Harshit Verma | Learn The Art Of Bagging a PPO

Harshit Verma

ITC ABD | NIFTEM

Harshit bagged Preplacement Offer from ITC ABD. He has done B.Tech in FTM from NIFTEM

Hi fellas, my name is Harshit Verma. I come from a city which is popularly known as the city of Textile Industry i.e., Panipat. I have done my intermediate education from Delhi Public School & currently, I am pursuing my Bachelors of Technology from the National Institute of Technology Food Technology Entrepreneurship & Management. Luckily during the summer internship program of my college, I got shortlisted in one of the prestigious companies of college, ITC-ABD for a 6-month internship program at the HQ in Gunturu (Andhra Pradesh). Although due to Covid-19 our internship got converted into a virtual mode of 5 months period. But irrespective of the conditions it was a wonderful experience.

Selection Process

Well, it’s been a year since I got the opportunity for this internship. Yet the entire journey of the selection process is still fresh in my mind. ITC-ABD rolled out its application form just 2 days beforehand & I still remember this mixed feeling of nervousness & excitement that I got after reading the mail. So, the selection process was simple starting with an energetic orientation program followed by GD. I still remember the time where I was sitting in the lecture hall with my friends seeing the GD groups & making fun of each other. During the GD we were given a case study. We were supposed to discuss on the case study & arrive at a common conclusion at the end of 8 minutes. The most important thing which I felt in my GD was that I was actively present in the group. Neither hyper-active nor zoned out, maintaining a good balance between a good listener & speaker. I remember actually making the atmosphere lighter by presenting my facts using humor After an hour the results were out for the GD where 24 students out of our entire batch managed to get themselves in the PI round & I was one of those 24 students. PI round consisted of 2 parts. First were the technical round & the students passing the technical round were promoted to the HR round. I was then called for a technical interview. Most of the questions asked revolved around the work I did during my previous internship & the certification which I had mentioned in my CV. Fortunately, he had touched upon my strength & I could answer convincingly & confidently. Soon after my technical interview, I was called for the HR round where the questions revolved around my field of interest. After 3 days of a sleepless night, I came to know that I was selected as an intern (along with 7 others) to join the prestigious company.

Preparation Strategy

I prepared very rigorously for my summer internship process at NIFTEM. I wanted to land an internship in my university’s top 5 companies, as it had motivated me since I came to the college. I had spent a lot of time framing my CV for the process. I had made sure the things I have mentioned in my CV like an internship, certificates I am having good knowledge about them. Besides this, I connected with seniors, relatives who had interned or are working in top FMCG firms like Jubilant, P&G, Nestle, and ITC. Knowing the kind of competition, I had, I stepped up my game. Not being much familiar with the tips & tricks of GD/PI, I took a short course of 20 days for GD/PI to polish my skills. The best part of taking this course was that in a short period I was knowing my weakness & strength. Which I worked upon. I took part in GDs & PI organized by our placement cell on regular basis. While preparing for ITC-ABD I took extra time understanding the company, how they work, their recent launches, product portfolio.

Tips To Crack INTERVIEW !!..

Always remember each company is different, so you need to be mold yourself according to the need of the company. Before sitting for an interview do visit the company’s profile & try finding some interesting facts or figures. The second most important thing which I have been asked much time & I was also asking my seniors during my time is “What Should We Study”. The answer is simple what you have written in your CV. There isn’t any defined syllabus that you will go through & crack the interview. You should be able to back each & every point that you have mentioned in your CV. Lastly, I would say only one thing. When sitting in an interview have a smiling face & be confident. Trust me a smiling & confident face can do wonders for you.

I was allowed to work on a live project which required me to digitize an entire plant. I did extensive work and other activities which I have dutifully mentioned on my LinkedIn profile. I interacted with fellow workers from the plant, learning about how the process functioned, and came up with the products we have loved for so many years. I also had insightful sessions with senior leaders of ITC and different teams which would come together to deliver that final product which millions of people used across the world. The knowledge I got, cannot be put down in a few hundred words over here. So, the overall working experience at ITC was simply mind-blowing.

Virtual Internship Experience

Yes, the virtual setting had dampened the overall experience a bit, but ITC did not fail to deliver to the expectations I had from it. The Management team took great care of us interns and organized activities which would help us learn beyond what we learned during our projects. There were frequent virtual meet up being organized by our management to guide us for our future actions & motivate us during the Pandemic. My Guide & HR, were highly supportive during the stint and helped me develop values and ethics which I would take along with me in my career forever.

learning and takeaways

Integrity- I would daily have a call with my guide, where I would outline what I did that day, what I plan on doing in the upcoming days and a few ideas I had when working on my project. Patience- There were times when I used to hold my head thinking to give up. But the next day I would again start working on things in a different way. This was one major thing I learned during my internship Presenting- I hit a major setback when it came to presenting my ideas properly. I tried my best to keep improving the quality of decks as much as I could and my guide too helped me hone this skill. Now, I can present an idea I have and has content that makes sense. My inadequate presentation and communication skills cost me during my reviews. So, do keep in mind the importance of this arrow in your quiver.

Bagging a PPO

Indeed, your work will always be the key factor. At the same time, it will not be the only determining factor. Apart from work I personally believe the way you interact within your organization really helps you. The way you connect with the people, helps them built a good impression in their mind. Which really favors at the end.

Learnings and it's Applications

My role at ITC was inclined majorly towards Data Analysis, collecting and generating data, deriving a conclusion from the data. So, I believe learning Data Analysis during my college curriculum really came in handy. Apart from this, there were many places where I could see things & concepts told to us during our curriculum being applicable in the industry. Be it the concept from Food Chemistry, Management, or Microbiology.

Advice For Fellow Readers

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You might be having the same vision as I do. You might be dreaming of making it to ITC the way I did. These are some things you should keep in mind- Prepare very rigorously. The ITC selection process is difficult and unpredictable and you need to be on your toes for whatever might come your way. Be open to learning from your peers, as much as you can. Own your work and mistakes. Take control of your plans and drive your project. Everyone appreciates that- your interviewer, your manager, your fellow interns, everyone. You would get more help then. Lastly, don’t Stress out and Plan too much. All the best!