The Tale of F-Day – Yasharth Ananad, NMIMS.
I was deep into my world of dreams when my phone’s alarm buzzed out loud to wake me up to reality. It was 10th of April, the day I was starting my Summer Internship with Marsh. Marsh, founded in 1871 is a part of the Marsh & McLennan companies which is an MNC in the area of Insurance Brokerage and Risk Management.
Insurance Brokerage is the business of basically acting as an intermediary between an Insurance company and the client. The client may be a person, corporate, country and in some cases another insurance company also. Marsh, which has its presence in 130s countries, started its India Operations in 2003. Well, this was some of the background I had collected from my research before joining the company for a two month stint.
Waking up early morning after a 10 day break between my college and the start of the Summer Internship was perhaps the most difficult part as I am not a morning person. I freshened up took out my best set of formal shirt and pants. I wore my best blazer that I had got freshly dry-cleaned and at sharp 8 am left my apartment. Me and my fellow interns had planned to share a cab as we didn’t want to take any risks on our first day and also because we were wearing blazers. From the next day we had planned on travelling via the Mumbai Locals.
We reached the office building in One Indiabulls Centre after managing to confuse ourselves at every nook and corner. The office was in the 12th floor. When we entered the area our I Cards were already prepared for us to have a smooth start of our induction to the company. We, along with interns from SIMS Pune, KJ Somaiya, SIMSREE, NIA, XIMB and few other colleges were taken to a conference hall for our induction. There were seats already allotted for us around round tables. Each of us was sharing the table with interns from other colleges so that we get to know the interns from other colleges as well. The HR who came for introduction were familiar to us as they had come for the campus placements ad well. We introduced ourselves to the HR and the rest of the interns. There are in all 20 interns across specialisations of Marketing, Finance, HR and Insurance areas.
Post the introduction there was a short game of 5 minutes. The game was to identify the missing numbers from a maze of randomly printed number in a page. It was a team game. We thought that it would be a cake walk but to my surprise it wasn’t that easy and only one team could identify all the missing numbers in the given time. That game of 5 minutes gave us a glimpse of what lies ahead for us in this company and industry.
First, you are as good as the team you work with. If you can’t be a good team player you ultimately can’t win.
Second, one needs to have a calm and composed mind to handle tasks in an environment of strict timelines. If you can’t hold your nerve in such challenging time frames then it becomes very difficult to make take the right decisions.
Third, one must have an eye for detail. Small irregularities in framing or understanding policy wording may prove disastrous in the insurance sector which is full of legalities attached to it.
Lastly, always spend some time to plan on how to go about a task before actually starting the execution.
With these important points in our minds we moved on to the next part of our induction. We were given our kits which had NDA documents, diaries and other stationary, sweets and the most awaited- our project details. These projects were the areas in which we had to work tirelessly in the next 2 months. We were also given the mentors who we had to report to. My mentor is a VP in the company’s Energy and Infrastructure practise. After a brief presentation on the history, culture and compensation & benefits at the company we met our mentors.
Mr Amit Mannari, a serious looking person was indeed very serious. He understood my expectations and then asked me to first read and understand how the industry makes money. He gave me his own set of material to study and understand the company. I spent the next 2 hour reading from various sources that he suggested and from the company’s website.
At 1:30 pm our HR took us for lunch as it was our first day. The canteen food was delicious and during our lunch all of us had some informal chat which was very refreshing. Post lunch I read some more about the industry regulations to understand the Do’s and Don’ts of the business. I looked for some of my college Alumni in the company and met one of them. It was a really interesting conversation where I understood what happens on the floor and which areas this particular office was working on. We also shared some stories about the college faculties during the tea break.
The environment of the office was very professional yet very accommodating and by the end of the day I started feeling a part of the office already. Now with almost a week into my internship I feel a part of the team and I am hoping for it to be a very enriching experience. I look forward to contributing to the company through my work and gain maximum learning from the internship.