAE tools, and all the things I could lay my eyes upon. Because the goal of my manager and guide was not only to add value to the company, but to me too. I have talked to a bunch of people, working here since 7-8 years, people who are “senti” about GM, and I have seen friends pull each other’s legs. GM doesn’t seem like a corporate company, but just another “college” of adults, where everyone is constantly learning, improving, making friends, having fun (but getting paid for it :P).

My advice to juniors will be :- don’t just work to get a PPO or anything; work to gain experience. Live through the experience of others, make mistakes, don’t grow up, and don’t be a bore.

PS Did I mention they have this talent competition where groups or individuals could showcase their talents? I saw employees singing, dancing, playing a violin! Best of all I saw the teams roasting the VP in Kannada and Hindi alike and some English to his face! (This temerity stems from the fact that VP does not understand regional languages)

FOOD and TRAVEL

Now comes the most interesting part. I just love food! I don’t care if its street food, I will find it and I’ll have it! And I urge you to try the idlis and dosas of the street shops. They tasted way better than those of the franchises. And the aloo- puris also that common, of course. You could try the local cuisines, but they seemed a little less spicy than I like. But non vegetarian dishes are an exception. The local non-veg dishes are yum!

You could go visit the Banerghatta National Park, and Wonderla (but wake up early, you don’t want to be late, or you could lose the safari tickets in banerghatta or be too late while returning from wonderla) And even though the buses run till late at night, you see shops and markets close by 10- 10:30. It was a bit difficult to get used to, coming from Mumbai since we start going out at 10- 10:30 but the slight advantage of Bangalore is that you can utilize the afternoons for sight seeing.

Then there’s ‘the Coorg’. Coorg is beautiful; so green and so luscious. We went there for a two day trip, spent one day visiting the Tibetan Monastery and trekking up the highest point in Coorg, Thadiyandamol. Though the mountain was infested with leeches, it did not lower our spirits. So if you are planning to visit Thadiyandamol, wear your shoes, and pull your socks over your pants. Don’t give the leeches a chance to stick, because it doesn’t even hurt when the suck the blood. And don’t forget to take your umbrellas, though it wouldn’t help while trekking, but since we were literally in the clouds at the highest point and it started raining as soon as we got there, we were soaked to the skin till we came less than halfway down. Though the interesting thing is, even with all these precautions, seven of the twelve people were attacked. And so we spent the next night traumatized and paranoid, because four people got to know about the stuck leeches after coming back to the hotel! It sucked 😛

The next day was spent visiting the Raja seat, Abbey Falls and Mallalli Falls. Coorg is so pretty! Every sight can be a tourist spot! So while travelling in the mini-van, we stopped at a lake, and some of us went around the lake too. Then someone spotted a snake, and we ran away. The locals even told us that elephants are spotted in that area. And that was just some spot. The Mallalli fall is so high, we had to climb down the stairs to reach the bottom. And even though we knew how hard it would be to go back up, we climbed lower and lower. And the view was worth a hundred more stairs. We could feel the water drops on our faces even when we were further than five meters to the fall, the Force was with the falls and not us. So we took a bunch of photos and came back.

PS If you ever go to Coorg, don’t forget to buy the Coorg chocolates. They are quite popular and tasty.

CONCLUSION

Now there is no conclusion, but remember to work and travel. Also if you are going to Bangalore, take an umbrella, it’s always raining there.

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