Ram 007
I am Final year MBA student. I along with my 5 friends are doing our final year project at one of the leading Retail company. The problem is, they are treating us like labours. They give all sorts of works such as pasting posters around city,distributing notices standing in the road,loading and unloading,packaging,stacking etc.,They are asking to come us for nearly 12-14 hrs/day. They are asking to come by night shifts too. They are not allowing us to complete our project and keep on dumping their work on us. If we ask about it, they are threatening by saying we won't provide project completion certificate at the end. They are not even allowing us to go to college to attend the reviews. We are facing lot of mental stress because of it. What should we do? please give some suggestions and help us...
From India, Bangalore
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
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Ministry Of Labour And Employment. Government
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Dont take this as a annoying experience..me too undergoing intern in manufctring company, a reputed one in its field..i hav distributed office notices , distributing cvs from one desk to other, went to company fair. pasted posters , slogans, made few posters, they again unwinded them, carried files, was made carriage boy for 4 days continuous...worked as correcting 2 sentences for nearly 100 papers...loading names of 250 ppl in muster sheet fr few days..but all this were a great experience..everytym, evry secnd, i enjoyed..yes its quite painful , n hectic,,but i went their for doing this only, this is a part of my project..if i wont know how the small things happens in my company, how wud i make my mind to work there in future..i hardly get tym for my pms model, but thats my challenge..that shows how focused you are amidst diffrnt barriers..
take it as a gud experience, learn frm it..thats all i can say mate..

From India, Calcutta
Ram 007
soumik 1570
Thanks for your reply. You are doing some office related works. Even We did lot of works such as data entry, taking print outs,footwear sales etc., I am not complaning about that.But just think for a while how it would be carrying posters and pasting it in all the walls around the city, loading and unloading some 25 kg box. Then pasting barcode for 1000's of products, check it with the list and once again packaging it. Then doing night shifts from 10 pm - 10 am...We are not going to work in that company in the future as they clearly said they don't have any openings. Our project is going to end wihin another 20 days... but no one is having care or cocern towards us...How we will submit our project report?We had gone there for doing some thing but ended up doing something else...

From India, Bangalore
Cite Contribution


I see two different issues over here, one is a set of deliverable which is considered lowly and another is the absence of learning.

To add on to the experience sharing, beyond internship, I have managed roles such as managing HR for an entire Business Unit, yet had to carry around files and manage campaigns such as health week, so precisely stick posters if required. Even if I had helping hands, Office boys remained few, compared to the tasks to be delivered. Waiting for them to finish up the entire workload, would have cost me time. Infact, even employees from other verticals carried similar tasks, when required.

My consolation was I had a huge designation , which did not weigh upon me, when I had to deliver on these manual tasks. I knew I am adding a far bigger value. We belong to an era where we have open offices and seamless working culture, to ensure a faster work-flow.

My point remains, you are not the only one who have been singled out for such tasks. We are all , cogs to the same wheel.

Stay focused on the value that you are adding and the learning that you gain about the bigger system while delivering on such tasks. Take my words, years from now, you will master the operations , just because you are aware of every nuts and bolts of the system. This learning is invaluable and wont come to you from any degree.

Please take pride in your work and connect with the seniors to draw your understanding about the system. You may or may not find everyone readily sharing information. I am sure you have mastered the art of learning from people even when they remain tight lipped, or soon to be so.

Wish you all the best !

From India, Mumbai

Dear Ram
Hope your specialisation is in Marketing. In Marketing field, giving wide publicity to a retail outlets also a part and parcel of the job. If you start doing these all in this age, in future you can even have idea about how to give wide publicity and you can do more innovation in this field. Further you can teach others also how to and how not to about the Marketing Techniques.
As said by Soumik and Ms. (Cite Contribution) please take all the happenings in positive and healthy way and whatever you do, do it with enjoyment and try to find a new thing in that. On completion of the day after reaching home, before going to bed, think what you have done today, what are the correct practices and what are the wrong practices you have adopted and what are the corrective actions required to rectify the wrong practices and list it out clearly.
On completion of your internship programme, compile the work and fit in the required format of your project report.
Wish you all the best.

From India, Kumbakonam
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Ram,
Already few senior members have expressed their views. Let me add two cents from my side.
When you do particular job then only you understand what are the intricacies of that job are. Have you done some time and motion study? How many posters you are able to paste in one hour? What should be the right place so that the poster is eye-catching? What is the use if the poster is at some remote place that nobody will see?
All these experience will mellow you down. Tomorrow when you become some senior marketing manager, you will not have wild idea of posting 10,000 posters in a day! Therefore, like others let me also tell you to take this experience positively.

From India, Bangalore
Ram 007
Dear 1979,boss2966 ,Dinesh Divakar,
I thank from my bottom heart for being kind enough and for giving some suggestions spending your valuable time. I do agree whatever things we do, definitely there will be some learning and we shouldn't stop that learning...Before going for the project, I had big hopes that I would have very good learning,but I wasn't exposed to any of the high level works and was involved only in these kind of works. Thats why I am disappointed.. I need to collect data from the customers to complete my project. I was not allowed for that also and I was keep on doing these same works in a routine manner for nearly 12-14 hrs/day. SO I was little bit frustrated . Anyways, I will take all your suggestions and see everything in a positive note... Once again I thank each and everyone of you for your valuable insights....

From India, Bangalore

Dear Ram007

Others have given you sound advice as to what to do accepting the situation. As a retired academic that has taught and supervised MBA projects, let me raise some questions. Could you kindly state what are the aim and objectives of your projects? Have you done literature surveys about your topics? Have you decided on the methodology?

Are you paid by the company for the time you spend there? Is this for your final project report or for your internship report? Did you get your project proposal approved by the organisation? If so, who approved it? Have you got a MENTOR at the place of work? Who is threatening you when you complain? Have you put your complaint about the lack of opportunity to do the project work (And not about the workload) to the manager with a copy to your academic tutor? Is the place of your study an autonomous institution.

The more information you can provide, the better will be my suggestions to complete your project.

Finally, please maintain a log of what all you are doing, any correspondence, and your reflections on what you are doing and how that work can be related to your studies in general, etc.

From United Kingdom
Ram 007
Dear nashbramhall,

I am doing project and not internship.When I approached that company for the project, the manager who is supposed to be my mentor asked me to come with some titles. Then I went with 15 titles and he approved one topic from that list. I have prepared the Questionnaire, got approval from him and as well as from my faculty guide at the college within a week.I have decided upon the statistical tests too along with 10 literature reviews. Until that, everything was fine but suddenly they(not my mentor,buy other managers) started to overload us with lots of works . When I contacted my mentor, he remained tight lipped and said, try to balance the situation, do both the project work and as well as organizational works. They are not paying anything. They are talking in such a way that these projects are of no use and only these kind of works will give some kind of learning. There should be some benefits for us as we have permitted you to do your project. What's the benefit for us if you do your project work alone? I took up this issue to HR manager, he said it's your duty to accomplish all the tasks during the project. If you take leave in between because of works or fail to do tasks, I won't provide project completion certificate. Still I haven't taken up this issue to my college as I don't want to make it complicated.My college comes under university and not an autonomous one.

(Sorry, I am unable to provide details about my project in a public forum because People from the company may also take a look at this forum. In case,If they find the details means, they will easily pinpoint me and I may face further more problems... )

From India, Bangalore
Cite Contribution

Greetings, Thankyou Simhan for the guidance you have provided Ram. I missed out on it. Brainstorming on the project would make it most productive for him.
From India, Mumbai

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