K Sowjanya of Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), Hyderabad did herself and her institute proud by winning the Gold Medal at Hyderabad Business Schools Summer Internship Project contest 2017. The contest is a Institute of Management Consultants of India (IMCI) initiative meant to build strong relationships between industry and academia. Nominations were sought from top B Schools and participants were judged on several key parameters where Sowjana came out riding on top of the event.
What makes Sowjanya’s achievement truly remarkable is the fact that over 20 management institutes including NMIMS Hyderabad, SIBM Hyderabad and IBS Hyderabad participated in the contest. Talking about the nature of the event she reveals, “Based on the report submissions in the first round, 6 students were chosen to make presentations. We had to adhere to a prescribed format for the presentations, which were followed by Q and A session. I am thrilled to have won.”
Covering everything she wanted to in a five minute presentation wasn’t an easy task. Sowjanya admits to having been nervous but pulled it off with confidence. And that confidence she attributes to her B School training and the internship, which led to this contest in the first place. “I worked as a HR intern with Sun Pharma and it was a huge experience for me. I stayed as a PG in Mumbai, navigated through the city and learned many life skills,” she adds with a smile.
The eight week internship had Sowjanya working on the project – ‘Attrition and Retention Strategies Analysis of Field Employees at Sun Pharma’. It required her to carry out qualitative research on the attrition and retention strategies and analysis of the exit data. Looking back she says, “Each day was unique as I had to assist during recruitments on weekly basis. I worked from the Head Office but also had to visit different locations for interviews and it was exciting.”
Sowjanya asserts that preparing questionnaires and collect information from the existing and past field employees, analyzing the exit data and interacting with the second level managers for inputs were some of her responsibilities. She believes her project stood apart from the rest because, “It was more of primary data collection and analysis than the secondary data analysis. I could also connect to the problem situation, merger of Ranbaxy and Sun Pharma, easily.”
Major responsibilities are followed by challenges. For Sowjanya it was managing time to handle regular tasks, her research and get inputs from employees who had left the organization. But she managed to impress her employers. “It was a huge moment for me when they adopted two of my recommendations. It gave me the confidence that I was doing well in the professional environment,” she states. The gold medal should then feel like the icing on the cake.