In short, my internship at ITC was an awesome experience, brimming with memories. This piece shares my experience at ITC and is a result of incredible support and love of those people who made these 2 months pass by with such ease. It was truly a great experience working with amazing people.
At first, I was a bit disappointed, having been centered at Chennai and, of course, with pokes from “IITB buddies” visiting Europe, the feeling only worsened. But, to be honest – that didn’t bother me for long because the day I entered my office – things changed, feelings changed, moods changed. I was thrilled. The office had a balance of noise and seriousness leaving enough space for fresh thoughts to foster. I started liking that place from first day.
I had to work on Classmate Pencil Manufacturing in ESPB division. Its operations were centered in Chennai, while the factories were scattered across Delhi, Jammu and Chennai. There were two interns working on Pencils (a big relief!), wherein my project was on ‘Quality Manual for Pencils’. I was blessed to work under my guide who was quite senior to us, a gentleman in his mid forties, which in my knowledge is in itself quite a unique experience to anyone interning at ITC as the guides are not generally very senior to us. In fact, his job title was Head of Operations. So, I mistakenly assumed that I wouldn’t see him often. He devoted a great deal of time to us and never turned away our queries. Even after his tiring meetings, he was ever-ready to quench our thirst for knowledge. This was awesome.
Before proceeding any further, I should probably tell you that Pencil Manufacturing is not as simple as it sounds. Despite requiring over a hundred operations to manufacture, a pencil is priced at a meager Rs 3. This played an important role my job (by making it a lot more complicated), making for an even better learning experience. My project involved studying and standardizing each manufacturing process and proposing suitable changes to improve efficiency. The major challenges in my case were:
1. Google didn’t seem to turn up a healthy number of results to help me (at least in the beginning). So, I started by studying every process step by step after visiting the nearest factory in Chennai.
2. The Pencil manufacturing industry has been a family-managed business for a long time now. Thus, knowledge-sharing amongst different businesses is nil and there were no documents to assist me and I was expected to make one. Thus I can say the projects at ITC are quite live and helpful to the company. You are looked on to add a good deal of value to the company.
Now, coming to evaluations – in Chennai, we didn’t have mid-term reviews but a daily dose of regular grilling sessions with our guide instead. In Chennai, the final review session was not really long either (as it usually is in ITC). Our CEO was on a tight schedule, so we were short on time. Even so, he didn’t make us feel hurried and appreciated our work to a maximum.
On a lighter note, the working hours in my intern were very relaxed. We used to go to office around 10 am or 10:30 am and this was topped with non-working “Saturdays”. Though the internship was quite exhaustive and we used to work at home on Saturdays. And to add more to this, most epic part of living in Chennai was that the movie tickets are under Rs. 120 everywhere, as per government regulation. 😀