A student shares his experience of interning with the company

An opportunity to work for The Coca-Cola Company would be a treasured dream for many. In my case, the dream came true in the form of a two month long internship as an HR intern in the company’s India and South-West Asia region’s corporate office. The journey began with a small song and dance on a Monday morning where all the new Interns, part of Mantra internship program danced their hearts out to popular Coca-Cola beats. Two months have passed since that first day and I’ve discovered that once you ‘Taste the feeling’ of working with your favorite brand, your desire to contribute increases with each passing day.

The chance to work on a challenging live project coupled with the perks of working closely with very bright and passionate minds including senior leaders made this internship a highly fruitful learning experience for me.  The modern office space in the city’s most beautiful skyscraper with complimentary refills of my favorite chilled beverages in addition to the breathtaking view from my workstation made me really look forward to the typically dreaded Mondays. The visit to the Dasna Bottling Plant to see where the magic is bottled was quite a memorable experience for all the interns. The overwhelming fragrance of the Mango pulp during the manufacturing of Maaza mango beverage is an experience I wish to preserve forever.

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Even if you have never consumed any of the company’s beverages, just hearing the wonderful stories which form the building blocks of the 130 year long heritage of the company is sufficient to make you a loyalist. Coca-Cola India and South-West Asia Business Unit with a little over two hundred employees very closely resembles a close-knit family not very different than the one I had waiting for me at home. The collaboration and teamwork exercised by each employee into winning together as a team is clearly visible with a quick glance around the office, which reflects the open and inclusive culture of the organization.

My favorite part about the internship was the induction week where we got an opportunity to learn about all the Coca-Cola’s brands and functions first-hand from the brand managers and function heads. The highlight of the first week was the opportunity to sit down with the President and the HR head of the Business and learn about the company’s business, strengths and challenges straight from the mouth of the subject matter experts. It did not take long before it was evident to me why the love for the brand is so highly contagious, it is mainly because the passion in the hearts of every employee effortlessly translates into their daily work. Teaming up with the sales executives and driving around town in the Coca-Cola truck selling refreshing, great tasting beverages to the retailers is also one of my most favorite memories. It made me realize and appreciate the effort and hard work put by the on ground sales force despite multiple challenges. Moreover, learning about the work that the company does to help communities in the form of initiatives such as ‘Support My School’ and ‘Anandana’ is inspiring to say the least.

As I sit today, days after the culmination of my internship, I cannot help but wonder how spectacular this entire experience has been.  The company was so welcoming to all its interns and ensured that everyone is able to be their creative best in a highly productive environment. One thing I know with utmost clarity, once you experience the Coca-Cola way of life, you transform into a Brand Ambassador for life.