Internship Reflections

The 8 weeks internship in the Spanish company completed in mid of August. The project was about M&A in a new sector that the company intended to enter. There are a lots of learning reflection on the internship, about the process, the learning and the contribution to the company. I will describe them in the following 3 categories:
1) The process - What went well and what did not
2) The learning - What I learned
3) The contribution - What the company gained from this internship

What went well?
- Project Scoping

Thanks to the experience in the NfP and UKCP Project, I have learned that the most vital process to determine the smooth operation of any consulting projects is the “Project Scoping”. As people use to say, “Fail to plan is plan to fail”; for me, “Fail to define a clear project scope is scope to fail”. A smart project scoping has to fulfil the client objective within the available time and resource. This require the consultant to take initiative to understand what client want and what are the available time and resource that the consultant can use to achieve the project objective.

I prepared 2 project proposals based on my understanding of the initial project brief, and explained them during the kick-off meeting. The final project plan, which included the project scope, deliverables and project schedule were prepared by incorporating my supervisors’ comments and agreed within the first week of the internship. The clear project scope that agreed at the earliest stage of the internship had set the clear direction for my research where I can efficiently allocate my time.

 - Overall Project Flow

Again from the experience of NfP and UKCP Project, we were taught to start from the end. What it means is thinking ahead of what will be the possible hypothesis (outcome) of the project, then working backward to formulate the strategy to test the hypothesis. Followed by determining what data needs to be used to support the strategy, and finally only thinking of where to find the data.

The traditional ways of research is always the opposite by blindly collecting as much data as possible, then swimming across the data to find what is relevant to the project. This methodology may eventually lost the direction of what actually is the need of the project.

For this internship, I have broken down the research into 3 stages, where each stage had its own hypothesis. The hypothesis were then further tested by different models as part of each of the strategy. This process has helped me to identify what are the necessary data and hence eliminate the waste of time on finding information which are seemingly relevant but not helpful to test the hypothesis.

- Presentation

There were 2 presentations in the whole internship. One for the interim presentation and one for the final presentation. As we were always trained to do the presentation in the MBA program, these experience had certainly sharpen my presentation skills.

A successful presentation is like an interesting story telling, where the audiences pay full attention for the whole session and take away the key messages of the presentation. In my presentations, I tried to make sure the messages are clear and story line are exist between each slide, to ensure the presentation is interesting and the audience can take away what I really want them to take away.

What I think I should do more

I read an article before that say the best way to train ourselves to be the CEO in the future is work smartly by allocating our time in the 30, 30, 30, 10 rule – 30% time to work, 30% time to interact with the colleagues, 30% time to think like the company CEO of what should be the corporate strategy and remaining 10% time for leisure and relax.

For me, I think I spent my time in the company in a 60, 20, 10, 10 ratio. If I have chance to back to the past, besides busy with the research, I will spend more time to interact with more people, as well as to think the CEO way of how I will manage the company.

What I have learned

I have 7 years experiences in the EPC industry, but in a specific sector. This project has provided a precious chance for me to explore the new sector. This will definitely widen my career option in the Oil & Gas industry after the MBA.

One thing I like so much about the MBS MBA is the so called “Manchester Method” that emphasize “Learning by Doing”. The projects I have undertaken in the MBA program has provide me a strong foundation for the challenges in the internship. This internship was indeed a real life project for me to test the practicality of the skills and knowledge I learned in the program. I have to say that with the experience in the MBA, I can perform the project independently with the least supervision from my supervisors.

What I have contributed

It is hard to tell on behalf of the company of what they have gained. But through the discussion in the interim presentation as well as the final presentation, one compliment that I got from the Deputy CEO was that I have helped them to organize what they have in their minds in a more structure way.
The internship report has suggested the most attractive sector in the interested industry in terms of market size, growth, and profitability; as well as the names of potential targets, which supported by structured company analysis. I believe the recommendation in the report can be used as a reference for the Deputy CEO to perform the internal negotiation, and further decide the acquisition target.