My Unilever Diary
Nearly a month has passed now but still it feels like it hasn’t been more than a week. There aren’t many occasions like these that let you reminisce about the amazing times you have spent and the memories you have created in the past one month of your internship!
The Selection Process:
After the first two awesome fun-filled years of stay in college comes the dreaded internship season! The only thoughts going through your mind are related to the internship :- where do you want to be, what and how to prepare, resumes, GDs, interviews and so on.
The FMCG sector always amazed me with it’s innovation and products as they cater to the everyday needs of people. With the different brands & products this sector offers, there is hardly any home left untouched. That was one of the main reason I was keen to do a Supply Chain Internship. And I’m glad that I got this opportunity with HUL, one of the FMCG giants of India. HUL is a Day 1 company so nearly all the students (including me) were excited about it. The selection process of HUL is based on resume shortlisting, a GD followed by 2 interviews (tech and HR).
In my GD, we had to come up with solutions for a factory facing some problem. The interview comprised of some HR questions, tech core questions related to the courses we had done and some small cases which again involved the fundamental concepts that we study.
The journey begins:
The internship program, known as Unilever Leadership Internship Program (ULIP) began with a 3-day induction program at the Mumbai Head Office where all the 34 interns from different IITs were mingled with each other.
Also, the stay in the Head Office was awesome! We were staying in the rightly called “world-class 5-star rooms”. We enjoyed the serene ambience of Marine Drive and Bandra-Worli sea link, leisurely chit-chatting, and at other times sprinting (literally :P) to catch the local trains at night. All of us became buddies during these three days and post that, we were sent to our project locations. I went to Assam along with two of my co-interns.
Internship experience so far:
Internship with an organization like HUL is truly a rewarding experience. The projects given to us are real life projects having a significant impact on the company’s growth (that is the level of trust they lay and responsibility they give to an intern!). It is a unique and enriching exposure.
We spent our first week going through an Induction program understanding all the functions of the factory and the organization right from the supply, demand, raw and packaging materials to making the finished goods, about the safety practices, the quality checks etc.
Visiting the factory the first time, we were astonished to see the big, fast machines producing hundreds of products like Fair & Lovely, Clinic Plus, Sunsilk, Close-up and much more in a minute! The manufacturing area is like a maze and it consists of hundreds of pipes, valves, pumps working in unison. The factory produces a sum total of more than a lakh products per day! Hundreds of people coordinate to meet the market’s demand. The system and processes are extremely streamlined right from getting the raw materials to making the products and dispatching to the warehouses. That is what the ‘feel’ of visiting a factory is!
The factories here are CLS (Cream, Lotion & Shampoo) type and Oral care type. The project allotted to me is very interesting and intellectually stimulating. It is related to utilities where I need to apply both the core and managerial skills. It requires connecting to a lot of people and working in all the factories which is the best part!
Here, you learn about the practicality of things, application of the courses you study. One just needs to follow a logical approach keeping a fair balance between the theory and practical world. Even the rudimentary “Ohm’s law” and the “Law of Conservation of Energy” can prove most useful at times to solve seemingly complicated problems!
The people are extremely helpful here, be it the factory heads, shop floor employees or the people sitting in Mumbai Head office or at some other places (Yes!, you can reach out to anyone in the organization to get guidance and for clarifying your doubts). They are always willing to go out of their way to help you as much as they can.
Apart from the project work, HUL provides a lot of opportunities to explore and learn new things. We went to a school called ‘Ankur’ (under the initiative ‘Prabhat’ of HUL) where we interacted with the differently abled students which was an experience beyond words!
I learned the details and functioning of the department which was not at all related to my project. Apart from that, while working with other employees, we traced and rectified some of the losses that were reducing the efficiency of machines and resulting in wastage of energy at the factory.
Assam- The land of red rivers and blue hills is famous for having unending stretches of sprawling tea gardens and what better than getting a guest house to live surrounded by the gardens all over. Along with the mesmerizing rains and awesome weather, this combo gives no less experience than living in a resort! We also went to the bank of majestic river brahmaputra and Bhupen Hazarika bridge (the recently inaugurated longest bridge of India), Golden pagoda are on the list!
I will always remember this time that I spent with HUL, the brilliant yet so humble people I met, the experiences I got, the lessons I learned.
I am profoundly enjoying here and working on the remaining part of my project. I am sure that this internship has a lot more surprises in store in the coming time!