Interview: Sruthi Vijayakumar (ITC KITES Intern)

Please give us a brief description of your internship profile.

The internship profile for ITC is Techno-Managerial. This translates to the type of internships that not only test the interns’ technical capacity but also their ability to work within and with multiple teams and members of the company while efficiently completing the given projects during the internship duration.

What was the selection process like?

The selection process starts with a non-eliminative psychometric test before the company presentation. This is succeeded by a single round of GD. The GDs conducted are case study type and therefore, predominantly test how well candidates work with their peers to reach a consensus. 

After shortlisting, around 2-3 people from each GD make it through to the PIs. There are typically two rounds of PIs, each a combination of both Technical and HR questions. One thing I noticed in both the PIs is that other than testing your technical knowledge gained in the last couple of years, they are quite interested in seeing how the candidates have gained and retained knowledge through other avenues like internships or projects. 

Which stage of the selection process did you find most challenging? Is there some advice you’d want to give to the students aspiring to apply for the ITC KITES internship program? 

The stage I found most challenging was the first set of PIs. It felt like a rapid fire round as they built up on each technical question with another, based on what answers you presented. This PI, in my opinion, was more gruelling than the second set with the Heads of the HR and Tech. 

One advice I’d give for this is to be as calm as you can be. The interviewers are really nice and do try to have a conversation. 

How did you prepare for the group discussions and interviews? 

The GD is a case study and does not require much preparation apart from understanding the basic GD etiquettes; which I feel are as (or if not more) important than the points you put forth in the GD.

As mentioned before the Interviews were a mix of technical and HR. Being from chemical engineering, I focused on revising basic concepts in Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. Online GATE notes or summaries were very helpful in this matter. For the HR aspect, they will be focused on your previous projects and your college PORs, so do brush them up. A run through a list of basic HR questions and preparing answers for them beforehand will have you feeling a lot more confident in front of the panel. Try to have a good discussion with the panelists and most importantly, stay calm and be yourself!

Please give us an insight into the work culture of ITC. What is a day like being an ITC intern? 

From my experience at ITC, I noticed from the very first day that even as interns, we were given a great amount of importance and our opinions were acknowledged. Despite the corporate hierarchy, the members of the company, at any position, will be more than willing to help you and connect with you if you choose to approach them. In short, I think ITC’s work culture can be called as focused on learning and working efficiently & effectively as a team.

What do you think they look for in the students applying for KITES? 

I think they look for students who are not only capable of performing well in their academics but also are good learners. This is a very important aspect as once you take up the internship, it is quite challenging to learn and understand the process/project you will have to take up as soon as you can. 

They also look for team players and good communicators who can work across their different departments and become a good value addition to the company.

How much do you think your previous internship experience helped you get through the selection process? 

In my personal experience, I do think it helped me quite a bit as it allowed me to show the panel that I was capable of being a quick learner and that I have a good understanding and dedication to the projects I take up.

What are the major skills that you gained working as an ITC intern? 

I would highlight three skills as the most significant gains from my internship: communication, knowing the importance of data and presentation skills.

How did you tailor your resume for ITC? What are the points that they specifically look for in your opinion? 

I had not tailored my resume specifically for ITC per se. However, I’d suggest to make sure that your PORs and projects stand out and be concise in highlighting your contributions in them. I think they look for well-rounded candidates. Consequently, they will look into your extracurriculars and any skills developed as much as they look at your grades and academic achievements. So, make a note to highlight the skills and extracurriculars as well.

Can you tell us something about the ‘Mind Over Matter’ program conducted by the ITC? How do they incorporate this in the selection process?

The Mind Over Matter program is essentially a three-day long orientation for all the selected candidates before the start of the internship. It is a way for not only the members of the company to know their new selects but more importantly for the KITES interns to network among themselves. The connections formed during this program might prove helpful for selects during our internships when we might require information or have to work with other divisions within ITC!

Sruthi Vijayakumar can be reached at vsruthi.22@gmail.com or +91 9789210972

Interview coordinated by Kratika Chaturvedi.

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