Infosys seeks nothing but the best for its InStep program

17/12/2015
You have to be among the best to do an MBA at Melbourne Business School, but if you want to test just how good you are, perhaps an international internship at global IT company Infosys is for you.
 

The Indian-based leader in consulting, outsourcing, technology and IT services only accepts candidates from the world’s top 100 business schools and universities into its InStep program.

And why not? The company, with 187,000 employees worldwide, earned US$8.75 billion in revenue this year from more than 900 of the world’s leading companies in over 100 countries.

Top talent for top projects

Speaking from Paris in a Skype hook-up, Infosys’s Kisha Gupta told our MBA students, looking for an internship as part of their program, that 7000 candidates a year apply for the 8–12 week, fully paid, InStep program, but only 100 are accepted.

“It’s an opportunity to work with top talent on huge, critical projects that can change the way you look at technology,” says the Global Academic Relations professional at Infosys, where three recent MBS graduates work – Paul Lee, Sawant Sangram and Aman Anand.

InStep projects are generated by senior Infosys staff, from the CEO down, Kisha says. They identify the top challenges facing the company and its clients, and then a global panel of leading academics review the projects before they are posted on the InStep website.

Infosys Vice President and Regional Head, Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Groth, says the most rewarding aspect of the InStep program is getting top students from around the world to work on real-world business projects.

“It’s a great experience for the students’ professional futures, working as part of a global team to solve challenging client problems. But our project leaders also really value the students’ fresh and innovative thinking.

“InStep students receive one-on-one mentorship from Infosys researchers and managers over 8–12 weeks – it’s practical experience that money can't buy and builds their technical, cultural and business competency.”

Paid internship, airfare and more

To attract the best students, the InStep program offers a fully paid internship and return airfare to Infosys’s headquarters in Bangalore, India, known as the Silicon Valley of the east, where some of the biggest names in global IT are located.

The program also covers visa fees, on-campus accommodation, airport transfers, health insurance, health club membership, a free international SIM card and two free cab rides a week to explore Bangalore.

And you don’t need IT experience to win an internship, or job, with the company, Kisha says, just talent and plenty of enthusiasm.

“We’re interested in understanding your passion and then best aligning it with ours. You choose three projects to work on from our diverse list of 150 projects, and if you don’t succeed at your first interview, you get two more interviews for your second and third choices.”

Networking opportunity

Kisha says the networking opportunity is one of the biggest benefits of the InStep program.

“Apart from experiencing one of the world’s most diverse cultures and fastest-growing economies, you join an instant network of bright, well-connected people. Students come from over 45 countries, and many who have been on the program, which began 16 years ago, are now senior executives at major companies. If you know how to network, this is the place to do it.”

Global impact

A recent InStep project, known as the green-market platform, began as a challenge to work out how people in the developing world, where two thirds of the global population live, can switch to green energy, which they currently can’t afford.

It then became a project to convince major organisations with a stake in the planet’s future to get involved. Taking those first crucial steps, Kisha says, will inspire others and help similar projects get off the ground.

All InStep projects are high-impact, she says, covering everything from machine learning and artificial intelligence to drones and the internet of things. And many projects have led to co-authored patents or publications since the program began in 1999.

How to apply

If you’re interested in an Infosys internship, you can apply on the InStep website and view the InStep video on YouTube. If you have any questions, contact Kisha and her team at intern@infosys.com or Laura Nord-Thomson from our Careers team.

From opportunity to global force

Kisha says Infosys is one of India’s most respected companies, and not just because of its global success. It began in 1981, soon after the US Government ended its requirement that a company that produces hardware must also write the software.

That change inspired the seven founders to quit their jobs to start Infosys and exploit the opportunity to become a global software and IT service provider. It was a risky and ambitious move in a developing country with a vast population, mostly unfamiliar with computers.

When the company imported its first mainframe in the 1980s, the truck carrying the giant machine across state borders was inspected at one point to ensure all paperwork and tax payments were in order.

When asked to see the operating system, listed in the paperwork, the Infosys team told the inspector it was inside the machine. He insisted on seeing it. Not convinced that it was invisible, he slapped a punishing import duty on the company, which fought for a decade to get back.

“Why didn’t we take a short cut to settle this sooner?” Kisha asks. “Because that wouldn’t have been the right and ethical thing to do. We will never give up our principles and ethics as an organisation. That’s why we’re so respected. Our goodwill is our true wealth.”