14 Sep 2020

«I expected that studying at GSOM would be difficult, but interesting». Interview with a Bachelor student about studying at the business school and summer internship at «Geropharm»

Denis Mochalin is a third-year Management program student of the Organizational Behavior and Personnel Management profile. For the internship, Denis had chosen Geropharm — during Management Career Week 2019/Autumn he managed to get to know a pharmaceutical company and a future mentor. In this interview Denis talked about how the internship went, what competencies were necessary and what you should pay attention to when selecting a place for your internship.  


Why did you choose GSOM for admission? What principles were you guided by? 

The first time I visited GSOM was in the ninth grade. I attended the GSOM Open Doors Day and immediately realized that this was the only place I want to study. I liked how enthusiastically the staff and professors talked about the business school: about the education system, the study of foreign languages, the exchange semester, Career Center and internships. Other universities have similar stories, but not at such a high level. At that moment, I realized that studying at GSOM is awesome and qualitative. And therefore, if to study management, then the only place to be was at GSOM. 


How did you envision studying at the business school? And were your expectations met? 

I expected that studying at GSOM would be difficult, but interesting. And so, it turned out: a huge number of tests, assignments, group and individual projects. A high workload helps to develop not only essentialprofessional skills, but also vital soft skills: time management, stress resistance, teamwork, conduct business communication, etc. 


Almost all projects are related to the real cases of large companies. This makes the learning process dynamic and exciting: we always learn something new about the business and corporate world. Moreover, at GSOM you really feel that it is not just a university where management is taught, but a business school. 



Now you were doing an internship at «Geropharm», tell us about your experience, how did you get there? 

I got to Geropharm as part of the summer internship g START. The selection process had several stages: submitting a resume and a cover letter, telephone interview, Skype-interview with the recruiter and the head of the recruiting team, then SHL-testing (during testing the ability to analyze information, think logically, etc. is tested with the help of the proposed tasks) and interview in ZOOM with the entire HR department. I learned about the company and met my future mentor at Management Career Week 2019: Autumn. As a result, I was accepted for an internship, and I worked in the HR department in July and August.


During the internship, there were two main blocks of tasks: recruitment and work with internal surveys of employees of Geropharm. In the very first days of the internship I was no longer the interviewee, but the interviewer: I conducted telephone interviews with candidates, participated in the selection of employees in various departments of the organization; all that, overall, expanded my understanding of how a pharmaceutical company operates. 


I edited and optimized the annual employee engagement survey. Additionally, I analyzed internal customer satisfaction with the recruiting process.


And that is not all. I participated in organization of lectures for the heads of various departments of the company, excursions to the production facilities and to the R&D-center (research and development)


It was a very busy two months. It was very pleasant to realize that I am not learning to work from scratch, but actually using the knowledge and skills that we were taught at GSOM: namely, in the courses Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. Now I am looking forward to the start of a course Technologies of Assessment and Recruitment: I will have a kind of a flipped course, where I tried recruiting in practice, and now I will be taught how it should be in theory. I think it will be interesting!


Why did you decide to choose this particular company? 

Pharmaceuticals is one of several industries in whicht I would like to pursue a career. This industry is developing dynamically. And in growing companies, the HR department is one of the most important. 


As for the internship g START, I was attracted by the individual approach to every intern: when forming the pool of tasks, not only the requirements of the company were considered, but the wishes of the future intern were taken into account as well. 



How was the internship organized? Was it difficult?

I worked5 days a week from 10:00 to 18:30. The tasks were set for a month, and at the end of each month there was a meeting with the HR Director, where we discussed the results of my work. Throughout the internship I was always helped by my mentor, to whom I could turn to on any issues. I have managed to work with all colleagues from the HR department and to see how the department’s work is organized. 


The work required a lot of energy and effort, however I felt tired only when I first was at home; while working, I did not notice how much energy was being expended, as I was doing what I really enjoy. 



How to choose the place for an internship? To what should you pay attention? Give some advice to students who have not yet done an internship. 

Think about where you would like to work after graduation. Assess your knowledge, skills, abilities. After that, answer the question: in what company can an internship facilitate what I am looking for? 


When choosing an organization, communicate with company representatives during Career weeks, ask about tasks and requirements for interns. Moreover, pay attention to how enthusiastically the HR specialist talks about the internship program: if a speech is detailed, then most likely an internship in this company will be beneficial for you.  


I would not say that these are tips, but this is how it was for me: 

1.  I started looking for an internship in advance. 

2. In monitored career resources for students: FutureToday, Grintern, Changellenge, a telegram channel of GSOM Career Center, career groups of companies in social media, etc.

3. I studied the resource icanchoose backwards and forwards and figured out how to competently create a resume and a cover letter. 

4. I sent the resume and the cover letter to GSOM Career Center with a request for feedback. 

5. I edited the resume and the cover letter in accordance with the recommendations of GSOM Career Center. 

6. Once again I studied the resource icanchoose backwards and forwards with the purpose of getting ready for the interview. 

7. I have prepared for the first interview. 

8. I prepared for the second interview. 

9. I would have prepared for the third interview, if there had been one. 

10. I have attended two master classes by GSOM Career Center (ideally, all four master classes should have been attended).