In an interview with Chennai 36, ITC KITES intern and Mechie, Keerthana shares her experiences and tips for aspirants.

You’re part of the KITES programme.  Maybe you could tell us something about the programme itself?

KITES expands to Knowledge Innovation Talent Excellence Series. It is a recruitment series. Interns, as well as employees, are hired under this programme. Usually, the KITES interns are restricted to the top IITs and IIMs, as well as a few NITs. At the company, people coming in through this programme are looked at with respect and an expectation to achieve results on par with senior employees of the company. We are given a lot of responsibility and importance right from day 1!

Can you give us a brief overview of the selection procedure for the KITES internship program?

For the internships, there is a KITES application, which is essentially your resume and a few questions. The answers given in this application are taken very seriously by the recruiters. It will have a few general questions about the designation of your parents, your interests, etc. Some questions like: “Why ITC? How can you contribute? What do you expect to learn?”, are also asked.

One thought-provoking question they had asked last time was what my biggest achievement was so far.   

There is an orientation programme at ITC Windsor, Bengaluru titled ‘Mind Over Matter’. Prior to this session and your selection, they’ll ask you what the title means to you. This question, I’ve been led to believe, is of significant importance.

So we first submit this application form. Then we have to attend a compulsory pre-placement talk. After this, we have to write a psychometric test. Psychometric tests are a common thing FMCGs use to decide potential recruits’ ability to fit in and work in their organization.     Within half-an-hour of the test, group discussions teams are announced. Group discussions involve general scenarios which require the group to discuss and arrive at a practical mutual decision. The third filter would be the interviews. The interviews would be specific to the individuals. Some people had 2 tech interviews while some others had one tech and one HR interview.

I must say that their recruiting process is extremely refined and meticulous. ITC usually are known to recruit people who respect the work they do.    

What, if there is any at all, would be an ideal set of PoRs to get ahead of the race for this internship?

(Laughs) That is such a second year’s question!! According to me, there is no set of PoRs that is ideal for any job you go to. You wouldn’t have achieved anything significant in your life as yet. You just have to convince them that I did so and have utilized your time efficiently.

What role does CGPA play in the selection process?

I wasn’t one of the highest CGPA applicants. At the time of applying, I had a cumulative 8.89. As a result, I was asked more tech-related questions like characteristics of the Rankine cycle, as well as general science like why we can’t plow a field with a car!

As such, I don’t think CGPA should be a big barrier as long as you keep it above 8 and explain to them that you have utilized your time fruitfully rather than waste it all away!

How does one go about preparing a resume that isn’t pretentious and at the same doesn’t come off as overly modest?

Yes, I always had the exact same question. I still haven’t learned how to make the perfect resume! You must cover everything that you think is significant in your life. Another thing to do is send out resumes to reviewers; insti seniors, or experienced folks; who can tell you what is wrong and how to correct it. Of course, you can’t put things like I was the class leader in seventh grade!!

What sort of work are you doing at the internship?

It is a techno-managerial profile. As such, the work isn’t too complicated and a bit of engineering knowledge and JEE logic should be just fine. However, what they want from us is the assurance that we will work dedicatedly for 16 hours a day! They want you to speak to employees and understand the nature of work and contribute ideas for betterment.

Why did you choose to take up this internship? What do you wish to take away from this internship?

This is so much like an HR question now! The stipend was a major reason :P. Apart from that, I just took it up without a great deal of thought. So what would I want to take away from this? Basically, I wanted to know how corporate life feels like and I’m exploring my options. I want to prove to myself that I can work 16 hours a day and deliver things required of me.

What are the work timings and how is the working environment?

If you are a workaholic, you will love ITC! People come here and work for hours together. We don’t have any working timings, but other divisions have specified timings. We don’t have a fixed weekly schedule either. We have a good sports complex and everything we would want. This way, we don’t feel the long hours wearing us down.

Find our previous ITC Intern Gurur article at Harnessing solar energy for candy factories- ITC Limited

Authors:  Rohith M Athreya (BT-ME ’21)

Editor: Sahithi Yamala (DD-CH ’21)

This article is part of the series – The Intern Guru. To get regular updates on our articles, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/chennai36 and Instagram @chennai36_iitm