Hey! I’m Vidushi and I work as Legal and Operations Intern at Le15 Patisserie. Ever since I’ve joined Le15, I’ve been inundated with requests and questions on Instagram asking about the application process, the work and the experience. So here I am, laying it all out for you!
Let me start with the ‘Why’ of it all. Why the food industry and Why Le15? If anyone knows me, they will be extremely confused with this choice of mine. You know how when there’s one doctor in the family, everyone else tends to be a doctor? Well, that’s my family, but here, we become lawyers. Even my choice of studies is management and law. But my love affair with the culinary arts goes back to when I was 3 years old, and was such a handful that my mom used to make me sit on the kitchen slab while she cooked, just to keep an eye on me. Once I grew too old and big to sit on that slab, I started experimenting in the kitchen. When the time came for me to start interning, I decided to apply in the hospitality field, where I can merge business and passion. But the question now was ‘Where?’. This was easy, because all I had to do was think of places I love to eat at, and Le15 was at the top of my list.
My first piece of advice? Don’t call. Just don’t call and check for vacancies. You will always be redirected to send an email to the Human Resources department, which in this case was firstname.lastname@example.org (Saved you a step. Go apply guys!). I sent my CV and Cover Letter, and then promptly put it at the back of my mind, confident that I wasn’t going to hear back anyhow. I was so wrong. I was called in for an interview within a few weeks, and after a couple of interviews, I was hired. The entire process was so quick, it felt slightly surreal.
At first, I was formal with everyone, because that’s how I’d been taught to behave in legal offices. It took a while to unlearn this, and be myself around everyone. I was obviously nervous of how well I would be received, whether I’d be up to the mark, if my work would be appreciated and whether I would feel left out, but these were all unnecessary fears. From the first day itself, the team made space for me, accommodated me in their plans and helped me out whenever I had any questions.
I’m going to be honest, it’s hard work. Being in a hospitality, consumer centric industry is very demanding. I quickly realised there are a lot of processes taking place simultaneously to ensure that each consumer gets exactly what they want or wish. The work is directly proportional to the changing consumer trends and desires, and it’s always unpredictable. One day I could be working on legal compliance, licenses, agreements, and the next I would be focusing on market research and making a million calls to procure materials. Everyone has to work together and in sync, or it can all easily fall apart. Being a relatively small team, we’re all expected to pitch in wherever required, and that could mean having to work on projects which are out of your skill set. Though I can’t talk about my work in detail, over the past three months, I have made reports, analysed data, conducted market and product research, bettered my designing skills, learnt to concisely convert data into graphs, created and vetted agreements, and even contributed some time in the kitchen!
But all that work is not for nothing. I have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the best minds in the field, and pick their brains about everything the sun touches. This team has made me realize that nothing bonds people more than food. It started with bonding over lunch and snacks, and then started the food walks around Mumbai. I have had more good food in the past 3 months than ever. Being the youngest member of the team, I received my first nickname ‘chintern’, short for ‘chintu intern’. That’s when I truly became a part of the team!
My learning has been truly exponential, from developing my culinary interests, working on my people skills to learning how to manage a better work life balance. I am happy I took that leap of faith, and hope you guys do it too! Believe me; the reality is always better than the fantasy!
Are you interning somewhere or would like to intern? Share your experiences or ask your question! 🙂