How an internship helped me gain essential communication skills | About the Author: Hemant Soni is pursuing BBA from DAVV, Indore. He shares snippets of his enriching internship journey at a retail store.
I was in my final year of BBA, and it seemed like the perfect time to go for an internship and learn how an organisation functions. Therefore, I applied to various internships through Internshala. The first opportunity showed in the form of a marketing internship at Caratlane Trading Pvt. Ltd.
I was called in for an interview on a very short notice. So, I was a bit apprehensive about this since I hadn’t done any prior preparation for the interview and wasn’t familiar with practical marketing approaches. However, I gathered courage and reached the store. After 20 minutes, the store manager, Mr Vaibhav Tayal, began with the interview. It started with my introduction followed by questions such as ‘Why do you want to join our store?’ and ‘What are your expectations from this internship?’. The interview ended with questions about my hobbies, previous internship experiences, and my future plans. Soon, I was informed about my selection and was later introduced to the store managers, retail sales officer, and the other staff.
Caratlane is a diamond jewellery store, and as a marketing intern, I was in charge of conducting surveys which aimed at understanding what kinds of strategies should be adopted by the store so as to leave a lasting impression on the customers. The surveys involved questions about the store visitors’ age, profession, and the mode through which they got to know about the store. If a visitor didn’t buy jewellery, I’d also ask her the reason for it.
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The first two days were tough for me since this was a completely new experience; I was hesitant of communicating with the customers and struggled to figure out the perfect time to initiate the conversation. That’s when the regional manager came to my rescue. I practised some mock surveys with him so that I could understand the tactics to get the information from a customer without irritating her. I gained some confidence, tried to include humour in my scripts, and used both Hindi and English to interact, ensuring the customers were comfortable with the survey. Three days later, I became a pro and was soon entrusted with other responsibilities such as keeping track of the jewellery, helping customers with their queries, and assisting the retail sales officer.
During this stint, I observed the trading module of the company and its functioning. I learnt the art of persuading the customers, predicting their needs, and helping them buy the jewellery they were looking for. I honed my communication skills to a great extent and gained the confidence to interact with strangers. I learnt a great deal about the in-store operations of the company and about the classifications and characteristics of different varieties of gold and diamond. Apart from sharpening my MS-Excel skills, the job inculcated in me a sense of responsibility as well.
The best part of my internship was when I sold a diamond ring to a customer after assisting her for about 2 hours. It gave me a sense of achievement and pride. Once my 1-month internship was over, the store managers offered me to join them full-time. I couldn’t accept the offer at that time due to my final semester exams, but I did agree to contact them afterwards.
Courtesy: Internshala – an online internships and trainings platform
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