Indian IT internship a dream come true

Whitireia and WelTec student Luke Hartfield says his love of Asian cultures and IT came together seamlessly during his two-month online internship at one of the the world's largest IT services and consultancy companies, India's Tata Consultancy Services. In this article he talks about the internship experience and the rideshare app he worked on with a fellow intern.
Luke sitting at his computer looking at a rideshare app

Luke was tasked with investigating ways to consolidate ridesharing apps

As is the case for most people early in their careers, the prospect of working with an industry-leading company was merely a dream for me when I applied for to be an analyst intern at Tata Consultancy Services. However, thanks to the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s internship programme, I was fortunate enough to live out that dream and learn from some of the industry’s best in the industry.

Tata Consultancy Services, headquartered in India, is one of the largest IT services and consulting companies in the world.

As a subsidiary of the Tata Group, India’s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has upwards of 500,000 employees and continues to grow.

During my induction into the company, one of the employees described TCS as ‘probably the largest company you’ve never heard of’. While you might not have heard of TCS or the Tata Group, you almost definitely know some of the companies that are part of the Tata family such as Jaguar, Land Rover, and Air India. 

Ever since I was young I have had a fascination with Asian cultures. From the different food, music, and TV shows, along with all the unique traditions and languages; I was always drawn to Asia.

Pairing this passion for Asia with my love of all things IT, it’s no surprise that one of my biggest goals has always been to work in Asia for a leading IT company. I saw the internship as an incredible opportunity and a stepping stone to achieving this goal of mine.

When applying for the internship, I had hoped to experience cultures different to my own, to grow as an individual, and to practice what I had learnt at university in the real world.

I applied for the internship knowing that such a unique opportunity would undoubtedly see huge interest from many amazing students from all around New Zealand. Needless to say, the day I received the “You got it!” call, I was beyond excited. 

While the internship is normally at TCS headquarters in India, this time it was conducted entirely online. At first, I thought this would be challenging and make it difficult to make proper connections with my colleagues. However, upon meeting everyone, I was quickly put at ease.

Luke stirring a pot on the stove while looking at his computer

Multitasking is an important skill for an online intern

Everyone at TCS was extremely kind and welcoming. During the first few days of the internship, I was lucky enough to experience several cross-cultural sessions where we learnt about Indian geography, religion, traditions, values, some basics of the Indian language, and even how to make authentic Indian Chai Tea!

We were constantly encouraged to be inquisitive and ask plenty of questions and most importantly, to have fun doing it.

My internship with TCS focused on the lifecycle of a business analyst and aimed to help me gain hands-on experience producing and presenting documentation that is required by the role, while also learning what qualities are needed to be a successful business analyst.

My fellow intern and I were given the task of coming up with a solution to help users find the best deal on rideshare services. This led to the creation of a project proposal for a web application that gathered ride information from various rideshare services and presented users with the best deals available.

We created a detailed proposal that outlined the functional requirements, presented user stories and process flow diagrams, and illustrated how the web application would look using wireframes.

We then produced a technical specification document describing the technical requirements that would be needed to bring our idea into reality. Finally, we were given the opportunity to present our work to our mentors for some invaluable feedback.

With my academic background being in information technology, I had worked on similar projects before as part of assignments so to apply what I’d learnt while studying to a real-life scenario and then have feedback from people working in the industry was very fulfilling. 

I feel that my internship with TCS has provided me with valuable real-world experience that I’m confident will help me progress my career in IT. It has also reaffirmed my love of Asia and strengthened my desire to work there.

I’ve learnt how to function within a multicultural work environment, to better understand different cultures and their approach to work, and I’ve come to greatly appreciate the value of having different cultures within a workplace.

I think that as the world continues to transition into one that is based primarily online, where people can collaborate regardless of their location, the skills I have learnt during my internship will prove crucial to having a successful career.