The Summers of 2019: HRM at Guru & Jana

The Summers of 2019 is a series about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. We bring to you the experiences of interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and E-commerce roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern, and maybe help the reader understand their own fit in that particular role. 

Contributed by: Rajanikanta Sethy

What happens if you get this unlikely combination of HR Management and Start-ups? My stint at Guru & Jana (G&J) was unpredictable yet oozed in excitement. The fact of tapping at the HR systems of a start-up was complex, unique and challenging. My project involved streamlining the HR activities and spur training and inclusivity in communication across the branches of Guru & Jana. This was a first for me, as I’d barely thought about HR as a career, but all my perspectives changed post the internship, thanks to the wonderful exposure that I’d had.

A CA-consulting based start-up with its roots in Bangalore, it also has offices pan-India. I had the privilege of working in both the Mumbai and Pune offices. My project involved studying the lives of employees, interacting with them and suggest newer methods to strengthen the HR Policies and reduce inter-office communication gaps between teams. I’d banked on my experience leading teams at L&T and applying the principles and guidelines that I’d been exposed to through the various OB courses that I’d learned for the past year to drive my internship further.

The best part, however, was interacting with the various people, who were humble and down-to-earth and treated me as a family, despite their never-waiving workload. I understood that the structure of offices and teams, as well as the communication flow, was completely different at different branches. My focus was to study the best of both and introduce newer systems so that people in Pune feel more inclusive, become more communication-savvy like their peers at Bangalore, HQ. Organisational Structure Revamp, Work-life balance, Employee friendly add-ons, Repository creation, and communication-based tools’ training, were other operatives and systems that I’d worked on, with a set of recommendations for each.

It was a welcome change to seep into a start-up based atmosphere, from my previous work experience. However, the workload was hectic and volatile. There were times where we’d to sit past the midnight hours. But there were also days where I was able to juggle time for my personal and professional activities. I was introduced to Online learning tools like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, etc. which helped me further supplement my knowledge of processes, guidelines in various facets of HR and Organisational Behavior. The team at G&J more than made up for all the difficulties that I’d faced in the process. We had some wonderful interactions, and while we got to know each other better, this resulted in me, being awarded a mini-project on Digital marketing as well, for them. The highlight of my internship was to present my work to the founders and top management at G&J. Their embracing of me, like a family, showed in the various souvenirs that I’d received during the send-off.

I was expected to have out-of-the-box cognition, interactive skills, a keen eye to details, sharp time management skills and good working knowledge of presentations and digital tools in today’s world to ace my internship. The stint with G&J enabled me to work on developing relationships with various teams at G&J, get new perspectives on organization structure and teamwork and the nature of work at a start-up. Overall, this was a one-of-a-kind experience, which I hope will be extended to the future, as well!

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