And Send. Another mail sent to a professor with the hope that he at least opens it. And within five minutes I see that the gmail tab shows that a new mail has been received. Anxiously I open it and find that the prof. I just mailed to actually cared enough to open that mail and give it a go. As I read the mail, I found that he had asked me to read some of the research papers and get back to him within a few days with their summaries. Determined to not loose this opportunity, I quickly downloaded all the papers and started reading them.
And Send. Finally completing all the summaries just in time, I sent him the mail. It was like end semester exams all over. Didn’t play holi, didn’t attend classes, slept a little, learnt to code in Latex just so that I could be sure that nothing was missed on my part.
A few days after I receive a mail saying that I did my part well, and if the projects got confirmed I would be working along with him. Now I had done my part. I couldn’t do anything more than that.
So long story short. Two months after that first mail, here I was in a sleeper bus having no suspensions going to the city full of happy, food-loving and bujiness minded people ready to pick their dandias anytime- Ahmedabad.
With full of red-brick buildings, the campus was located in the middle of the city unlike IIT Guwahati. It was the month of May and the sun god was in no mood to spare the people of gujarat from his wrath. Still, the cooling system of Vikram Sarabhai Library worked just fine to make me stay there the whole day, and unlike my undergrad college, it was open 24×7.
I was already told that my project was to assist my prof. on a Pricing Project of a Pharma Company and that I had to do some data cleaning, visualization and analysis. Since I was totally new to this field, he advised me to learn things on Excel and about Pricing Strategies in general.
In the beginning itself, my prof. had asked me what all I wanted to learn by the end of the summers, and so he took note of that during the whole period of three months and assigned me different tasks. After a week of basic study, a little background work for a few companies, data started coming in and the work started right away. To complete my learning objectives, he made sure I attended all the telephonic interactions with the Clients. After that we used to discuss the path of the project, set targets and get on work. Despite of being an expert in his field, he cared enough to ask about my ideas, solutions to the problems in hand, etc.
One day while I was in the library, he called me up (He had never called, gmail was the only medium he would ever communicate with) and asked to meet immediately. I anxiously rushed up to his cabin only to find out that he wanted me to go to 5 Day tour to Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal for a market survey project of a cement company. 3 days after, I was travelling again and meeting various heads of the company, the dealers, retailers and sales promoters. With no idea of how the cement market works, the people I met were very patient and explained me the whole process. Since I had gone as an associate of professor, they treated me with utmost respect and made sure that I had no problems during the journey. Although the work was a hectic one with my day beginning at 8 and ending at around 3 in the night. Still it was new experience and that was all I wanted.
The prof. was happy with my findings, contradicting to what I had thought. So after the journey, the usual data analysis work started again since it was the main reason I was called. Overall the experience was a splendid one and I enjoyed every part of it. Well I had come in order to clear my doubts about Research VS Business, and after this I was pretty sure of my choice.
The Research and Publication Department of the college also organised an Intern’s Conference where we had to present our work. That presentation also has an interesting story attached to it which I’ll leave for some other day. I met a lot of interns whom I had not met before and we all decided to go for a dinner in the evening as all our internships were on the verge of ending.
But this blog post can’t end without the mention of my two awesome roomies. One was a research associate at IIM-Ahmedabad itself who was smart, sensible yet not boring at all. The other was a frustrated software engineer, preparing for IAS, an Army Officer’s Brat and a very good debater. Both had a very different set of experiences from which I learnt a lot. It had become sort of daily ritual to end our day with a limca and sutta(for them, no I don’t smoke!) which we bought from the Paanwala sitting below our apartment while discussing issues ranging from my career to that of Modi’s.
It was my last day and my excitement level was at the same level as it was on my first day. I was leaving for another exciting adventure to Chennai as our team was participating in a Formula One Event. Yes you heard it right, we were participating in a Formula One Event and if you think that what’s so cool and exciting in it, I would recommend you to watch Rush !