It has taken just a few weeks for me to become a devout happiness fan.                                    

Coca-Cola had promised ‘Open Happiness’ to its consumers in an ad campaign a few years ago. I had opened the can and bottle several times to experience that. In February 2019, it was the first opportunity for me to open the office doors as I began an internship with the Public Affairs and Communications department at Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia, offered to me by AIESEC and Coca-Cola.

I was curious and anxious as I walked through the brightly lit red corridor of the office. I was apprehensive about how I, fresh out of college, could meaningfully contribute to this internship. The thought started fading away when I was introduced to my department. I realized how friendly and approachable everyone was at Coca-Cola, and how this was at the heart of what made the culture so open. When I got briefed about my work I became excited, knew this was an opportunity I wanted to give everything to.

As my internship picked up pace, I noticed that every day I was interacting with different bottlers and organisation heads and with each conversation, my understanding of how to approach problems, and handle diverse situations grew. In no time I realized that I was evolving as a person, from solving theoretical college case studies to actually solving them in real life.

With each task given to me my understanding of the business got clearer. I noticed that my communication skills and confidence gradually improved, and I was able to manage people’s expectations better. My team mentored me and kept me involved in meetings and gave me the liberty to contribute in decision making. In contrast to my college academic projects, I realised the benefits of working in a team. I also got the opportunity to attend several events, like the highly informative session #WhereMyPETIsGoing in MDI Gurgaon by the Director of Corporate Affairs, Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia, Chandramohan Gupta.

The most memorable trip was the visit to the ‘Coca-Cola Happiness Factory’ in Greater Noida, some 30 kilometres from Delhi. From knowing about the 130-year history of Coca-Cola to seeing the bottling operations of its brands, I got to know of it all. My friends had joined me in my visit to the Happiness Factory. Pictures at the selfie counter and listening to our favourite songs at the Coke Studio added to the fun.

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This internship experience is preparing me in a number of ways from working with deadlines, to gaining knowledge from hands-on training. Besides memories, learnings and responsibility, what it has truly given me is a sense of purpose. It has truly transformed how I approach my work and engage with people. I understand better than ever before that happiness is very important, even at the workplace.