From Newton’s law to Derivatives: My tryst with Management - Naveen Suhag, TAPMI
Naveen Suhag is a second year PGDM student at T.A Pai Management Institute, Manipal. He is currently interning at Zenic, a part of Dealsflow Ventures. In his free time Naveen nurtures his immense passion for dancing, looks for leadership roles that he can take up at various levels or watches cricket.
A famous quote by Abraham Lincoln comes to my mind and perfectly resonates with my aspirations and experiences; “Be sure you put your feet in the right place. Then, stand firm.”
Slightly rewind and there I am in college appearing for the various Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds for the Management in Practice(MIP) or an internship colloquially. One’s profile does play a very crucial role in the selection process. And believe it or not, this entire process is gruelling but at the same time very significant. I say this not only for the things one learns as an MBA student, but the things that one learns about himself in those moments. It indeed was a roller coaster ride.
Moreover, my case stood out. Under-graduation in Physics Honours, a deep-rooted interest to work in the area of Finance but finally ending up with an internship in the area of Digital Marketing, I was anxious. Anxious and confused about its repercussions on the final placements. On the other hand, my upbringing has always taught me to look for the pluses first in any situation. So for me a positive point to start with was that the office was located close to my “home”, the four letter word that encompassed my entire world; my family. On this note, it was time to test the waters and this is how the journey began.
All of us arrived looking ready in the crisp formal attire but soon it was told to us that we could turn up in smart casuals. As much as we were astonished, the liberty to wear whatever we wanted brought an instant smile. Then we proceeded to meet our mentor and started having a decent and meaningful conversation with him. Our roles, responsibilities and some basic ground rules of the firm were briefed to us. The most important out of them being reporting to work on time.
We worked as a part of a small team and it was announced that the task for week one would be given. The company specialized in the digital marketing area and was in the training and consulting business. Hence, there were various courses in various fields, specially curated for people from all walks of life.
Now would you like to guess what the week one task was? Yes! We were assigned individual courses each and each intern had to sell 4 courses in a week. Initially, one thought they were just 4 courses, a very small number. But let me tell you my friend, it wasn’t all that easy as it seemed to be. We had to sell these courses within our friend circle.
This single exercise of selling a product challenged my very own preconceived notions that our friends will easily buy the products and they trust us. I began to realize that a person won’t be ready to shell out a single penny unless:
(a) the product is extraordinary and the best in the market or
(b) they trust you blindly.
The chances of the latter are bleak so there must be some differentiating factor in the product that should be highlighted.
No sooner did I realize that I am wrong again. It’s not about the product at all. One doesn’t even need to pitch for the product. It’s primarily about one’s relationships with people. How they are maintained and nurtured. And if people consider you as credible, that’s what will pull them towards you. Today and everyday.
At this point in time, our mentor gave us a mantra for doing so. It was to do something good for someone everyday without expecting something in return. Simply being a part of their life in a meaningful manner and helping them grow. This was one of the most important takeaways for me personally, during the entire tenure of my internship. Keeping this in mind, I started again and somewhat achieved my targets in the first task at last.
Now somewhere, in the corner of your mind, you might be wondering how the quote that I stated in the very beginning resonate with my experiences? Here’s how. One of the many things that I admire about my company was the open-door policy. To be honest, it was never a vertical organization. We had a horizontal organizational structure whereby Sir was at the top level and every other employee was at one level which was something that was I went ahead and spoke to Sir about my keen interest to take up tasks in the area of finance. Being a very open minded person and ensuring that each person learns something and is productive at the same time, he readily agreed. All the more inviting was his suggestion that I could start building a course on Technical Analysis of Financial Markets. Thereafter, I immediately started reading and collecting materials for my work at hand. The best part was that each person got to work on all the different kinds of tasks and that too from the grass-root level which led to an overall development. Completing various sub-tasks(state recording etc) within the given time-frame, making suitable changes while keeping the content and the entire viewer experience interesting and submitting projects, the journey was indeed a memorable experience.
Waking up at 7am, catching the shuttle to office, working through the day and leaving by 6pm was how a day at work looked like. To supplement this, Sir and ma’am demonstrated work life balance through their everyday conduct. We as interns were given ample opportunities to strike a perfect balance whilst at office and once back home. I could also take up and successfully complete a certification course due to the continuous support that my organisation provided.
To sum it all up, it was all in all a fruitful journey with a lot of learnings, yet to be implemented while dealing in the everyday world. The essence of my entire internship is a very important lesson that I have learnt, one should always focus on the process involved and not the final result. With this, one journey ended and another will start as I take this bag full of learnings with me.