Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, the world has been scrambling to adopt alternative ways of keeping life running, giving a much-needed boost to remote studies, work, and shopping.
While some transitioned to the digital means smoothly thanks to the right experience and tools in place, work and education for many others remained largely suspended. Learning, among other things, has been majorly affected by the social distancing protocols.
One of the very few Pakistani companies to remain unshaken by the Covid chaos is Telenor Pakistan, a leading cellular and digital services provider of the country. Its operations have kept running quite uninterruptedly for one key reason: the ability to adapt quickly.
While many companies could not carry forward its internship programs due to logistic limitations, Telenor Pakistan took it as an opportunity to give the youth a chance to adapt to the new norm and introduced its first Virtual Summer Internship Program.
The interns have been working diligently with the company; let’s hear what they had to say about the program.
Virtual Summer Internship Program
The theme for Telenor Pakistan’s Virtual Internship Program 2020 is ‘I am future-ready’. It focuses on enabling and equipping the interns at a time of dynamic change to experience the reinvention of roles and new ways of work before they enter a renewed job market.
The program is a continuation of Telenor’s flagship annual Summer Internship Program that the company has run since its inception in 2005. The only difference now is that this year, the program is totally virtual and enables learners to up-skill themselves safely amid a global health crisis.
Working virtually is certainly different from working in physical proximity and to help nurture a bond between the interns and their teams, Telenor Pakistan slated several engagement activities, sessions with experts that enabled its interns to learn futuristic skills and increase their chances of employment, be it at Telenor or elsewhere.
With an increased focus on online learning and up-skilling, interns also have unlimited access to learning courses on Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning, and that too free of cost. Plus, the company also has a clear recognition program for the efforts of the trainees like ‘Intern-of-the-Week’ and a prize for the ‘Best Learning Champion’.
Opportunity for youth from across Pakistan
The interns for the Virtual Summer Internship Program hail from different parts of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar (Buner), and Faisalabad. The program comprises 19 females and 12 males with diversified educational backgrounds, ranging from engineering, data analytics, management, social sciences, project management, and law.
“I joined Telenor as a Finance intern almost two weeks ago. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic I have been working from home, yet it is safe to say that it does not feel like it,” shares Kiran Khan – Summer Intern, Finance.
“Yes, my bedroom and study table are my only surroundings these days rather than the beautiful 345 Telenor Office, but the regular interactive sessions with top Telenor officials have not only been full of insights about the practical world but also very engaging,” she adds.
Telenor Pakistan’s commitment to agility, flexibility, and mobility as part of its culture is also helping the interns develop these sought-after attributes. And they have no hesitation acknowledging that crucial contribution from Telenor.
“My time at Telenor showed me that I am truly passionate about Data Analytics and Business Intelligence and their approach opened my eyes to how to effectively work with these issues,” shares Hassan Shahzad – Summer Intern, Commercial.
“The various tasks that I was assigned allowed me to understand what my strong suits are and what should I work with in the future. Interning from home was quite a challenge as it was new to us, but Telenor managed it quite well that I am totally satisfied with their workflow. Take my word and apply for it,” he adds.
Learning in the ‘new normal’
Telenor Pakistan is among the pioneers of flexible and remote working in the country. The company boasts an egalitarian work culture that thrives on innovation and offers the flexibility of its employees’ physical presence. In fact, the company has flexible work ingrained in its DNA while setting strict goals and accountability to ensure an effective work model.
The policy gave the right experience and tools to employees for whom remote working amid the pandemic crisis was no different than working from home any other day. This kept the telco functioning without any major hiccups and has enabled the company to also continue its different learning and up-skilling programs for the Pakistani youth.
Summer Internship is not Telenor Pakistan’s only virtual program; in May 2020, which was the pandemic’s peak in the country, Telenor Pakistan launched its flagship Open Mind Pakistan training 15 highly capable, differently-abled individual program virtually.