One balmy morning, I stood in front of the Zivanta Analytics office. With one year of the MBA course behind me, I was at Zivanta Analytics for my internship interview. Professors had cautioned that this was the real thing, much removed from the presentations at the business school in familiar surroundings. I was forewarned that at the internship interview I was to be quizzed by battle-hardened professionals who over the years have honed their skills on separating the wheat from the chaff. In business school professors help you to add value to yourself, but as an intern I was to position myself on how I was to add value to the company and in the bargain learn something in the real world situation.
For comfort I had this brilliant piece of advice which does rounds at my business school during the internship and placement seasons “do not feel bad when interviewer rejects u, people usually reject expensive things because they cannot afford them”. With these lines in my head, written by one of the greatest (albeit anonymous) philosopher of all times, it gave me a momentary sense of false confidence, As I entered the Zivanta Analytics office, I felt like David, out to slay the Goliath.
At the interview table I was certainly the David, but where were the Goliaths. The two-member team who interviewed me did not appear at all intimidating. They asked the usual questions- about academics, my future plans and about me as a person. What impressed me was that the interviewers at Zivanta Analytics went at length to explain the pick of projects which I could choose from if I were to be selected, and how such experience will help in my career in the long run. The entire process was interviewee centric and was about my benefits and gains.
The mail next day followed with a telephone call informed me of my selection. It felt good to have cracked the interview. I looked forward to attending office; the interviewers had certainly left a very positive impression on my mind.
First day I was introduced to my mentor for the internship period at Zivanta Analytics. My mentor, who has a string of impressive degrees including those from abroad and a formidable work experience, spoke to me as a colleague and not as a supervisor of a boot camp. My colleagues in the business analytics team at Zivanta Analytics were a cheerful lot, always helpful and very humane.
The sense of humour even during the toughest of delivery schedule was impressive. When tight deadline would come up, the refrain from the supervisor would be “guys let’s get into the pressure cooker and blow the client up”.
My first assignment was to assist the team lead in one of the projects which involved developing an algorithm to rank credit cards. That was my first hands-on experience in data analytics, which I could never have learned from only studying books. I eventually got involved in many subsequent projects for Zivanta Analytics. Even though I was an intern, my opinions and suggestions were always taken. I was always included in crucial business meetings and my supervisors encouraged me to come up with new ideas.
The responsibility and flexibility during my internship days in Zivanta Analytics helped me find my bearings and helped transition from business school to work life seamlessly.
In a nutshell, I was the David who never had to slay a Goliath, for there are no Goliaths at Zivanta Analytics.
Today I work as a full-time staff at Zivanta Analytics and the learning curve for me remains steep as ever.