Interviewer: Harinishree Ganesan
Interviewee: Vadivelan Murugesan
GT: Please tell us a little about yourself.
Vadivelan: My name is Vadivelan Murugesan. I am a 4th year ECE student at CEG and am currently part of two clubs. I am the President of the Robotics Club and also a singer/guitarist at Sruthilaya.
GT: How did you come across this internship?
Vadivelan: Well, I got to know about this internship through the E-yantra Robotics competition. It was advertised that a few of the top teams from the competition would be selected to intern at the embedded real-time systems lab at IIT Bombay. Usually, the interns have to visit the campus for the 6-week internship but unfortunately due to the pandemic, it was conducted virtually.
GT: Could you explain the various stages of the selection process and how your team prepared for it?
Vadivelan: After the finals of the competition, a few top-ranked teams were shortlisted for the interview process, and we bagged 3rd place in the competition. The shortlisted students were required to log in to a portal and submit the relevant details. A list of projects was available, and about 40 projects could be worked on during the internship. About 40-50 students are selected in the shortlisting process. After that, we submit our student details and shortlist 5 out of those 40 projects. After an individual interview, we will be given the project we can contribute the most. Regarding preparation, I think the competition equipped me with some skills required for the projects. We did not undergo any special preparation for this internship.
GT: How was the competition and what skills do you believe contributed to your selection?
Vadivelan: The competition was an eye-opener for us. It required a lot of dedication and time management. The whole competition is divided into 2 stages and each stage had 3-4 tasks to submit. We completed most of the tasks well ahead of the deadline which gave us some extra time to make general improvements and improve the response of the task. All these tasks were graded so the better the output we produced, the higher score we would obtain. Before the competition, I don’t think we knew that we would be able to work for a long time, especially through an online meet.
GT: Did you do any courses or internships before this?
Vadivelan: No, I did not do any additional courses or internships before the internship.
GT: Could you walk us through a typical day in your internship?
Vadivelan: The whole project was divided into tasks and sub-tasks. Every day we would make some progress, but there were no fixed work timings. The task could take anywhere between 1-2 hours, sometimes even 6. It was completely dependent on the task and how technically strong we were. We also had to submit daily reports.
GT: How long was the internship and how would you describe the work environment?
Vadivelan: The internship period lasted for 6-7 weeks. Our work environment was really friendly and the mentors were both understanding and encouraging. They were open to new ideas and we had the freedom to give new input and work in our way as long as the output satisfied them. Every week there was a progress meeting with the principal investigator, where we had presentations regarding the progress on how much we have done and how much we have implemented. That was how we made sure we are on time.
GT: What did you find challenging as an intern and is there anything you wish you knew before taking the internship?
Vadivelan: As an intern, it was initially a bit difficult to work with a new team. I didn’t get much time to understand how the others work. Some of them had internet issues and it was a big challenge for me. Even though we got into the internship as a team, each of us got different projects. In my team, I had people from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and other states from the North, so there were a few communication issues as well. The majority of the conversation would be in Hindi, which was fine for me, but there were still issues with communication and the network.
GT: I’m sure the internship as a whole was enriching, but what do you consider to be the highlight of your experience?
Vadivelan: I would say this internship, was very different from what a typical company could offer because we were able to meet some great professors and alumni from IIT Bombay. You might have heard of Dr Ajith Ranade, he had come to give us some seminars where we were even able to talk to him about geopolitical topics. Seminars were also conducted on a few ongoing research projects done in IIT Bombay in the control systems labs. These were some highlights for me because, as interns, we usually don’t get the privilege to attend seminars like these as those are typically private events.
GT: Does E-Yantra provide full-time jobs after the internship?
Vadivelan: Yes, they provide full-time jobs. One of the roles they provide is Assistant Project Manager, where the selection is done again through interviews.
GT: Would you recommend this internship to our fellow students?
Vadivelan: Yes definitely, because this was very technical and robotics-oriented. All of the projects were not accessible to the public, so we were able to work on something related to the research going on in IIT Bombay Labs. So after we finish our work on the project, it will be continued by them, or next year's set of interns. It is a great opportunity. Here CGPA doesn’t matter if you’re skilled and technically strong, or if you can learn things in a short time, they are open to students like that.
GT: What are your thoughts on the Intern Diaries initiative by Guindy Times?
Vadivelan: It’s a great initiative because it gives our juniors an idea of how internships work, what a typical intern student would be doing, what they can expect from a certain company, and which kind of company they would be suitable for. They can get a lot of ideas from these sorts of interviews. I would like to thank Guindy Times for coming forward to do this initiative.
The Guindy Times thanks Vadivelan for spending his valuable time with us and wishes him good luck for all his future endeavours.