These have been the uncertain days for all of us. As there is no clarity about the commencement of the academic curriculum and its mode, it is quite frustrating. As such, many students have been proactive in thinking about starting their preparation for the summer internship process. In recent days, a few people who got into various b-schools have asked me about the Summer Internship Process (SIP) at b-schools and how one should prepare for SIP. So, I decided to share my views on the same. In this article, I will talk about the various rounds of SIP and how, in general, one should prepare for the same. Please note that this article is not exhaustive. It is meant to give you just the general overview of the SIP at a b-school.

Summer Internship

When does Summer Internship Process start at b-schools?

In most of the b-schools, SIP usually starts in the second half of September.

What are the various rounds of the Summer Internship Process?

SIP rounds vary from company to company. In general, companies have 2-3 rounds in SIP. I am enlisting the few common shortlisting rounds carried out by the companies. Each company may have some of these rounds in their process.

  1. Group Discussion (GD)
  2. Written Assessment Test
  3. Case Study
  4. Personal Interview (PI)

How to prepare for different rounds of Summer Internship Process?

Group Discussion (GD):

There are two parts of GD preparation.

  1. Subject Knowledge
  2. Presentation

Subject Knowledge:

Generally, I am categorizing and tabulating the GD topics into three categories.

Category What is asked? How to prepare?
Current Affairs Business related, Industry related, Burning topics

Example:

  1. Impact of COVID-19 on various industries
  2. The trade war between US and China
  3. Mergers and Acquisition-related

 

  1. Read the newspaper daily.
  2. Focus on editorials.
  3. Read articles related to economy and business.
Company and its products Marketing and strategy related topics regarding any product of the company.

Example:

  1. Which new market should Reliance target?
  2. How can the “X” company increase the sale of its “Y” product?
  3. What should be the go-to-market strategy for the new product that is about to launch?
  1. Before the process, read about the company and its primary products.
  2. Read the latest news about the company and its products.
  3. Try to implement the frameworks that you learn in your first-term in such GDs.
Industry in which the company is  operating Topics are related to a particular industry and its players.

Example:

  1. What is the future of the automobile industry?
  2. How will the cement industry cope with the decrease in demand?
  1. Be well aware of the key figures of any industry.
  2. Know about the major players of the industry
  3. What micro-and macro-environmental factors affect the industry?
  4. You can find details about any industry on Google.

What to do when the GD starts?

After sharing the topic of GD, panellists generally give the students 2-10 minutes to prepare their points. It is important to use this time effectively.

  1. Do not speak for any side of the topic directly. Instead, first, start with your analysis, and then reach to the conclusion.
  2. To analyze any GD topic, use the SWOT framework for the topic (google it).

Presentation:

I know many people who, despite being intellectually sound, fail to get past the GD round. It is mainly due to their weak soft skills that include communication skills, body language, and confidence, among many others.

Some points to remember for the GD

  1. Be confident in the GD
  2. Have a proper body posture
  3. Work on your communication skills
  4. Try to be among the first 2-3 candidates to make your point.
  5. Do not interject.
  6. Be polite. Avoid getting too blunt while disagreeing with anyone else’s point.

Written Assessment Test:

It can be in the following forms.

  1. Questions from the CAT syllabus.
  2. Questions related to QM1 (generally taught in the first term of an MBA). Such questions are generally asked for Analytics role.
  3. Case study solutions, generally conducted by IT consulting firms.

So, be well prepared with the general aptitude syllabus and QM1 for this round.

Case Study:

In this round, the company gives a business problem to the candidates. They are required to analyze it and propose a feasible solution to it. In the first term of the MBA, students get acquainted with solving the case studies, and that can help them prepare for this round.

Personal Interview (PI):

The preparation of PI varies from one role to another. However, one should be ready with some commonly asked questions in PI.

I will break PI questions into two parts.

  1. HR questions
  2. Domain questions

HR Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself? (Very important)
  • Which domain are you interested in?
  • Details about your work experience? (Very important)
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to join our company?
  • Why did you quit your job and pursue an MBA?

Domain Questions:

For the summer internship process, it is very important to know the term-1 subjects at length. One should be thorough with the following subjects of term-1.

  1. Marketing Management (MM1)
  2. QM1
  3. Financial Accounting, and if possible, Corporate Finance
  4. Micro Economics
  5. Organizational Behaviour

Final Words:

Though this article seems to be a little long, to be honest, I have covered the points only at the surface level. There is so much more to the summer internship preparation, not in terms of elements of preparation, but the depth of each point that I have mentioned here. However, I haven’t stretched it because I feel that way you may get stuck in the paralysis of analysis (I am not a big fan of long articles).

So, to sum up, in this article, I have informed you about the various rounds of the Summer Internship Process. Now, you can start preparing for it, and as you move forward, you will be able to find more and more information through various resources. But to begin with, start reading newspapers and learning more about various industries and businesses.


Read: How should an IIM student spend his two years of life?


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