Hindustan Unilever – Akhilesh Gandhi
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Akhilesh Gandhi is a 3rd year Undergraduate student pursuing his B.Tech in Chemical Engineering
It’s a genuine change from the Bombay we live in to move into the mountains and the valleys in Konkan. The scenery of this place cannot be defined in words and I must say that every journey I have taken from the Guest House to my factory so far has been a memorable one. I can never get enough of this beauty of a place I live in. Though living in such a remote area does have its drawbacks. To put it bluntly, no shop here has a packet of Kurkure and the only known major brands here are Dominoes and Monginis. There are network issues too but I tell you, if you are a nature lover, there is no better place to be.
Day 1, Slot 1:
For getting this wonderful opportunity, I must commend the placement team for the effort that they put in. HUL is one of the three Day 1 FMCG companies that visit campus for internships. To be honest, the stipend and the company in itself is enough motivation to pursue this intern but after grabbing the usual fundae from seniors, you want it much more desperately. The interview selection process consists of a GD followed by 2 interviews-Technical and HR. The time you spend in the interview hall can very well be more than an hour and be prepared to be at your best in that hour. A little bit of revision of my core subjects and a cool and confident attitude, for me, were enough to make it through.
This being a day 1 intern, one has very less experience of GDs and interviews. A few mock GDs with the help of seniors in your wing/hostel will help you to stand out at-least a bit and get you to the interview rounds. The interview isn’t easier either. You need to guide the interview to what you know and be prepared with your strengths and weaknesses beforehand. An hour of browsing through the company’s vision and motto is necessary for you to understand what you are signing up for.
The HUL Life:
About the intern, we spent our first three days at the HUL, HO in Mumbai and some of the most grandiose events were organized for interns in these three days. Lots of freebies including Ipods and headphones were just the cherry on the cake. The induction takes place at Unilever House (Andheri) and the place won’t even look like an office once you are there. They have almost everything in the House ranging from Knorr Kitchens to Magnum parlours at the Happiness Station. The opportunity of cooking in the Knorr Kitchen and making your own Royal Magnum was just delicious!
This was followed by a welcome party for all interns. I must say that at HUL, they are very serious about their first impression. To top it all, they provide you with accommodation, travel and food throughout the 2 months. What more could one ask for. I stay in a row house and there is a cook to make food for me with a television set all to myself.
Even as an intern, the expectations from you are huge and you are expected to deliver the project within the time period. Here at the Chiplun Detergents factory, my project focuses on improving the overall efficiency of the packing machines. Simply put, I have to make the plant capable of packing more powder. It does not require all the technical knowledge of the courses though there are some cases where I needed to make models and simulate some processes. The project is pretty easy if you discuss the project with your tutor who guides you through the project. Speaking the local language gets you to gel with the employees very well and I do have this to my advantage a bit.
A core intern is a dream for most aspiring engineers and this internship provides you with exactly what you ask for. You want technical? You’ll be put right in the middle of a running factory and you are accountable for every single change you make. Just yesterday, I changed the speed of a motor that led to an hour of shut-down. I learnt my lesson the hard way but the company encouraged me to take risks, albeit the fact that safety and quality come first. Sure it isn’t a job for people looking forward to a desk job. It has a different thrill to it altogether.
Overall, the place is really remote and there isn’t much to visit here apart from the Guhagar beach. If you are an over-enthusiastic traveller, you may spend your weekend at Goa or take a train back to Bombay to live the nightlife. Or you can be lazy like me and stay back on a Sunday lazing around with a cup of coffee and a nice book to read and multitask with completing this article.