Apprehensions to Appreciations - An Enriching Summer Experience

C Aishwarya | December 19,2013 02:47 pm IST

Interviewer: So, are you ready to work in a chemical plant, where you are the only female?

Me: Yes sir, because I believe that Life is being at the edge of your comfort zone and I am ready for “The Life”.

And, that was how my journey to the summer internship begun.

I have got the opportunity to intern with a Chemical plant in Dahej SEZ of Gujarat in the domain of my interest, Operations.

My apprehensions have begun when my peers started bullying me. Some said Dahej is a village and that I would be devoid of all facilities except for basic amenities and would be beaded in perspiration all through the stay in the scorching summers of Gujarat. And the others created a sense of fear saying that it would be difficult to get along with the Management and the factory workers, for me being the only female, who neither had a prior work experience nor had experienced any corporate work culture. Taking a turn to worse was when my Dad, having utmost concern about my safety and security, asked me to reject the offer, pestered by the thought of leaving me all alone in a no woman’s land.

Despite the uproar of apprehensions, I remained steadfast being optimistic all throughout, to take up the challenge head on. This continued until I stepped down the train with my baggage carrying all the things from the most trivial to the most important. There, I was greeted with a welcoming smile of the driver, confirming if I was the girl who came for internship. He swiftly moved my luggage to the car and rode me to the guest house.

Here comes another surprise. As the car pulled onto the driveway, I was greeted by the janitors who welcomed me into the palatial guest house. Its beauty was indescribably wonderful to the eye. Everything looked opulent from the gleaming wood floors to the sheer curtains billowing like mist on the wall to the hand carved antiques, with each area of the room melting in beauty. It was truly the Shangrila of my imaginations, with breathtakingly spectacular interiors. I was self assured of a luxurious stay in an air-conditioned room with a personal television set to beat the heat and the boredom.

Every morning, I travelled to the plant which was 50 km away from the guest house, which totaled to a 100 km arduous journey up and down. Nevertheless, the commute was always interesting with the interaction with the Heads of various departments who travelled along with me, getting to know about the company more. The discussions also revolved around the topics of common interests, about my home place Hyderabad, life at IIM Ranchi and the opinions regarding various current affairs. The commute also tickled my deep sense of observation, looking through the intriguing streets of opulence to the streets of rags.

Once at work in the plant, it would be a buzzing time. I, in factory boots and helmet, would stroll around the plant in various departments, meet the workers on the plant, converse with them regarding the project and collect the necessary data required for the project. Many a times, I’ve got lost dwelling in the thoughts of the functioning of machinery. My first love for machines happened when I was pursuing Mechanical engineering in my under graduation. And the affair still continued in the plant at the sight of such heavy machinery, which always intrigued me and grabbed my attention. All my trepidations of being the only female in the plant have lost sight once I got involved in the project and worked towards the efficient delivery of it.

By lunch, I would finish the plant visit and works associated there in and move back to my desk in the main block. After lunch I would embark on collation of the data, its analysis and high level interaction with my project guide, discussing the findings, things to be done thereafter. I also often indulged in meeting the team formed for the project in this time, to which I was deployed as team leader by the project guide.

At the end of the enervating work day, I would return to the guest house by 7 pm after another long tiring commute. Back at the guest house, the janitors, whom I lovingly called ‘Bhaiya’, for all the care and attention they have provided me; would welcome me with a greeting smile and refreshments which would make me forget all the tiredness. They were the only cronies I had throughout my stay for internship supporting me in thick and thin.

At the dining place, I was fortunate enough to be accompanied by the various elite guests who had arrived for the work at the plant from the Head Office in Mumbai, varying from Managers to the CEO. I would get absorbed in the high level discussions with them on wide range of topics from company systems, processes to the ongoing IPL.

Finally the day arrived when I finished my project and gave the presentation after having put in two months of my blood sweat and tears. I have received immense appreciation for having instituted an inventory management system. I was indeed highly delighted for the recognition of my efforts and the satisfaction I got by making a significant contribution, cannot just be put in words.

The internship indulged me to think differently, take lead, get associated, plan well, organize and execute with full trust and confidence. It taught me to help and respect each other. On the whole it was a great learning experience at my first job and I’m proud to having been interned with Indofil. 



She is a simple, fun loving girl from Hyderabad, currently pursuing 2nd year PGDM at IIM Ranchi. She believes in living large and taking charge. She indulge herself in reading books, dancing and cooking. ...