It all began in November wherein I received a mail from Placement committee confirming my selection in a startup called Pay1 in Mumbai. It officially began on 1st April wherein summer interns from other colleges as well as me were introduced to Pay1 and its employees. I was initially nervous because unlike many others, I had no experience in the retail-tech sector. The induction program continued for a week during which we were introduced to various products of Pay1. Unlike any other organisation, we were given complete liberty to choose our projects as per our interest.
Over the last month, I’ve learned a thing or two about the whole “startup culture” and what the marketing world really entails. So, for anyone looking for an insider’s perspective on what it’s really like to work for a startup, here are my top seven takeaways from my summer internship at Pay1.
Takeaway#1 No amount of education or number of degrees can replace real-world experiences
I am an incoming senior at Narsee Monjee Institute Of Management Studies, Bengaluru (NMIMS-B). Although I won’t trade my experiences at NMIMS, for anything in the world, there is no particular course in the universe which would prepare you for the professional world. And unless you can’t apply the knowledge you possess, it is rendered useless. Application of all the concepts along with a slight innovation aligning to the sector paves the way to success.
Takeaway#2 Be Quantitative, work smart
All through my MBA course, I learned the uses of various decision-making tools. During my tenure as a marketing and product development intern, I learnt that it is very essential to learn as many tools as possible since these tools help you quantify the work and help in decision making. The number of tools in your kit helps you analyse data quickly and more precisely which then helps you design your campaign and create strategies for your product and services.
Takeaway#3 Try something new
Although as an intern you have a certain responsibility towards your project, make sure you try new things which would broaden your horizon about a particular domain. I was always interested in content creation, and it is during my internship, that I rediscovered my passion for writing. I’m not only working on my designated project but also explored PR, Campaign and digital marketing. This helped me gain an overall 360-degree perspective of Marketing.
Takeaway#4 You help me, I help you and we grow together
We at Pay1 practice open door policy wherein it promotes cross-functional domain learning. We were free to learn how Data Sciences, Finances or even Operation Department works. This led to the exchange of information and skills and helped all of us grow together in terms of knowledge and skills. It also incorporated a feeling of brotherhood amongst those working for the company. Also, when I was working for content creation, I got an opportunity to cover various employee stories. It is during these conversations that I learnt that in spite of going through ups and downs of their lives, they still have a tunnel vision when they enter the office. It is their determination which inspired me to perform better than before every single day.
Takeaway#5 Speak up and Speak often
The startup culture is dynamic and is continuously evolving. We as interns were given critical roles and responsibility towards the company since we were freshers and our judgements were unbiased and were way different from the traditional solutions offered. In such a scenario, it became important for us to question and speak up regarding a particular decision. This not only led to the exchange of knowledge but also helped strengthen the pre-existing decision.
Takeaway#6 Be humble
During my tenure, there have been moments wherein I had the opportunity to work with the CEO Mr. Alakh Gargiya himself. It under his leadership, that everyone here, is very humble and eager to learn and teach. It is because of this, that asking for help, suggestion or any kind of guidance became easy, and it helped me grow not only professionally but also personally.
Takeaway#7 There’s no summer without fun
Startups are known for their dynamic and unique culture, and Pay1 has been no exception. From hours of sitting on the bean bag with a laptop, to cricket leagues to weekly lunch trips to Joey’s, to pancakes celebration for each and every occasion, to happy hours without no good reason other than to have a good time, there was rarely a dull moment in my first month of the internship. With one last month to go, I look forward to making more of such memories.