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Which organization did you intern in for the summer?

Mondelez India Foods Pvt. Ltd.

What was the role offered?

Sales & Marketing.

Tell us about the GD and interview process for the company.

Group Discussion: We were given a half page case to read before we started any discussion. The case was about a fictitious company which, being an FMCG major, wanted to foray into sweets and desserts, and we had to come up with our strategies from a consumer as well as a customer point of view.

What was your approach towards preparing for the SIP? Was there anything specific you did for this company?

Pre SIP:
I put great importance and time in making a strong CV, as a good CV makes a lot of difference, at least in terms of fetching a good number of shortlists for the SIP selections.
Also, we had a group of 4-6 friends who used to conduct mock GDs within ourselves. We even had intra sectional mock GDs which proved useful, as many times, I was actually facing the same set of people in my final GDs as well. CRISP mock chairman GDs for TAS, Mahindra etc. are highly recommended for the shortlisted ones.
MAXI Handbook helps to get basic familiarity with the S&M jargons. The interviewers don’t really judge a lot on the concepts, it’s just that if you already know the terms, you feel comfortable talking around those topics during the GDs, and if at all being discussed during the interviews. In XL language, it helps remove the FOMO which is a big plus. One can also attend the CRISP Marketing gyan sessions.

During the 3 days:
As for the company, CRISP handouts were all I had referred to. Also, I kept talking to my seniors who were there during the process. They did give an overall perspective about the company, in terms of recent launches, product failures, recalls, global moves etc. Also, as soon as I got the shortlist, I talked to 4-5 seniors who had faced and cleared the Mondelez interview last year.

Describe the project/assignment allotted to you as a part of your summer internship.

The project allocated to me was largely themed on rural expansion in West Bengal, by identifying and appointing new channel partners. In the process, I had to make some standardized ways of working so that the work could be taken forward in a smoother way after I leave.
Typical deliverables expected from me, were two-fold as mentioned above, however, I also worked
on 3 more deliverables, which included gap analysis of the situation, quality maintenance and future recommendations.

What was your preparation before you headed for your summer internship?

The company officials never put any such requirements for us. Mondelez had helped all the S&M interns, with ‘a day in the life of an ASM’ event, which was basically an ASM stint in Jamshedpur only.
I had also joined Kraftshala course and read a little on the internet about the company. Also, I was in constant touch with the college seniors who had interned at Mondelez last year. This is something that everyone should do, as it does help to know a bit in advance about the culture, reviewing schemes, project expectations etc.
Highly Recommended: CRISP PPT and Excel Sessions.

How relevant was classroom learning (concepts taught in the first year) at your workplace? Were there any specific subjects which helped you?

My project was on Sales and Distribution Management, which is a subject offered in the second year, so the subject taught in first year were not directly related as such. Although basic frameworks like Gap Analysis, 4Ps, Strategy Diamond (by Hambrick) etc. did come in handy while preparing the final presentation. I took help from some XL marketing professors and also referred to the textbook on SDM by Prof. Pingali Venugopal, both of which helped me big time in providing a structure to the work I was doing, which is a must, for any summer project, be it marketing, or any other domain.

What were the key challenges faced by you during the internship?

People management, as my project was around making new additions and changing the status quo, and so it was quite a big challenge to constantly keep motivated the team of 30-40 people that I had to work with.
Another challenge was that the work was physically very demanding. I had to visit as many 62 villages covering 16 districts spanning over the whole of West Bengal. Working effectively with constant travel while also planning for future travel, all at the same time, was a difficult balance that I had to inevitably make.

What was your key-learning from the internship?

Rigorous following up is the key to any sales job.

Did you have past work-experience? If yes, did you find any significant change in experience during your summer internship?

My past work experience was a desk job, and involving a bit of corporate sales, whereas this was an out and out fields job and naturally, in retails sales. However, my past experience helped me in volumes, as I knew how to pace my work, what to show when and how to take the entire associated team along with me, as I worked towards my deliverables.
Culture wise, the two companies were very different obviously, because the sectors were poles apart (financial services and FMCG)

How did you find the culture of the company?

Excellent. There was a lot of freedom and authority to take decisions on my own. The project was extremely LIVE in the sense there was HO involvement at most of the stages.
Guide: He was very helpful, right from doubt clearances, to improving the scope of my project, to preparation and reviewing of the final presentation. Even otherwise, I could go and talk to any employee. People are more than willing to share their knowledge and help you with work, as long as you seem interested in your work.

What suggestions/advice would you like to give to the juniors?

Work on your CV to make it presentable. Refer to the handouts provided by CRISP to get acquainted about the business and working of the organization. All the best! 🙂

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