For Aman Sadana, taking a “corporate job" where people stuck to their desks, finished tasks and went home was a no-no. Fortunately for him, his first job at a consumer electronics startup turned out to be just what he wanted—collaborative and informal work atmosphere where he learnt by doing.

In 2018, after finishing his BBA from Delhi’s JIMS, Vasant Kunj, Sadana joined audio brand boAt in June. He interned for three months and was absorbed into the company, which has a total of 14 employees, in its Hauz Khas office.

“Adapting to a job was not easy. I was fresh out of college—I did not know how business works. I did not even know how to draft a business email," he says. “For some of the projects I was given, I took help from my colleagues and slowly, I have gotten used to it," says the 22-year-old.

A self-confessed introvert and a late-riser, Sadana’s fear that he would not be able to adapt stemmed from his first internship at a national magazine as a sales and marketing intern. “It was a normal corporate environment. People had separate desks; they wouldn’t talk to each other, would mostly do their work and head home. That is the idea I had when I joined boAt as an intern. But, maybe because it is such a young team with most of us being 22-25, the vibe was completely different," says Sadana, who believes this is one of the key reasons to stick to the job.

The startup’s leaders are not afraid to handhold new hires. Saurabh Goswami, marketing head with the brand, was the first to show Sadana what his role was going to be. After an orientation involving the brand’s position in the market, Sadana shadowed Goswami to pick up skills. Sadana remembers feeling awkward about reaching out to the sales head at the beginning of his stint because the latter always seemed quite uptight. But he realized soon enough that the sales head was the complete opposite of serious.

“I never stuck to just one person. I would walk up to anyone from the sales team and the marketing team to ask them for help. They know the company, they have been here longer—there is no shame in wanting to learn," says Sadana.

Interactions are not just limited to asking for help on projects. After every month, if they reach their monthly targets, the marketing team—of which Sadana is a part—goes out to have an informal party. Weekend football with colleagues, as well as face-offs on playstations in the office are also popular with the employees, explains Sadana.

Networking was a challenge for Sadana initially, but Goswami and co-founder Aman Gupta had their own networks, which Sadana has been tapping into. Now, to a certain extent he has built his own network, and also handles some marketing deals for the company. For example, some brand associations and events that he handled last year helped him connect with people who he hopes boAt will be able to collaborate with this year.

“For me it was a huge deal. When you join as an intern, you don’t think you would be given much responsibility and power. But here, people actually trust you and are willing to take a risk. If I had gone to a more structured company, I probably would have spent six to 12 months just observing and proving what I am capable of. I would have never had this much exposure," he says.

With increased responsibility, Sadana has to learn to manage his time well. Executing projects on time, being on point for short meetings, and being organized about tasks on his to-do list are his focus areas for this year.

Sadana believes that people have a perception about millennials that they are not good employees. “Maybe that is because we are pretty chilled out. Some of the college-student attributes continue in the first few months of our job. But as we spend more time, we put in more effort and don’t want to settle for less," he says.

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