Corporate life however may not be exactly as you imagine. You wont have many helping hands as you expected to show you your path. You are left to fend for yourself, no spoon feeding and of course you are expected to deliver everything overnight . The learning curve can be quite steep than you imagine. So the best way around this is to get an internship (either during college in a similar firm or immediately after) . Being an intern, you have so many advantages. You can get to meet everyone in the firm, and learn about their roles and responsibilities. You dont have a fixed agenda or a deliverable but rather a freedom to sit with anyone and understand the work from them. The experience of working with live data in a current project can add to significant experience in working towards your end goals
I still vividly remember my internship days, immediately after my post graduation in management. I was one of the lucky few to be recruited through campus placements and my employer (who also was my visiting professor) . The experience was completely different from anyone else, given that the company was a startup and in its initial days of breaking through the market. With ambitious plans and goals, the company was trying to make a huge mark in the retail analytics sector
With a computer science engineering and a post graduation in Marketing as a background, it was like bread and butter to me. It gave me the exact kind of exposure that I was looking for. To explore the intricacies of a developing and exciting industry, meeting clients and pitching for new opportunities, developing solutions, almost everything was part of my job profile as an intern.
Without a doubt, my learning curve went up at a steep pace, giving parallely an in depth industry experience. I was asked to sit in focus interviews by clients, derive key insights and present in front of an audience, this was the one of the most challenging as well as exciting days of my early career. It setup the way and gave me enough confidence to face anyone boldly and interact with them.
Though the pay you may get during an internship can be very low as compared to a normal salary, the experience and knowledge you gain out of it is invaluable and gives a further strong hold in your career. You can also use the internship experience in your resume to apply for other jobs in the future and given more preference compared to others
I distinctly remember the time, when we formed the basic company roadmap , and the first client meeting where we were asked a lot of questions and some of them were quite impossible to answer. This gave me a further momentum to learn about the industry challenges, client needs and other common practices that can solve many a problem. Not just primary research , but the secondary research in the net gave me so much valuable info about current industry and market that was prevailing. I also got to learn a lot of statistical techniques, tools like SPSS that provided a further edge
This 2 month of internship experience acted as a solid foundation when I attended my first interview in a big MNC and helped me immensely in easily cracking it and definitely owe it to where I am today