If you have a lot of questions encircling your mind such as where and when to do internships, Intern Diaries, an initiative by GT, would be the perfect avenue to look for guidance.
“A wise man is one who knows how to make proper use of the opportunity”, says Balaji Ganesh, a final year student of the Mechanical engineering department of CEG. Having done his internship at the world’s leading glass manufacturing company, Saint-Gobain, he shares his experience with us.
Interviewer: Swetha K
Interviewee: Balaji Ganesh
GT: What is your ambition?
Balaji: I want to work in the R&D department of a reputed automotive company. I wish to implement my ideas in the R&D sector. After I gain experience, I want to run a start-up of my own, if possible.
GT: Tell us about your internship in terms of the place, stipend and duration of work.
Balaji: I did my internship at the Sriperumbudur plant of Saint-Gobain. The internship period was fifty days and the stipend amount was Rs. 35,000.
GT: What is the procedure to apply for the internship there and who are all eligible for it?
Balaji: People who have CGPA of 8.5 and above are eligible for it and they also need to have more than 85% aggregate in 10th and 12th board exams. By tradition, when the company comes for the final year placements, they also recruit third years as interns. The placement representatives will pass the message to the third years. They will circulate google forms and you can apply through it.
GT: How competitive was the selection process and what key parameters were the selection board looking for?
Balaji: Usually the selection process consists of two or three rounds depending on the number of candidates who apply. The first round had aptitude questions. If you are good in it, you can clear the first round with ease. This year, the second round had only HR questions. It depends on the person who comes to interview you. If it’s a technical person, you will have a technical round and then the HR round. It actually varies from year to year. However they always make sure the selection process is competitive.
GT: Which quality of yours helped to crack the selection process?
Balaji: I think, communication-wise, I had conveyed myself clearly. I mean that I expressed my thoughts without any ambiguity.
GT: How must one prepare for the aptitude and HR Interview?
Balaji: For the aptitude test, you can refer to RS Agarwal book. Regarding the interview, staying calm, even if it’s your first time, is an absolute necessity. The fact that matters, is that, the interviewer wants to know what you know. Let them know that your knowledge will be their asset, and you'll do fine.
GT: Any tips on how an ideal resume should be?
Balaji: In your resume, mention only what you've done. Your resume must contain only genuine information. They’ll refer to your resume and ask questions based on it. Say for example, you have done an implant training in a particular company before, mention it in your resume, only if you have done it properly.
GT: How did you prepare yourself academic-wise for this internship? What was your area of interest?
Balaji: I didn’t prepare in any one specific way. They’ll test your practical knowledge in the subjects that you have studied so far. So, brush up on your basics well. If it’s a technical interview, you will be questioned based on your area of interest. So, choose your area of interest wisely. They will probably check whether you have understood the subject. They’ll go deep into the subject based on your answers. Engineering mechanics and Design of machine elements were my areas of interest.
GT: What was the project carried out during the internship period? Could you mention some of its highlights?
Balaji: I’ll give you a brief overview about that. There are three sectors in that company. They are flat glass, automotive glass and building glass. I did a project on automotive glass. To attach the automotive glass into the chassis, a drill must be put in that glass and then they will attach it with a holder. In this drilling machine, breakdown happens quite often. My project was on finding ways to reduce the breakdown. I had to find the root cause of the problem and then eliminate it, if possible.
GT: You would have faced a lot of challenges during this internship period. Is there anything that you feel could have been avoided, if known beforehand?
Balaji: It’s difficult to know everything beforehand. So, don’t stress yourself in doing so. If you are spending 30 days in a company, spend them wisely. Learn something new every day. People there will have a lot of industry experience, so you can learn a lot from them.
GT: What is the current technology used there?
Balaji: They follow a derivative of lean six sigma. They call it World Class Manufacturing technique (WCM). There are also various problem-solving techniques. They’ll give a score for each problem. Based on that score, a particular method is adopted to solve it.
GT: What changes has this internship brought in your intellectual capabilities?
Balaji: I became better in my decision-making and problem solving skills. In a company, they’ll be having some techniques for solving problems. You shouldn't disclose them outside, but you may use them in your own life. It’ll help you to find a solution much easier.
GT: What do you think about the Intern Diaries?
Balaji: It is actually a very good initiative. It’ll be very useful for the juniors who don't have ideas on which company to approach.
GT: Would you recommend Saint Gobain to others?
Balaji: For internship, it is a definite yes, because, when you go for an internship there, you are given a real time problem and asked to find a solution. But if you go for a job there, this may not be the case. You may need to do a management related job, because they generally take you in as a management trainee.
GT: Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. On behalf of The Guindy Times, I wish you all the very best for your future endeavors.
Balaji: Thank you!
The Guindy Times thanks Balaji Ganesh for his time and patience.