My name is Mythlesh. I was born and brought up in Chennai. I was always interested in machines and math, so I decided to pursue mechanical engineering. I graduated as a mechanical engineer in 2017. During my engineering days, I was associated with dancing, and I was part of the dance team at my college - I was leading the team. In 2016, we have crowned the Tamil Nadu Champions. I learned German, and as I was interested in doing my masters in Germany, I have completed 4 levels in the German language. After that, I took a break from my studies, and I was employed at Amazon for 1.5 years as a German associate. Following that, I took another break of 6 - 7 months. Then I worked for another company called William's Lea. After a while, I decided to do an MBA. I started preparing for my exams, cleared them, and now I am doing my MBA.
How did you get this internship at BMW?
I got this opportunity from a reference, my father's friend. I got into the assembly plant. For the assembly plant, it's always through references; it might be different for the other plant.
If people have references, getting an internship at the assembly plant is easy. There is no problem with using your references to get the best opportunities out there to be a better professional.
What's the interview/selection process like?
There needs to be a vacancy. They have a regular set of interns but some people at times leave the company after a few months because of studies or maybe they got a better opportunity, then there's a vacancy. And if you are able to apply during that gap, your chances are high. Let's say, you let your reference know you are interested in the internship when there's a vacancy and they refer you at the right time then it's easier. I had a telephone conversation with one of the heads, and they asked me a few questions and explained what my role would be. If you have references and contacts, it's always better to use them and get in, and later on, you can learn and grow from there.
What were your roles and responsibilities there?
I got into the assembly plant. This is the only assembly plant in India. All the BMW cars are assembled in this facility, i.e., all the parts arrive from different parts of the world and we assemble them here. So if you see a BMW in India, it's either from the BMW assembly plant in Chennai or it's imported. I started my work here with the maintenance team. I had to do a time study for each station. They had an average time precision, and if it at all exceeded that, they had to look back on the process and see what was lacking, and accordingly, adjustments were made. Apart from that, I was associated with some Excel work. I had to create a small database for them where they could store the maintenance information. So I had to create a database where they could record information about the maintenance.
How is the work culture at BMW India?
Earlier, I had gone for implant training in BMW itself for a period of 5 days. I wish it would've been like a 20-day training program or something similar. Once I got the opportunity, I made sure I made the most out of it. When I came here, the first thing they asked me to do was to go through the plant and understand the process. It's important for people to know and understand the process of the work they will be indulging in; only then will they be able to give suggestions that might be valuable for the company. It was a great opportunity, and not everyone gets to see how a car gets assembled. People working in the assembly line were very nice and explained things whenever I asked a question, regardless of the time limit set in the assembly line. The management was very approachable in every aspect.
What is the importance of internships?
Internships are extremely important as we get an insight into how the organization works, about how the process is. The role of your work will be limited, as it's a kind of training. Internships are the stepping stones towards growth; you bring your technical skills to practical use.
Why made you choose this internship?
Around the time I started learning German, I got curious about BMW because it's a German brand as well. I always planned to go to Germany and see the BMW plant there and work over there. But I wasn't expecting that to happen anytime around my graduation. I expected it to be around 3-4 years after my Post-graduation. I wasn't looking for this internship particularly, I just got it. I was looking for a different kind of role, either in operations or on the analytic side, but then I got to know about the vacancy and considered it. It turned out to be a fruitful experience for me.
How can freshers improve their skills?
I wouldn't suggest people be confined to their classrooms. In my undergraduate days, I'd say I learned a lot more about the classroom than in the classroom. I was the associate of the dance team, and we travelled to different places around Tamil Nadu and Bangalore, etc. I would ask students to go out of the classroom and learn some skills and try to implement them. It can be any skill even if you don't pursue it; learning is always good. Indulge in co-curricular activities. Internships are one great way to do it; otherwise, hosting an event, etc. are other ways you can do that. Always remember to try and implement what you've learned.
What do you think about the importance of certifications from short-term courses?
There are subjects you'll take up in your UG and PG days. You can't learn everything about them from the book. Moreover, students learn from an exam point of view because everyone wants marks and everyone wants to pass and get hired. These certifications and courses you do apart from your course curriculum help you learn more extensively about the topic. For example, not everyone is well versed in Excel, and it is so vast that not every college or organization will give you a training session in Excel. They'll just briefly explain to let you know the basics. But having a certificate and taking courses shows you have elaborate knowledge about that topic. It will build your confidence as well. Courses are like proof that, yeah, I know this, which you can mention in your CV, unlike your subjects.
Kindly share some advice for college students and freshers.
I use these 3 terms:- Improvise, adapt and overcome. It's from a movie I saw called Undisputed 3. Improvise, keep improving yourself, be it your skill, your personality, anything. Keep improving, do not stop. Improve every day, even if it's 1-2%, don't quit, take risks. You might or might not get it but go for it. Some days you might feel like you are not going anywhere in life, you will see your peers getting great opportunities, and getting hired you might feel low. I'd say it's fine. At times you have to go through a low phase so that you can come back up, it will be alright. Just remember you have it in you and never stop working for your dream. It will come true.