What does a typical engineering student wish for? What are his/her wishes and expectations of what s/he will do after college?
That's right - It's an internship leading to a job offer or a job right after college.
Leaving aside much harder alternatives like starting a business/startup or choosing a college/stream for higher studies, this is what one expects and in my opinion it's not too much to ask for. The option of going for a job is the most attractive and sought after option, because stability is the number one thing we go for.
Such was my wish too. To get internship and build my resume for a perfect job and this is how I came across Relatas.
The effort I took for finding an internship was relatively simple. I went to AngelList and other internship offering sites and updated my profile with all the details, CV and resume. After that my job was to only wait and hope that the best companies contact me for joining.
For the next 2 weeks, I was busy updating my sheet with all details of internships available. I was striking out companies which I didn't want to join and keeping an eye out for companies that I want to join and patiently waited for their replies/calls.
Within a day, I got a response from Relatas which said that they were interested in interviewing me. I then immediately went to their profile on AngelList and came across a link having feedback from their interns. The interns feedback (read them here) was really good - It had feedback from data science, sales, marketing interns and all of them were positive.
Have you ever came across a company that had such positive reviews from interns? I certainly hadn't and I was glad I got a reply from Relatas.
First contact from Relatas:
The email I got from the HR, asked me to apply with a cover letter. I was surprised and really scared because generally, companies usually ask for your resume and they are pretty satisfied with that alone. That's when I knew Relatas was a different kind of a company.
I researched on how to build my cover letter and built it perfectly - added the right fonts, names and made sure my content reflected my skills and eagerness to join the company in the best possible way. After all, Relatas was a company I didn't want to miss out on.
The interview was a total of around 10 days from the point of contact to the date of joining. I was supposed to answer a list of questions at the start regarding like
- Why did I want to join Relatas?
- What were the skills I had that made me a suitable candidate for the position? - Questions a company has the right to know if an intern is joining them. Again this was a different experience that I had from other interviews I had given.
Can you imagine a multi-days interview for an internship? This was the experience where my interest to join Relatas grew further. This showed that Relatas was really interested in knowing who I am and if I would be a good fit.
I answered the same and in the reply I was explained that it will be a 3-stage process to evaluate me. This included...
- A Basic interview
- A detailed interview
The basic interview was the most informative, insightful conversation I had ever had. The CEO of Relatas, Sudip was taking the interview. Every single answer that I gave back, he gave a feedback on it. I was asked to sell a portable charging port and observing my incorrect selling process, he pointed out my mistakes and shared solutions with me.
He pointed out various core aspects of selling like taking the person's name while selling, asking him/her various questions to find out where the person is facing a problem, highlighting use cases. I was surprised at the answers as I didn't learn about them in my previous sales internship.
Second stage was to test my Research skills. For that he told me that he needed a list of 100 distributor companies and the names and email IDs of both the CEO and the VP sales.
Third stage was to test my written skills. In this stage, to ensure I remember the sales principles, he asked me to construct a paragraph to explain this interview as a LinkedIn post.
So I prepared these two tasks and for the 2nd interview he asked about how did I go about completing the tasks and again based on my answers, he gave his advice wherever I went wrong.
The 3rd interview ironically was a short one. He just asked whether I wanted to join Relatas and I happily said yes. I am sure that the interview process had changed slightly as this interview wasn't a long one.
Nevertheless, I was super happy to be in Relatas and such was the start to a 6 month beautiful long journey!
Now let's come to the interesting part - the work I had to do everyday for the internship. In the first meeting, Sudip himself told that he would be monitoring and guiding me throughout the internship. On hearing that I was really happy because he had more than 20 years of experience in the sales field and had worked in different company sizes, across multiple continents. Having the opportunity of working under such a person brings butterflies in the stomach for sure and you reassure yourself that you have nailed one of the best internships available out there.
There can be so many little details you can extract and learn from him and the internship was just about to start.
I was also told there would be 3 meetings per week to monitor my progress and discuss next tasks.
Relatas is a company which had built an Intelligence Sales tool which didn't require the hassle of data-entry by sales representatives. Their products made sure that all data entered in the CRM was correct, showed the right insights, predictions and communications between the sales team members is fluid.
Relatas was looking targeting a specific audience, all around the world and my first activity as an intern was to research and find the details about this specific audience. The next step was to construct the right email templates with apt personalization and send email campaigns to these people. On receiving these emails, prospects can set a date when they would like an introductory call to our product and I was supposed to take the call with them. Further, if they were interested, I was supposed to give them a demo of our product. If they are satisfied with our product, they would buy it.
A normal day for me included collecting data from the internet, company directories and LinkedIn to build up my prospect list. Since, there used be 3 meetings a week, there was no chance of any mistakes and Sudip made sure I was always on the right track.
Another thing which I found surprising was the speed with which I used to get answers to my doubts. I remember one answer particularly about collection of data and Sudip answered it in about 25 mins! And these were those doubts which needed immediate clarification, otherwise I couldn't have continued with my work. Because of such fast replies, I was able to get back to work soon and complete all my tasks early.
The nature of the tasks was also challenging. Because of the hardness of the tasks I was always engaged with them and whatever work I was doing outside of the internship - was also being completed on time. Overall, I was working with maximum productivity because of the internship. Whatever tasks Sudip delegated me, he always ensured that I am left free to ask doubts, do it my own way, research and work on the same. I was never spoon fed and this made the experience of the internship, a thousand times better.
The culture at Relatas was the one of the most positive aspects of the internship. It had an open work culture meaning you can ask freely about any kind of doubts, grievances you have and there would be no hierarchical supremacy. Sudip asked me to call anyone in the company by the first name, including himself. Having such a culture, absolutely eliminates any kind of beguiling to take place.
Such a culture promotes open exchange of ideas, strategies between all levels to ensure maximum collaboration and to ensure that the work is done in the best possible way.
Another surprising thing, was that I was given, was the freedom to set my own deadlines. This helped me in flexibly setting the deadlines to manage other work at home along with the internship. This kind of culture removes any kind of burnouts that may occur and helps in maintaining the work life balance of any company's employees.
Whatever feedback and answers were given to me were always given in a constructive, positive manner. It never felt as if I have done a terrible job and I can't improve on myself. Having such feedback in my opinion does work wonders for first time interns. I can confidently say so because at my previous internship the culture was nothing as compared to the culture at Relatas. It was very draining and toxic and didn't allow me to perform at full potential.
On the date of writing this post, I have successfully completed 2 months of my internship and here are the things which I have learnt...
1) How to communicate with the prospect:
- Using his/her name while addressing
- Not selling directly as no one likes being sold to
- Educating the client
- Building the relationship
- Asking questions which bring out the need for our product
- Adding common use cases so that the prospect can relate and understand where our product fits in
- Communicating via a storytelling approach
- Taking note of all points, requirements which the prospect puts forward.
2) Research skills:
I found out a number of sites from which I was supposed to collect various parameters for a company. I was also required to verify these details with the website link and the logo of the company which I got from the internet. I was supposed to organize all of them in various categories according to their revenues and few other specifics.
3) Email tools:
Another thing I was asked to research was email tools. For a sales process to go smoothly, you needed an email finder, email verification and a drip campaign tool. I had to collect details like pricing, advantages, disadvantages, test results of companies having such services. In the end, I was to select the best ones for each of the tool categories.
As you can see, I was given complete freedom to choose the tool I like, work at the time I want, set my own goals. This made my learning faster and exciting. I felt I owned the work I was doing.
All in all, I must say that getting an internship at Relatas was one of the best things that ever happened to me and I am glad to have such an insightful, productive internship. I am writing this blog post after 2 months and there are still 4 months to go. The sales process is yet to start in my internship and that would be one of the greatest learning experience for me. I couldn't be more excited to explore & learn more.
I might sound salesy or cheesy about this, but if you are looking for an internship, I rightly feel that I should recommend interning at Relatas. You have read all about my experience and know how Relatas is. It's your turn now to grab the opportunity!