Intern Diaries never fails to leave out any domain or any kind of internship that makes your profile better. This weekend we have a corporate internship experience and ways to crack them.
Internships are always a dream for any engineering student. Being in Anna University and given great opportunity to collaborate with industries, it should never be a problem to face corporate companies for internships. The only preparatory is how we ace the opportunity that lays at our doorstep. Saravana Ganesh, a corporate internee for two times in Amazon and Goldman Sachs, advices on how to get into the corporate world through internships. Read more to find about him and the internships he did.
Interviewer: Sripriya Srinivasan
Interviewee: Saravana Ganesh
When is the best time to start preparing for internships?
I believe the earlier the better. I started my preparation as soon as I completed Grade 12. My brother is from CSE department and so I got an insight into how to start programming online. Most students are not from CS background and hence might find it difficult to cope up. So ideally the best time to start preparation for internships is right after first semester when students enter into their respective departments.
How did you search for internships?
I did not directly apply for my first internship. My friend and I participated in a coding event in SSN college and won it, as a result of which we were given an eight week internship at Amazon. Indeed, it was a surprise intern for me. I got my second internship in Goldman Sachs through CUIC (Centre for University and Industry Collaboration) in our college.
The most important aspect of the selection process is the resume screening, could you give some tips on how an ideal resume should be?
The most important part of any resume is the projects done. I had many projects apart from the ones I did in Amazon. It is essential to be able to explain your projects.
What was the most challenging part of the interview and what was your special mantra to ace it?
The first part of the interview process is to test your knowledge in core subjects and also answer questions on your previous project work or extra skills. In my case I am good at online programming and was able to prove this with the ranks and competitions I won in this category.
What was the most challenging part of the internship application process?
The first round of the selection process is the online test. There are so many applicants but only a handful get selected. Last year for Microsoft around 500 students applied but only 15 of them got selected. The questions in the online test will be easy to solve but the methodology used to solve is what makes you the best. They assess on the basis of run time of a program and the size of it.
Do you need to have any prerequisites to apply?
CGPA is the first factor used for screening. Then there is a online test. To get internships in the IT sector you need to be good at coding to clear the test. For me I am from IT department and we covered most part of the programming concepts in our curriculum and hence I did not require much practice. But other department students like those from ECE or EEE may require some practice.
Tell us a little bit about the kind of project work you did during your internships.
In my internship at Amazon I worked for the AWS - Amazon Web Services team. We worked on client side programming. In Goldman Sachs I am working in the networking team.
What was the most challenging part of the internship?
I was in the last batch among the 250 interns. I am currently in week 5 and have three weeks to go. Everyone does their report at the end of the internship but I was forced to do mine within five weeks itself as the company wanted to assess all the interns for PPOs (Pre Placement Offers) and hence I work for 12 hours a day from 9am to 9pm.
Do you feel if you had probably studied a few vital subjects beforehand you could have found yourself in a better place. If yes, elaborate.
This depends on the kind of company one applies to. For instance in case of Microsoft an applicant is expected to be strong in Operating Systems. When I applied to Goldman Sachs they tested how good I am in Database. So this way each company will have their own domain and expect you to be good in these domains. It's important to focus on the core subjects. Like for IT and CSE you must focus on Operating Systems, Networking and Database. You should also try to do some projects in these subjects so when you go for interviews you can show your work to prove your strength in that particular domain.
Where and how did you book your accommodation? Was it taken care by the institute or did you arrange for it separately?
I was lucky that during both my internships my brother was living in the same city and I stayed with him. Usually the company provides stay for the first one or two weeks and we can use this time to find accommodation in a PG. Also the managers and colleagues will help one find accommodation, so that will not be a problem.
How is this experience different from normal college life?
I am a hosteller and so I did not find much difference between work and college.
Internships are a way of practical learning, what kind of a learning experience were your internships, both technically and otherwise?
Corporate learning and college learning is very different. In college we focus on solving a problem and solving it right, but in corporate learning we focus on how to solve the problem effectively and efficiently. This is because if I am doing a project and leave the company and someone else takes over my project they should be able to start from where I left, so complexity should be less.
After doing an internship in the IT sector do you see yourself working in such a company in the future?
I am currently working in the networking domain but I am more interested in cyber security and ethical hacking, but that is something you can't get, at least in the first few years. Once you get into a company you have to work in the domain they give you and only after two or three years you can apply for the domain of your choice.
What do you think about Intern Diaries by The Guindy Times?
I feel this will be very useful for the juniors as they will know what companies expect and this will help them prepare well ahead. Internships are a turning point in a student's life, it is that transition from college life to corporate life. And it is essential to start preparing early.
The Guindy Times thanks Saravana Ganesh for his time and patience in addressing us and providing us with useful details to ace a corporate internship. We wish him a bright future.