Internship experience at Edelman India by Nikita Mahipal, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications, Pune
“INTERNSHIP” – it’s just an ordinary word in the dictionary and an American comedy film starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, until you step into the first year of your post graduation studies, which is when you will realize that this word is going to chase you for life till the time you are actually done with it. A two-month summer training programme which future managers and CEOs undergo as a part of their curriculum in B-schools is all about expectations.
Why do I say this? When you are in the process of applying for internship, your parents expect you to crack the interview in one go. When you have managed to grab one, your college expects you to do everything to keep up the good name of the institute. During your internship, your colleagues expect you to know everything before coming, as if you’ve been there for years now! And while all these expectations float around you, the only thing you expect from yourself is to continue surviving through all this.
As regards my internship, there have been times when I have had exactly the same thoughts as stated above, but then, who doesn’t go through this? Needless to say, I have had some of the most memorable experiences of my life during those two months.
I introduce myself as a student of Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communications (SIMC – Pune). I am pursuing Masters in Communication Management with specialization in Public Relations. The journey of my internship started way back in November 2013, when Edelman India visited our campus to recruit students for their summer internship programme. There was this sudden buzz all around, especially for the PR batch, since this was regarded as the most important PR firm for recruitment and so we had to give it our best shot. We had heard a lot about the awesome work culture and amazing perks of being a part of Edelman from our seniors that all of us were very keen on cracking this.
A written test, a round of group discussion, a personal interview and bagful of nervousness later, I turned from a shivering candidate to an overjoyed now-intern of the organization. I had cleared three rounds of selection procedure and had been handpicked by one of the most coveted agencies of the industry. Woohoo!!
The feeling was ecstatic, as if I was flying high in the sky! An internship in the best PR firm of the world, and the chance to live for a couple of months in my City of Dreams Mumbai – nothing could get better than this. Approximately four and a half months later, I was sitting in an amazing office along with 22 other people who had been hired either as interns or as full-time employees from different colleges.
A 3-day induction process began, where top officials of the agency addressed us in an interactive session and helped us know more about the agency, its policies and work practices. And oh, did I mention that we were treated to pizzas and given huge bowls of toffees, stress buster balls, colorful playing threads and loads of clay to enjoy ourselves? Boy, how I wished time would freeze right there! Take a look!

Post-induction, we were assigned our respective teams and introduced to our mentors. I was glad to be a part of the Consumer Practice of the Rediffusion Edelman team which dealt with clients like Indian Hotels Company Limited, Westside, Landmark, Jaguar Land Rover, Titan watches, Tanishq, Tata Motors, etc.

The initial days of my internship were very slow, with hardly anything for me to do except media profiling, which meant reading all the English newspapers from the past week and map interview opportunities for clients in the same. Gradually, my team members started assigning work to me. Drafting press releases, creating pitch notes, preparing dossiers and coverage reports and doing secondary research for clients are some of the tasks that I did.
I also involved myself in four events, the first of which was a press conference for the launch of DVDs of the film ‘Highway’ by director Imtiaz Ali and actors Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt. This was followed by the North East India Festival held at Taj Mahal Palace, which saw the who’s who of the fashion and entertainment industry, such as Tisca Chopra, Kalki Koechlin, Adil Hussain, etc. The third event was the launch of a new collection of jewellery by Tanishq, which was graced by actress Kangana Ranaut. The fourth and final event – World Environment Day celebrations – will always remain special to me as I was entrusted with the responsibility of executing it entirely by myself. It gave me a sense of achievement and boosted my confidence since I could believe that my colleagues had such high level of faith in me.
Undoubtedly, there were hectic days, when I would work without having lunch or coffee, and leave office past 9 – 9.30 p.m. as opposed to the usual time of 7 p.m. However, it all seemed trivial when my seniors appreciated me for my hard work, sincerity and dedication. Of course, the perks that followed were amazing food, visiting the finest places in the city, and meeting Bollywood celebrities!
On 13th June, I ‘graduated’ from my internship in an elaborate ceremony organized by the HR of the company. We were given e-book readers, certificates and chocolates with a round of applause for our good work! I gifted my team with delicious cupcakes and a thank you note, which really touched them. We also had a team lunch where we gorged on pizzas and pastas.
Talking about my stay in Mumbai, I would be short of words if I am to describe those two months in the City That Never Sleeps. All I can say is: you have to live in Mumbai to experience it! The sea of people, the heat, local trains, vada pav, Juhu beach, Marine Drive, shopping at Colaba and Bandra, late night walks on the road, taking selfies – it’s a different world altogether! I was staying with three other friends of mine in a small flat, which meant additional responsibilities of cleaning, cooking, washing and maintaining the house. Made me miss the luxury of getting readymade cooked food and clean laundry at home and at hostel! That’s when you realize how tough it is to survive in the cruel world out there.
Though I was just an intern in the company for two months, there wasn’t a moment when I felt that I am not learning anything. I am definitely richer in experience than what I was till a few months back. I have taken back a lot from my internship in terms of the professional and personal growth and I hope to be able to do justice to the learning.
Now that I am on the other side of the internship, I won’t tell you not to be nervous if you are yet to reach there. Sometimes, it is okay to be tensed or anxious, as it only gives you that extra jerk to push yourself ahead and prove to the world what you are capable of achieving. As for the rest of things like learning, behaving, communicating or working, your professors will explain you better. Good Luck!
As I sign off, here’s a loud shout-out to Edelman Mumbai team! The picture below was clicked on the last day of the internship. Such happy souls we look, no?

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