“Experience is the best teacher” – On interning at an esteemed PSU as SAIL
Bachelors in Material Science and Engineering, Final year, College of Engineering Guindy
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Salem
Interviewer: S. Soumya (G.T.)
Interviewee: V. M. Nikesh
GT: How did you come to know about this internship opportunity at SAIL, and why did you opt for it?
Nikesh: I searched for an internship related to my course, and I came to know about this opportunity through the internet. The main reason I had opted for this internship was that it was related to my branch of study. SAIL is one of the top-rated organizations for Material Science engineers in India. You can witness most of the metallurgical processes in detail.
GT: Could you brief us about the application process?
Nikesh: The application process is a simple one. An e-mail must be sent to the HR manager at SAIL, expressing your willingness to do an internship there. You must attach your bonafide certificate, which we can get from our college via e-mail. After confirming the internship, they will send an e-mail with the dates for the internship.
GT: Can you walk us through your experience as an intern at SAIL?
Nikesh: It was a completely new atmosphere and a different experience for me. I got to see how different kinds of steel were manufactured from raw materials and scrap. The most important thing that I had to keep in mind throughout my internship, was the list of dos and don'ts.
GT: What is your take on the relevance of our curriculum, with respect to the work carried out at SAIL?
Nikesh: The curriculum is framed well, as per the processes happening in the industry. I would like to say that as far as the curriculum is concerned, we are only familiar with the theoretical concepts and not its practical applications. Through this internship, I got to know about its practical applications as well.
GT: How helpful was this internship towards enhancing your understanding of the subjects?
Nikesh: Reading books or text materials and writing exams differed from having hands-on experience with various types of equipment. This helped me improve the theoretical understanding of different subjects. Through this internship, I practically applied and visually witnessed the different concepts that I had earlier learned at college.
GT: Why would you recommend students to do an internship at SAIL?
Nikesh: Being an engineering student, just looking at the pictures in textbooks is not going to help us. Having hands-on experience with machines and various processes will enhance our knowledge and deepen our understanding of the subject. I would recommend SAIL for Material Science students because we can learn about the making of iron and steel, instead of limiting our knowledge to its theoretical aspects. This will also help the students when they work in a professional environment in the future.
GT: Was this your first internship? If not, please brief us about your past experiences.
Nikesh: No, this was not my first internship. I had earlier done an internship at Ashok Leyland Ltd, Ennore. There I learned how various components of heavy vehicles like trucks are assembled to form a whole body. Each company has its advantage and is unique. Interning at multiple companies enriches one’s experience. We might as well know the different processes that are carried out in every sector.
GT: What advice would you like to pass on to your juniors who are eager to do internships?
Nikesh: I would like to say that there are many things to learn beyond our books. Even if it is a small company or lab, we can learn a lot from there. Experience is the best teacher. No matter how many times we read or learn a concept, practical and hands-on experience will always help us in better understanding. So, I would insist on the juniors to take up every opportunity that comes their way.
GT: What would you like to say about the Intern diaries initiative by the Guindy times?
Nikesh: This is an excellent initiative by the Guindy Times. These articles will help give ideas to the juniors. This helps the juniors choose an ideal company that best suits their field of study. It also gives them insights on how to apply for the company or industry of their choice, the company's work culture, and the importance of internship during engineering. It is great to see that the Guindy Times is also focusing on students' academics apart from the cultural activities that are carried out. Keep it going.
The Guindy Times thanks Nikesh for spending his time and sharing his experiences with us and wishes him success for all his future endeavors.