A few months before the programme, when budding managers were to be identified for the internship for 2017, Coca-Cola went to campuses looking for the most suitable talent. It was an arduous task for the team which included HR and the Brand Managers.

When the team visited B-Schools, they hunted from among those sharp minds who reflected the company’s values and identified a bunch of students. Sifting through interested submissions, a group of 21 students were identified who were to undergo a nine-week internship in 2017.

The Mantra Internship Programme has traditionally set the benchmark among the best B-schools in the country.  After its ninth summer, it has been one of the most sought-after programmes that budding managers want to be a part of. Each intern is assigned a mentor for their project and works closely with the business team.

As the Mantra interns joined Coca-Cola India for their dream stint, they were excited to be part of one of the most iconic brands. As they got their bag of goodies, savoured the amazing office food or soaked in the relaxed office atmosphere, it was their opportunity to have a varied experience that they would cherish.

When IIM-Calcutta’s Harikrishnan was asked to coordinate with a bottling plant owned by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, he got the first idea of how much learning it would involve. Soon, he was packing his bags for Colombo to work with the bottlers in Sri Lanka. 

“The stint in Colombo Office was a wonderful experience both professionally and personally.”

‘There are some things you have to experience to believe,’ according to his fellow intern Shruti Soni from MDI. By the end of the first week, she was assigned a task that had to be done in Bangladesh. Not knowing Bengali, she still managed to do well, with support from the local team and interacted with over 100 people, most of who spoke only their mother tongue.

“The best part of my project was that I was never spoon fed anything. Rather I was mentored to perform better. I was given the space to make my own mistakes and take my own decisions.”

Working with the team for the Limca Book of Records, Shruti Mangawa managed to meet some of the people who hold records for amazing feats. As she stepped out of FMS for nine weeks, in her words, her favourite brand turned into her favourite company. 

“Some of the fondest memories will always be playing foosball with other Coke employees and interns, having the most exotic lunches every single day.”

For Arushi Chaturvedi from MDI, it was the second generation working for the company, her father having earlier been part of the company. 

“My dad worked with Coca-Cola when I was a kid and the legacy continued as I could experience the Coke way of life myself.”

None could have said it better than Salman Khan who will soon graduate from FMS:

“You only intern once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”