Summer Internship is an integral part of a two year MBA program. The experience exposes students to the corporate environment and work culture. It is also an opportunity to network with the peers and seniors working in the industry. Most students in Great Lakes Gurgaon PGDM batch are freshers and summer internship gives them a sneak peek in to the lives of working professionals.
In this series our students from the PGDM batch of 2018-2020 share their experience of interning with different organizations.
Let’s read Simaran Priya’s story talking about her stint at Reliance Retail Ltd. as described by her in her own words.
Consumer behavior was the core area of focus for my internship project at one of the largest retailers in the country, Reliance Retail Limited. As a marketing research intern, I had to study the consumers’ behavior and experience at various Reliance Retail outlets.
This research involved direct interaction with over 1000 customers. I had to do everything from working out a questionnaire, to interviewing customers, to gathering and collating all relevant information, to drawing insights. This showed me the true side of a customer’s overall shopping experience – what problems they face while purchasing, how satisfied they were with the availability and variety of products, the quality of the products, their interaction with the store staff, their checkout experience, and so on. Marketing begins with understanding the pain points of the customers. And this is exactly what I was looking for. It was my responsibility to understand the problems faced by clients, what went wrong, what went right. And basis this, I had to suggest viable solutions to tackle those problems.
Interacting with customers at a retail store, especially during peak hours, is a herculean task. It’s very difficult to find respondents who would be willing to spare their time for a questionnaire-based survey. Patience is the key to succeeding in such a job, especially when respondents behave in an unwelcoming manner. But there have been some pleasant experiences as well. And you never know who you might be fortunate enough to meet and talk to. My most memorable interactions were with a couple of humble and down-to-earth people I met when they were shopping for jewelry at Reliance Jewels on the occasion of Akshay Tritya. They were the directors of American Express and Housing.com. It was absolutely a delight talking to them and understanding their shopping experience.
Marketing classes have always taught us to put customers first. Understanding consumer behavior is of utmost importance to any business. The internship experience only reinforced these learnings. When you’re out there, on the field, interacting with your customers, you realize that there is often a stark difference between what the customer wants and what he is sold. Companies cognizant of this fact take all steps necessary to understand their customers first, just like Reliance Retail does. And as an aspiring marketer, understanding consumer behavior has already become the cornerstone of any marketing job that I would take up in my life.