Interview: Philipp Juen, Medha intern
Philipp Juen holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. In the autumn of 2016, he participated in Dalyan Foundation’s Gateway to India program, where he interned with us here in Lucknow for ten weeks. In a recent interview, he spoke about his time at Medha and in India…
Philipp, one reason for you to volunteer was to put your theoretical skills in business administration into practice. Did it work?
I didn’t expect to apply my theoretical knowledge one to one, but I was definitely able to work with what I know about business development, HR processes and project management. Medha is still growing – a start up, so to say – , so I was given the opportunity to work within various topics and fields. The general knowledge I acquired during my studies definitely helped me, but it was just as important to stay flexible and work with the circumstances as they changed.
Can you tell me about your overall experience in Uttar Pradesh?
It was certainly very interesting. Before I arrived I had imagined the city of several million people to be livelier at night, but it turned out not to be quite a nightlife hotspot. Even though it is quite a conservative area, people were very welcoming towards a foreigner like me. Lucknow is a good base for venturing out into the region and I was able to see other cities and attend events. During a ceremony around the Maharajah, I was even interviewed for a local newspaper.
What was the most rewarding thing that happened to you during your stay?
I felt very welcome and appreciated by the Medha team. They live a flat hierarchy approach and there is an open door policy, which creates a good working environment. I was given full responsibility for implementing a new HR system, which was very rewarding. Medha also held a team-building event with the whole team, which was fun and a great way to get to know everyone.
What is your take-away from your time with Medha and India? How will you try to apply this in your future (studies)?
I definitely learned to discuss difficulties sooner rather than later. A small conversation can potentially solve a problem a lot faster than one might think. Also, I learned a great deal about how an organisation prepares for growth. The whole team was very open and let me be part of the discussions about challenges and opportunities Medha is going to face in the future.
We want to thank Philipp again for his contributions to Medha during his short stay. We look forward to hosting future interns from the Gateway to India program.