During the summer of 2014, Bhakti Varma interned with The Walt Disney Company in India. She also further developed skills in networking and communicating with others.
CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?
Bhakti: I spent my internship developing marketing strategies and presentations, analyzing reports, and working with the operations team on the management of Indian and Hollywood movies. Preparing movie metadata for content delivery also took up a large part of my time, as it required collecting movie posters, keeping track of it in Excel, and coordinating delivery with the operations team. I also attended meetings with clients to record notes and observe how business was conducted.
CCD: How did you find your internship?
Bhakti: Since I did not know anyone personally at the company, I used LinkedIn as a networking tool to approach the associate director at the studio. I sent a personalized message requesting to connect with him on LinkedIn, and I also let him know that I was looking for a summer internship. It took me two weeks to land the internship. There were two rounds of interviews, one with the human resources team and one with the supervisor under whom I would be working.
CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences?
Bhakti: Before the internship, I was extremely introverted. At work, I had to talk to and approach new people every day and work with different teams. It was very important to get out of my comfort zone and take initiative. I also learned that giving my fullest to every task assigned and asking questions helped me navigate through problems.
CCD: What are the top 3 skills you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands on experiences?
Bhakti: I acquired many transferable skills. These skills will help me gain an edge in the field of finance, which is my intended concentration. I became skilled at Excel, which is the most important tool used on a day-to day basis in investment banking. I also learned how to be more dedicated as I would have to stay late at the office several times, which is common in this field. Last, but not least, I gained great communication skills as I was expected to interact with new people every day.
CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of a summer experience?
Bhakti: Networking is key. Do not hesitate to approach professionals at a company if you reach out professionally and appropriately. They might turn out to be mentors for life. I also think that it is very important to do an internship, even if it’s not related to your major. You will gain experience, develop meaningful relationships, and learn about workplace etiquette. Internships help you gain transferable skills that will prepare you for the future.