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hi dear seniors,
i am a final semester MBA student. Unlike other MBA colleges having a summer internship, i had winter internship wherein i was supposed to do a project.
i am interning in an organisation wherein there's no mentor or scope of acquiring a project (research or analysis) but i am required to do cold calls and make sales pitches over call, even though its the area which i certainly don't want to enter into.
I was interested in market research or analysis, as required for my degree project, but the company owner does not believe in it.
The period of internship is 2 months, Jan n Feb. Due to above stated points I feel disinterested and demotivated all day long.
Kindly suggest something. Should i leave the internship and find something else?
28th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Mediaboy
What made you "choose" that organization for your project ??
Does "required to do cold calls and make sales pitches over call, even though its the area which i certainly don't want to enter into." is a part of the project ??
Why was the project not clearly defined and mutually agreed, before you accepted it ??
Unless there is evidence or information to the contrary; I would just like to hint that this organization is simply exploiting your position as a needy MBA student to get the work required to be done by an employee whom they would have been required to pay salary.
Warm regards.
28th January 2013 From India, Delhi
Media boy,
you already choosen that organization but i'm not cleared about that how many day's you you have been in that company..?? If you been there morethan 25 days, don't switch over to another one.. try to finish it and learn something
28th January 2013 From India, Chennai
Dear Friend,
Simply share your existing organisation what is your purpose for joining them ?
Immediately decide the project title, contents etc. Tell them politely you are not there as tele sales man or so if it not related to your project.
Covey them politely If they are not giving any specific project. you will simply quit them and look after the project in new company.
Remaining 1 month is sufficient in any organisation new or exsiting.
I had gone through similar situation In three days I shared my concern with the company.
Conveyed them I am there to offer services free of cost not to do time pass. Organisation is equal need of my services.
Situation changed.
I got the cooperation. I competed the project in same organisation with stipulated time.
Manoj Chaudharil
M.B.A. (HR).
28th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Boy,

You are also committing same mistake like many others, you didn't give full particulars. You R doing MBA, fine, in what ? I have to presume it should be either Marketing or ???

You have already consumed one month of Jan and going into Feb. Hardly one month, what U can do in one month. Is't possible to restart with a fresh project with a new orgn. ? If so can U finish in Feb.? Find answers for all these.

I would suggest first U discuss with your HOD or Guide, take their advice what is practically possible at this juncture. R they willing to reschedule this project for some other months afresh ? Find out other possibilities, New Topic, new orgn. Where are you doing your internship ? Mumbai ? I don't think it is difficult to find alternate orgn.there. If there is no possibility try to salvage this internship itself, meet the concerned officer, tell your problems and request their help to complete the project successfully, if it helps ask your guide to talk to them as well.

All the best.

29th January 2013 From India, Bangalore
My free suggestion would be.
if you think what ever work you are doing right now , will help then continue other wise Quit any early and find another early.
Do not mess up with your Projects, esp Country like INDIA and the value we give for education is only Marks card,
if just need only certificate go ahead with same internship.
if you want to learn something new and that too as per your Heart's advice then need a change.
29th January 2013 From India, Bangalore
my suggestion is try to complete your work in your internship period.This is your learning phase & even if you are not interested whatever you will learn will help you later may not be in the manner you are looking.For e.g cold calls will make you smarter way of tackling people over phone & makes you bold & prompt & the best thing is you wont feel let down during failure coz if you face failures in cold calls you try to overcome it.Emotionally it makes you stronger to face the rigour of corporate world.I was an introvert who gained big from such cold calls.So my suggestion is try to take a learning as i think it will be too late to change org now.
29th January 2013 From India, Bangalore
For every intern or fresher, an organisation is a wrong starter, because you feel that the other side of the meadow is greener, whereas it is not! Think and introspect on the following:
What career did you opt for when you joined them?
What kind of career opportunity are you finding?
How deviant is what you are getting than what you opted for?
What were your expectations when you joined?
How and what expectations have not been fufilled?
If you need further help do get in touch
29th January 2013 From India, New Delhi
As rightly stated, the problem is unclear. However from your post I'm trying to understand it and please correct me if I am wrongsomewhere.

From above two things, I believe your major subject in your MBA would be Marketing.

I am sure people do not like to do sales but I do not understand why you don't wish to do cold calling?

Please understand there's a misconception that cold calling = sales job.

Cold calling would be a part of so many people - Sales is only obvious and apart from it other careers that has cold calling as its part are: Business Developer / Executive, Recruitment, Marketing (I hope you know how marketing is different than sales) and yes even Market Research.

As far as my view point is concerned, this is helping you achieve a base and a foundation for your dream role - Market Research Analysis. In order to analyze the data, the most important step is to collate data. You'd have to do surveys, you'd have to interact to people and ask them their ideas and this would require cold calling, isn't it?

Or you think that when you pass out finally with your degree and go to interviewers saying you'd love to do market research analysis, they'd give you data which was fetched by hard work of some one else? Do not fancy such liberal role in the beginning of your career.

I had to carry out a market survey for my MR subject as a part of curriculum and I know how much of efforts, cold calling, pitching, networking etc helps...

Though all think sales is of lower calibre and it wont help you, honestly speaking 8-10 months of sales experience would change a person's attitude towards work.

In my suggestion don't quit. this is one essential step to reach your goal. Perhaps you'd understand its importance after you pass out and would understand how your cold calling and networking helped you....

Apart you're doing MBA so you are aspiring to be a manager one day. Eventually you'd come across projects which dont interest you personally but are inevitable for company's growth. Would you quit?

Its just a matter of a month now. Learn as much as you can and trust me, you'd eventually be thankful and grateful to God that you got this opportunity...

All the best and may God bless you :)
29th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
continue with the existing interns in that organization.
But try to learn more about working of different departments as well , it will increase your knowledge .
Don,t get disappointed as such situations do come in every ones life .
29th January 2013 From India, Kolkata
Hello Mediaboy,
Like other members mentioned, pl give the following details ASAP--in case you are serious about getting ACCURATE & REALISTIC suggestions/advice from this Forum.
1] What's your MBA Major?
2] If not the name of the Organization you are doing your Project in, what field/domain or area of expertize are they into? AND what's the size of this company--BOTH in terms of numbers & turnover?
3] What was the basis for your selecting this company for the Internship?
4] Does your HOD/Guide @ college know or give you the clearance about you doing the Winter Internship in this company?
5] Are there any other MBA Interns in your group?
6] Have you discussed the current situation/scenario with your college guide? If yes, what was their opinion?
A lot of what can be suggested would depend on your answers to the above queries.
However, going by the limited info you mentioned, "Should i leave the internship and find something else?" MAY NOT be an option you can exercise--given that the balance time is too short for you to do anything worthwhile elsewhere.
All the Best.
29th January 2013 From India, Hyderabad
You were or are interested in Market Research or Analysis?

Well the question asked by Mr Hansdah and TajSateesh are very valid and you need to answer them first. In addition, can you please define us in your language what “Market Research or Analysis” means to you?

And, your statement “having a summer internship and had winter internship” could you please let us know something about your winter session and what did you learn and about your project work there?”

Second thing is that you must not expect, where the internship or the chances you have provided to work with; the organization, there you can find anyone to teach you himself. I mean, you have to learn and grab the conditions/opportunities at your own. You are a Student and have to show your learning skills and your interest in work. No one likes to offer his service himself or come to you and say, “Let me teach you this and that”.

Can you let us know the work you have assigned in this month (current internship period), which is almost completed?

Lastly, as you have accepted your mistakes after realization that you do not want to continue with the present situation/condition that are not meeting your requirements for your project report and work, you must not continue this because you are just wasting your time there. You have to report your University back or the institute that have provided you this chance or to the mentor with complete details. Subsequently, you need to work with right direction and need to concentrate towards your project report and for the condition that meets your requirement.

Now you have to get over the situation and as you said that the area of work and conditions you have with present internship are not according to your project demands and career line, you must take corrective action and quit immediately.
29th January 2013 From India, Gurgaon
Dear Seniors,

Thank you for your kind help. At that time I was just in a panic mode, hence things weren't made clear in my post.

Yes, I am doing MBA in Marketing. I was seeking a research based role in the organisation . I was told we had enough work in that area, but on my 1st day i was told that there was a new service to be launched for which i needed to pitch to people (via cold calls) & seek marketing alliances. Though I was briefed about this service by the head of the company, further i was made to learn of it by the earlier data that was saved by someone.

As a sport, i took up the challenge (not worrying about my main project) and tried for 20-22 days to give it some thought. Furthermore, there were other 2 BU's of the company and soon the work flowing from that area as well was handed over to me, for e.g. an event was coming up for which i was told to get sponsorship, again by cold calling. I tried my best, but got rejects from 3-4 places. Adding to it, i was asked to gain advertisements for our publication and gain subscription too. Suddenly, in a week all this came pouring in.

Here I'd like to mention that I have had 4 internships and 5 industry based projects earlier in the field of media & entertainment where I seek to build my career. This is a print media group. On further investigation from other colleagues here in this place, I came to know that I was filled into a place (or, internship) where earlier 2 marketing persons had come and gone and tried for this service for almost a year and could not sell.

Even though I'd mentioned strongly my eagerness to search for a suitable project and asked to assign me a mentor, the head of the company does not show interest. He tells me to find something, collate and do what you're required to submit at your college (read: he does not want any research or survey to be done by me which could help his organisation). I even asked one day of his opinion on Market Research, he jokingly said he does not believe in it and said its all flawed (citing some examples from the industry).

I was given 2 months to do a project from my university. At this juncture, I feel I should I resign but I not very much confident in seeking a project just in a week. Add to that I am in Mumbai, and I am not a resident of it (staying at some friends place). I have been giving it a thought for a week now, and what I am gonna request here is an early leave say by mid feb. I still have no mentor, no data sets, no guidance, and in the very 1st week itself I mentioned to my head I am NOT interested in sales or BD.

I am still thinking as to how to so a small survey or a project and file a report at my dept. But sadly I guess, I lost an opportunity to do some great job while I had the time.

Thank you for all your support and suggestions. I would still seek your opinion of my case dear seniors.
30th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
And yes, my university was not able to find an internship for me. Hence, I took the initiative and secured an internship on my own. Things would just go haywire if I report back as i strongly believe that the dept from where i come (i.e.calcutta), it'd be easy for them to put the blame on me as I found this internship on my own - and that they'd be worried about the image of the dept as I am the torch bearer here, etc..... but in reality no one gives a damn here of the place i come from or what university i belong to.
30th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
answering to Tajsateesh:
1] What's your MBA Major? - Marketing
2] If not the name of the Organization you are doing your Project in, what field/domain or area of expertize are they into? - Print Media, Finance Magazine
AND what's the size of this company--BOTH in terms of numbers & turnover? - 20 employees (including me), Turnover - Not Sure
3] What was the basis for your selecting this company for the Internship? - I wanted to get exposure in a print media group, hence..
4] Does your HOD/Guide @ college know or give you the clearance about you doing the Winter Internship in this company? - The Placement Officers are assigned to get projects. They were unable to find me in a media group, hence I'd to seek on my own.
5] Are there any other MBA Interns in your group? - No. I am the only one here.
6] Have you discussed the current situation/scenario with your college guide? If yes, what was their opinion?
I haven't discussed it my college guide yet, mainly because I feel all hell will break loose once I start telling them. Again, my college is in the east and i am interning in the west of the country - so on call it would be really difficult to explain my situation.
30th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
Hey do not worry, It is all fine. It all happens. I hope you're in a little clearer state now than before.

You mentioned that you were looking to do some market research. Can you quickly give what you wanted to research about? Like say you wish to do an internal survey (survey the employees) or an external survey (survey the outsiders)

If an internal survey, what should be your topic or area of survey.

If an external survey, what is it that you'd want to know? Company's Image or its product and/or services or what?

Put all the above mentioned details in ink on a paper and then put that forward to your manager there.

You can convince him by saying that you'd continue the task given to you, but would appreciate if they would allow you to also carry out another project which would help you per-se in you career moulding.

Give all your facts and figures.

Honestly, they may be testing you. You're a marketing person. They've assigned you a task to bring in subscribers and sponsers. That's only to enhance your convincing skills.

Sell your idea to them. Convince them and get the approval and start your research ASAP.

If possible try to make a rough draft of your questionnaire also before you go to convince him That would show your seriousness. Do not expect someone to take you seriously unless you convince them you're dead serious about it.

Be confident. Don't argue, just convince. There's lot of difference between the two...

Do not honestly leave early. Its only a learning opportunity. Moreover leaving early meeans running away from the problem. Whereas all that managers ought to do is tackle problems. Take this as a learning path. More so I also showed you how to proceed further. And do that asap in order to finish your survey and all your analysis well in time.

There is still time. If you look at it you have 28 days still to your credit to finish your task. But you'll have to work a little over time. I'm sure you'd be able to handle that. Good luck and god bless you :)
30th January 2013 From India, Mumbai
Hello Mediaboy,

Things are a bit more clearer now.

Firstly, Dinesh was bang on target when he said: '.....this organization is simply exploiting your position as a needy MBA student to get the work required to be done by an employee whom they would have been required to pay salary'.

But now that you are to say....into it & don't have a lot of time to make a switch-over OR to go back to your college to report the factual situation, I guess you only need to MAKE THE BEST USE OF IT.

You mentioned that the tasks/activities given to you were already tried out earlier & didn't succeed. Can you get into the details & link them up to your Core Topic....the idea being to bring-about or generate the Report you need to submit to your college [from factual data]? My 'feeling' is that it can be done--maybe you can take the help of the marketing members in this Forum.

Whether to give a copy of the Report to this company can be thought of later--given your comments ['........he jokingly said he does not believe in it and said its all flawed.......'].

However, there are couple of aspects of any working environment that you need to bear in mind:

1] Nothing is put on a platter for your convenience to learn--in a typical jargon, NO Spoonfeeding can or ought to be expected. It's upto the individual concerned to figure-out how to co-relate the situation with the ultimate goal.

2] Looking @ such situations from a different perspective, there's NOTHING called coincidence in life--every happening HAS a reason, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. And just because it doesn't seem apparent while one is going/passing thru that confusing phase doesn't mean the reason(s) doesn't/don't exist. It's upto the individual to figure it/them out.

In your case, maybe you are missing some learning opportunities--just look around & I am sure you will discover it/them. Just WIDEN your glance & look @ the larger picture.

All the Best.


30th January 2013 From India, Hyderabad
thanks for the replies seniors. I am still going to ponder upon this issue this weekend. See how many +s or -s (pluses or negatives) are there. As of now the beam balance is quite heavier on the -ve side.
All your kind supports is highly appreciated.
31st January 2013 From India, Mumbai
Whatever might be your decision, let us know and don't hesitate to ask us whatever you might require and tell us precisely as all of us are willing to help you in whatever way possible.
All the best.
31st January 2013 From India, Bangalore
ALL THE BEST Mediaboy.
I must admit--NOT MANY @ your age & experience-level look @ things as objectively as you 'seem' to be doing--weighing the Pros & Cons BEFORE taking a decision. Most wake-up AFTER they get hit.
Do keep this Forum informed on your decision--NOT for the sake of 'Reporting' but for the benefit of others who MAY pass thru a similar phase later in their career(s).
All the Best again.
31st January 2013 From India, Hyderabad
hi friends and dear seniors,

i finally put in my papers yesterday. Actually an incident yesterday went into favor for which i did not take the initiative. Been the pay day the admin/hr manager called me in person for evaluation and assessment, and he went onto deliverables that are expected of me else i would not get a 'good' letter and it further things. Taking the cue I told him frankly i never asked for sales, but took up the challenge to try the exercise. I told him frankly my core is MarComm or CorpComm but the company doesnt really have an orientation towards it. The research wing is entire related to finance domain which is not my core, i am being put out of my core.

He suggested himself then then there are 2 routes:

(1) either i continue to achieve targets or conversions. A slight detour in profile can be arranged OR

(2) or i relieve myself at this point

This happened at around 11AM. I requested him to give me till 5PM in the evening to think of it. Around 3PM, i was called in my the owner/promoter telling me that I took SALES on my own, I was never told to just do it. Well ok, i did not react at all. I put calm. He further added that now since I was not comfortable (read: i told the admin man frankly), what i can do i try Communications instead of sales. Even in that I would just have to document what they do in soft copies and show how convergence is achieved (read: strategy. concept. creativity , etc would not be a part of it since they KNOW how to do it). I took the bitter pill of hearing him out and said alright, I'll align with it. However by the end of the day I realised that practically there is no other work besides Sales for me, and it was just put as an option as again i was told they would proportion my daily activities (and report it to 3 people)........something did not make sense for me, and i again re-assessed that neither would i have a value addition or they from me.

At 5PM, I requested the Admin Manager to give me 5min of his time. I told him i want to be relieved ensuring to complete the remaining tasks of the day by the end of the day.

End of story.

Regarding my project, I think i am gonna do an individual survery regarding perceptual mapping of their mag. And put it in. At least I will know what the market thinks of their product being an external stakeholder.

Thanks for all your support.
7th February 2013 From India, Mumbai
just wanted to update on this. 2 days after i resigned, when i went to collect my letter and stipend, the company just reneged out to give me letter. The owners went into an argument for no reason, found x faults in me, and the hr/admin manager himself who had offered me 2 options earlier (either to resign for which he will give me a one month letter OR to continue towards completion of targets assigned) now blatantly tells me on my face "Letter won't be issued. It's not in m hands".
To save my dignity, I didnt put up a scene nor did fall into arguments. Left politely. Just so that you know, I dont even have a work letter now, something which the orgz themselves told me to give. I dont even know whether i should mention this intern period in my CV any more. Seniors and friends, please advise.
10th February 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Mediaboy
Sorry to know about your plight, a part of which I think you brought upon yourself, by not taking due care in the initial stages.
To salvage the situation, what you can do now is to discuss the matter with any senior with whom you have worked and try to get their personal certification/endorsement of doing the project to the extent you have worked.
Even if you take up an alternate project, you should mention this truthfully in your CV/Report. There are certain good organizations that appreciates mistakes committed and the learning from it.
Warm regards.
11th February 2013 From India, Delhi
Thanks Raj for the advise. I am trying my best for it.
Yes i know due diligence was not taken while i chose to intern in the organisation as I just had an opinion about them by reading some online articles and their website. I had absolutely no contact who was working for them, or knew someone who has had some contact with the organisation for any reason. Just applied, went there. Won't be making the same mistake again in my life.
I need to learn how to research for a company which you seek as a prospective employer. All/any ideas from dear friends and seniors would be highly appreciated.
11th February 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear M'Boy,
Now let us come to action. Read once more the post of Ankita dt.30.1.13 and let's find your answers quickly. My son also did a project in Marketing (Research) for his MBA at Bangalore. Let me know whether some of his experience would be of some help to you in this.
12th February 2013 From India, Bangalore
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