Nirav recently completed his first year of BCom in Finance and Marketing with Strategic Management, at McGill University, Canada. Nirav applied for Capital Placement’s Finance internship programme in Bangalore. In this Blog, Nirav will share his experience interning in India and his thoughts on the city of Bangalore, tips and recommendations and about his overall experience in the city.
Where are you now and what kind of internship are you doing?
I am currently doing a 10-week internship at Deloitte in their Bangalore office. I’m in Deloitte’s Clients and Markets department, which gives me a great insight into the world of both auditing and finance.
What was your first impression of Bangalore?
I currently live and study in Canada but I’m originally from North India and this is my first time coming to Bangalore. It is completely different compared to other cities in India!
You said Bangalore is unlike any other city you have been to in India, can you elaborate?
One of the first things I noticed was how liberal and diverse the culture is. Bangalore or Bengaluru as it is known now, is known as the Silicon Valley of India, with its diverse range of multinational companies, especially tech companies.
When I was walking around, one of the first things I noticed was how young the population in the city was. Also, it feels like a city you would find in a Western Country because there are people here from all over the world so I was really surprised by that.
How is the place you are staying? Is it far from the office?
The accommodation is extremely comfortable; it has all the facilities I’m looking for and the location is amazing. It is very centrally located and best of all, it’s a stone’s throw from the office.
I am moving at the end of the month to a new accommodation. The original plan was to stay at a different hotel but there was a large Indian wedding taking place and the entire place was booked for a week, so I am here until the end of this month! I have been told that the new place is Capital Placement’s usual accommodation option. I will tell you more about it once I have moved there.
What has your first week been like? Your first day especially?
Lisa, who is Capital Placement’s Operations Manager in Bangalore picked me up around 9:30am from the hotel (The working day starts slightly later here than they do in Canada), and took me to Deloitte’s office. On the way, she showed me her office in case I ever needed anything, which I thought was a nice touch.
We arrived at Deloitte’s office around 10:15 am, where I was introduced to a person from Deloitte’s HR Department. I then had to sign some legal documents like a non-disclosure agreement, contract for the internship, etc. After these formalities were done, I was handed my access card for the office building. I was then taken up to my department and introduced to my supervisor, the team and other interns whom I’ll be working with during my internship.
Each intern is provided with a work laptop and their login details are generated from Deloitte’s head office in Mumbai, which can at times take some time to set up, like it did in my case. So, while I was waiting for my login credentials, I started on some work which did not require a laptop for my supervisor, this took me until lunch.
When I got back to the office after lunch, I realised that I still couldn’t log in to the laptop provided and so while I was waiting for my laptop to log me in, I was given a tour of the office and later in the afternoon was called in to meet the Senior Manager who was in charge of the Clients and Markets department. We had a brief chat regarding the project I would be working on and he wanted to customise it according to my interests, preferences and expertise which was really thoughtful. I then got back to my desk and luckily everything was set up – I dived straight into the work I was set and before I knew it, my first day was over!
The rest of the week was hectic. I was busy understanding Deloitte and adjusting to the work culture here, as I have never worked for any large firms in the past. I am working on several projects at the moment, including an assignment involving the pharmaceutical industry, where I have had the opportunity to speak with the CEOs and CFOs of these companies. I can’t disclose more or I could get in trouble with the HR department for potentially breaching my NDA! Other work involved developing market intelligence- it’s a bit like commercial awareness where you understand the market and see what is happening, capture news and provide my analysis via a report to my supervisor.
How is everyone at the firm and the work you are doing?
The people here at Deloitte and especially in my department are amazing – they genuinely care about my experience with the firm and have always been proactive in offering help. The senior manager took time out of his extremely busy schedule to sit down with me on my first day to understand my goals and me and tailor the work so that I am constantly learning and developing new skills which are relevant for my chosen career path.
I also get a lot of opportunities to network with employees within Deloitte and I am pretty eager to soak in as much information as possible! They are all so friendly and more than happy to tell me about what they do and help me with my work when I need help.
How are the hours? How is the office?
Things here in India are slightly more laid back than it is back in Canada, where the work hours are 9-5/ 9-7, depending on where you work. My official working hours are from 9:30-6 but I often find myself staying in the office until around 7 because I prefer to finish all my work before I leave the office.
Have you had a chance to explore the city much? Also, any plans for the weekend?
After my first week, I spent the Saturday recovering from the week I just had. I then spent the Sunday around the Brigade Road/ MG Road area, which I would highly recommend. It’s famous for its social scene – there are so many shopping centres, bars and clubs in the area and you can easily spend a whole day around there.
Have you found any interesting places yet? Especially restaurants or bars?
I am total foodie, and I cannot explain how amazing the food scene here in Bangalore is! I try to find a new place to eat for every meal and there is definitely no shortage of restaurants or bars around where I am staying. One thing I have fond memories of, but something you don’t find in Canada, is the Indian street food which I now have at least once a day! You have not experienced Indian food until you have tried the street food.
How much do you spend on food a day?
I usually spend somewhere between 70 rupees to 100 rupees [£0.70-£1/ $1-$1.50] a meal if I am having street food. I usually go to a restaurant for my dinner and I find myself spending between 250- 500 rupees [£2.50-£5/ $4-8] for a meal at the top restaurants here.
Have you been to any of our socials here yet?
Yes, I did go out once for dinner with Shoum this week, who is the Bangalore based Partner. Shoum’s background is in investment banking and we ended up talking about various things for close to 3 hours that night where I learnt a lot of things from him.
What can someone do to prepare for an internship in India or Bangalore in particular?
I think there are a few ways in which you can prepare yourself –
- Expect hot weather, the weather here is close to 30 degrees!
- India is most probably going to be unlike any country you have previously visited so I recommend people come here with an open mind to get the most out of the experience.
- Plan ahead so that you have things planned each weekend. A visit to the Taj Mahal is a must and there are so many other things you can do during your time here, so plan ahead!
- As I am working in an audit firm, I wish I spent some time brushing up on my Excel skills. It’s something I rarely use in my day to day life but as I have learnt, it is vital to have excellent excel skills when you are working at a auditing firm. We usually get lot of data and it comes in super handy.