On 27th December 2016, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd. More (ABRL More) visited our campus for summer placements; by then, I had already cleared their initial rounds – CV screening and aptitude test. The aptitude test was a basic online MCQ test that consisted of quantitative, verbal, and logical reasoning questions. Now that the company had visited for next part of selection process, nervousness was at its peak but a strong desire to make it to a big brand gave my confidence a boost. The process started with a case discussion wherein a case study was presented; after a series of discussions, the group had to come to a consensus and conclude the case. The case provided to us was: ABC company is not satisfied with the current canteen services and wants to change it. It has an option of choosing from 5 canteens (details of each canteen such as how many people it can serve, what kind of quality & hygiene control it follows, etc. were provided). Everyone had the opportunity to discuss their points individually; however, in the end, we had to come to a consensus about the canteen services that must be approved. I made it through this round, and the next round was a group activity. It was an unusual experience for me as no other company had conducted this round. Here, we had to work in teams and meet the client’s demands (played by ABRL team) by providing them with hand made paper products. This activity not only tested our managerial skills but also allowed us to explore our creative sides. After clearing that round, the personal interview started. The interview went on for about 30 mins. Apart from the basic introduction, some of the other questions I was asked were: “Why did you choose to pursue MBA in spite of having a steady job?”, “Why did you choose HR?”, “What was your approach while doing the group activity?”, and “Any latest news that interested you?”. I was also given a specific scenario and asked how I would tackle the same. While answering this question, I imagined myself in that scenario for a few minutes and answered accordingly. As and when I answered, I was cross-questioned many times, which made the interview more challenging and interesting. Finally, when the results were announced, I was one of the seven students who got selected.
Finally, the D-day arrived. After a half day induction program, we were introduced to our project mentors who briefed us about our respective projects. I couldn’t have been happier as my project was in the Learning & Development domain. The fact that my summer internship project was in line with this project was extremely satisfying. In the next 2 days, we visited the More supermarket and hypermarket to understand their operations. After getting insights on how they operated, I started working on the SPARK Program for More Hypermarkets. The objective of the program was to study the roles of CSS, CSA, CSM, and DH in order to supplement the current SPARK program by understanding training needs, and creating SPARKites profiles and training program. SPARK is an ABRL More initiated succession plan program designed to create a strong line of managers from the existing pool of front end employees at the More hypermarkets.
I was expected to understand the roles and responsibilities of the employees at all levels, i.e., Customer Service Associate (CSA), Customer Service Supervisor (CSS), Customer Service Manager (CSM), and the Division Head (DH) in order to understand their training needs, and the training gaps in the existing program. I got the opportunity to visit 5 More hypermarkets in Bengaluru. During my one week stint at Bengaluru, I visited the hypermarkets and interacted with different people including the store managers and the area managers. I got an opportunity to meet the SPARKites (those who enroll for SPARK) and understand their concerns regarding SPARK. Apart from the aforementioned tasks, I created a few training modules one of which is now being used across the hypermarkets for training. I also created workbooks for 127 SPARKites of that batch which included their personal profiles, and their training needs and assessments to assess them at the end of the training.
After my internship at ABRL More, I took back a lot of learnings and good memories. I have become a better person, both, professionally and personally. Even though I had 26 months of prior work experience in the IT Sector as a test engineer, this work experience was different. I found an immense difference in the Retail & IT work culture which I enjoyed thoroughly. Since these 2 months of summer internships are very important as they help shape up one’s managerial career, one must make the most of this opportunity to shine brightly; I sure did!
Author of the article: Ankita Malla