One of the many reasons I wanted to join the Career Express internship program was that I have a really high opinion of companies that invest heavily in its people both for their personal and career development. For this reason, I seized this internship program at Coca-Cola Company as a great opportunity in my early career.

Derin Gökbudak

Derin experiencing the culture in India.

After eight months internship at the Istanbul office, I went through an extensive Assessment within the company among all other interns and Coca-Cola Company offered me an opportunity to deliver a project in India. The project was to identify flavor trends in India and develop 3 fruit like flavors (with value chains similar to Orange) that can be launched as in and out flavors. Since the project was broad in scope, I met with several different functions within the company to discuss the initial steps. I carefully listened to their insights and gathered a wide range of data from them which enabled me to determine the necessary next steps.

The Coca-Cola Company in India is located in Gurgaon. Gurgaon is the largest city in the Indian state of Haryana and it is only 30 km south of Delhi. So, I had the chance to explore the heart of Indian culture. I was amazed by the crowded and busy bazaars in Old Delhi, and the temples and the monuments in New Delhi. The diversity, the crowd and the cuisine were all delightful.

Besides working on project during the weekdays, I visited Taj Mahal, walked on the Delhi streets, traveled to Goa for the weekend. I ate a large variety of Indian food, went to the musical theater Zangoora-The Gypsy Prince, danced to the remixes of King Khan songs at night and watched Salman Rushdie’s movie: Midnight’s Children and I -at least- tried playing cricket with colleagues.

Getting out of the comfort zone especially at a much younger age was of course a little bit challenging at first, but I gained a great experience that I’ll benefit both in the short and the long term.  I’ve built up a strong network within the Coca-Cola system, worked with brilliant minds, gained confidence in myself and enlarged my vision. I had the opportunity to gain exposure to a different market, business challenges, culture and people.

Derin Gökbudak

I joined the company as a Management Trainee right after my one year long internship program and I believe that this one year has been a very strong step to building my early career. I am more than happy to join the company and I consider it a privilege to be a Coca-Cola Company employee.

Derin Gökbudak is a management trainee at The Coca-Cola Company. He was part of the Career Express Program at the same time as Sinan Beşkök who wrote about his project experience in Nairobi.