When Sameeksha Mishra was placed in Google for a summer internship, she was on cloud nine. Little did she know that she would not be able to experience the "office culture" that Google is known for. As the country went into lockdown, anxiety crippled in her. But eight weeks after working virtually with the company, she says it was one the best experiences of her life.

Mishra, a student of MICA Ahmedabad, who worked as Capabilities Intern with Google said, “The HR team was working round the clock to make sure that we felt welcomed and appreciated. I was exhilarated and ecstatic to say the least, and every day was a new challenge or beginning of something even more exciting. My hosts tried their best to make sure that I have the best experience possible, from introducing me to the team to keeping me involved in a way that multiplied my learning.”

She added, “The truth is I was not expecting to be this amazed, after all it is a virtual internship, and this is the first time Google did this. My learning has been amazing and the curveball that was COVID eventually made me even more confident in myself.”

For B-school students, summer internships in the corporate world is a major milestone as it exposes students to real life projects and tasks in the industry. However, the unprecedented situation of COVID -19 and lockdown across the nation resulted in remote working for a two-month-long online internship for students.

More than 200 MICA students were placed in varied roles across different industries. Some of the recruiters included Bajaj Auto Ltd., L’Oréal India, PUMA, Swiggy, Publicis Groupe, Redbus, HP Inc. and many more. Irrespective of the remote working conditions, the companies did their best to keep the interns engaged making this
internship experience as wholesome as it gets.

Another student, Heema Joshi, who interned with PUMA India and was responsible for creating the new age content strategy for Instagram and designing a digital activation for product launch said, “I worked with the Digital and Brand Marketing team and despite the remote internship, the company made sure we would experience the culture in its fullest form by organizing fitness workshops and seminars and interactions with senior leaders. Our mentors encouraged us to think outside of the box. It was one enriching experience.”

For Kuldeep Rajpurohit, who interned at a leading E-commerce platform, the challenge of working from home was real. “A task that could have been completed within a couple of hours on the floor, took almost a day, owing to the delay in communication. However, a big positive came out of this. It pushed me to do most of the learning part by myself. To save time, I explored the requisite tools, making mistakes and learning from them. I also studied SOPs and other relevant documents to accomplish my tasks efficiently. My mentor was supportive, which provided me the boost to deliver on all the KPIs effectively”, he said.

Sharing his learnings, Shashank Jyotishi said, “Because of an unprecedented pandemic situation followed by the country lockdown, I had to 'virtually' join my internship in a corporate firm in the second week of April. As well all know that the companies were fighting the pandemic generated recession along with other crises, the situation was and still is so new for any business, I got to learn to manage critical and reassuring communication with stakeholders. I was given opportunities to generate and execute ideas in a direction that the firm can pivot and keep enduring rough tides. What I learned in these tough days wouldn't have been possible on a bright and shiny day.”

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