Name. College. Year of study.
Abhipsita Kundu, The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata. 5th year (9th semester)
Name of the organisation. City. Office Address. How was the office?
State Bank of India (SBI), Kolkata (Branch – Corporate Accounts Group or CAG). Office is situated at Reliance House, 2nd floor, 34, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata – 700071.
The office is spacious and houses more than fifty employees but there is only one law officer in this branch.
Duration of internship
June 3-29, 2013
Application procedure? Internship Contact Details
The application is to be addressed to Mr. Mohan Mitra, Chief Manager, Learning and Development (L&D) and emailed to [email protected].
One can also drop one’s application personally at the SBI Local Head Office (LHO) located at 1, Samridhi Bhawan, Strand Road, Kolkata – 700001 (opposite ‘Floatel’) addressed to the same individual.
Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings
SBI officially offers an 8-10 week internship and calls it the Summer Internship Programme or SIP. However, I having known somebody there requested him to allow me to undergo a 4 week internship to which he begrudgingly agreed.
6 days a week. 10.00-17.00 on weekdays and 10.00-14.00 on Saturdays.
First impression, first day, formalities
If your application gets shortlisted, you will be called over for an interview with the Assistant General Manager (AGM) at the LHO. He is a pleasant gentleman who will ask you questions based on your CV, about the subjects you have studied so far, your interests etc. (nothing you do not know already).
Also, interns are given a small form to fill up which contains a list of project topics that an intern may choose to work on during the internship. Now, I happened to be the first intern from a law school to have applied to the LHO in Kolkata. The list of topics I was given entailed Finance and Marketing oriented topics and thus, did not have anything pertaining to law.
Thus, when I informed the AGM that one of my areas of interest was Corporate Commercial laws, he suggested that I undergo the Internship in the CAG branch which handles all of SBI’s corporate clients, but refrained from mentioning what my project topic would be simply telling me that my mentor would guide me through it.
Please note that SBI has several other branches all over Kolkata where students pursuing B.Com., M.Com., BBA, MBA and other such courses intern, but it is advised that law-aspirants intern at CAG.
The following day which happened to be the first day of my internship, I was asked to report directly to CAG and meet the Deputy General Manager (DGM) who asked me some more questions relating to my course curriculum and my interests.
I was then introduced to my mentor who gave me what may be best described as an orientation briefing me about what CAG does, asking me what banking laws I knew, and suggested that I skim through some specific provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI). He assigned my project topic to me on the second day.
Fundamentally, your ‘main task’ is writing a 50 page project (mine was 65 page long). It might sound petrifying but you will be surprised at the volume of published material available online on SBI, alone. My project was titled ‘The Contribution of Banks in Corporate Development’.
It sounds awfully vague but with repeated clarifications that I sought from my mentor coupled with suggestions from my end, I prepared a project which focused on broad corporate governance practices in banks with special reference to SBI along with Project Finance, which is an essential facet of corporate development.
Besides the project, your mentor might call you from time to time to assist him in his work. I was asked to prepare some summaries and charts based on some lease deeds and also, asked to help him fill some forms for SBI’s corporate clients – all these tasks were mechanical but not very tedious because I got them infrequently.
Work environment, people
In spite of being the corporate office of India’s largest commercial bank, CAG and its employees are surprisingly laid back; the people are friendly enough; and interns are given a separate room to sit in (a non-operational conference room) which allow them some privacy.
The best things AND the bad things
The good things:
1. The lackadaisical nature of the employees thus resulting in no added pressure on the interns (this might be good or bad depending on how you perceive it).
2. The mentor is an amiable person who will guide you through legal concepts, SBI’s policies and anything else as long as you seem interested to learn.
3. Although interns are asked to stick to the timings, they, in reality are quite flexible, and you can come late and/or leave early every now and then.
4. It is not mandatory to don a formal attire; the relatively young employees also wear denims to work.
5. No plagiarism checker for the project.
6. The locality or the proximity to Park Street.
7. The stipend!
The bad things:
1. The lunch room/canteen – it only serves Bengali thalis containing rice, dal, fish etc.
2. No computer/internet access to interns – I had to carry my own laptop and 3G dongle.
3. My mentor had gone on vacation for 8 days in the third week of my internship and since he was the sole law officer in that branch, there was nobody who could help me when I had certain queries pertaining to my project.
8,000/month for UG students and 15,000/month for PG students
Accommodation etc. What did you to do chill in and around the office and the place of stay?
Since I stay in Kolkata, I traveled from home. The office is a two-minutes walk from Park Street so there are endless options to avail in order to chill after work. Besides, there are numerous little road-side shops right in front of the office where you can have lunch for Rs. 20 – 50.
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