After 4 weeks of background research and conducting interviews in the Varanasi cluster, we had all the information we needed for our 3-year business plan, process documentation* and promotional material. The final 2 weeks of the EDI internship were used to compile all of these documents together. Whilst long days, hectic schedules and a lot of chai were needed to produce these documents, we thoroughly enjoyed our work and were motivated by the fact that these documents could improve the three-handloom clusters under EDI. At the end of the internship, we gave a presentation on our findings and recommendations to students and senior faculty members of EDI, which was well received. Our main recommendation was for the clusters to set up a Marketing Team which would implement and oversee marketing initiatives in order to strengthen brand equity.
In the last weeks of our internship, we used every opportunity to explore more of Ahmedabad which included Sunday markets, Hindu temples, and Indian cuisine. The Sunday market was a blessing for anyone looking for last minute gifts and also a curse for anyone who can’t avoid a good bargain or two . . . I unfortunately fell into both categories!
As our internship drew to an end, it was unfortunately time to say goodbye to all the wonderful people and colleagues we had met along the way. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the farewell meals, and welcoming Sharmishta (Newcastle University Business School’s International Relations Manager) to Ahmedabad.
From auto-rickshaws to handloom clusters, the 6 week internship with EDI is one that I will never forget. Whilst it’s hard to sum-up an experience like this one in a blog, it can easily be done in a word – people. The people I’ve met and worked with along the way – EDI employers & students; Boston & Newcastle University; citizens of India and especially the other interns – have made this experience possible, and better than I could have imagined. An internship in India has offered me a diverse cultural experience leading to new friendships, and enhanced my international network. In addition, I have gained practical and professional marketing experience, and developed as a global citizen.
It is for the above reasons and many more that I strongly recommend this internship – and any other Global Experience Opportunity (GEO) – to anyone who wants to build an exceptional international portfolio.
* The purpose of the process documentation was to produce a clear and accessible standalone document which outlined all EDI interventions within the three-handloom clusters. This allows EDI and other parties to easily review past interventions.