“Don’t wait for others to help you, rather learn to get things done by yourself” |Intern Diaries-2|Mukesh
Bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Final year, College of Engineering Guindy
National Institute of Technology, Calicut
Here is an excerpt from the interview with him about his internship experience at NIT, Calicut.
Interviewer: Benita. D (GT)
GT: What was your internship?
Mukesh: My internship project was about ‘The Design of Converters for Electric Vehicles’. It basically deals with powering and controlling a motor using a battery.
GT: What aspect of this internship appeased you to apply for it?
Mukesh: Students usually tend to go for companies, which have their scheduled work-timings for the interns too. But I heard that colleges like IITs and NITs also invite applications for internships, where you can choose a project and work on it at your own pace. This kind of work environment appealed to me and made me seek internships there rather than in companies.
GT: How difficult it was for you to obtain this internship from this institute?
Mukesh: IITs and NITs have a relatively tough selection procedure. I applied for almost all IITs and NITs and didn’t get selected in any. The call from NIT Calicut came as a surprise for me! I got the call about 4 days before the closing date. So yes, the competition for acquiring internships from such reputed colleges is pretty high!
GT: What do you think to an ideal time for students to apply for internships?
Mukesh: Speaking from my experience, choosing a suitable internship requires a lot of time and research. I would suggest looking for internships right from the beginning of a new academic year. Because many internship application invites would have expired if you start late. So start as early as possible.
GT: Would you suggest any websites/any other platforms for students to look out for internships?
Mukesh: I mostly browsed the net; searched on Google and gathered information from different websites. But there is this website- inae.in (Indian National Academy of Engineering) which can be useful in searching for engineering-related internships. But again, you need to start early and check the website regularly for updates and internships available.
GT: Could you give us an idea as what would a day, as an intern at NIT, might look like?
Mukesh: My day started at 9 am. Each of us had a guide (a professor at NIT) assigned to us, who would brief us about the day’s work. We would then have the rest of the day to work on our project and at the end of the day, we’ll have to report it to our guide. I didn’t find my guide to be very strict; he gave us the liberty to work at our own pace and didn’t rush things.
GT: How did you arrange for your accommodation? Were there any stipends provided for it?
Mukesh: The College (NIT, Calicut) provided accommodation. I stayed in a hostel within the campus. Usually, when you intern in colleges, stipends are not provided. But the expenditure was relatively low. And NIT wasn’t an exception.
GT: What were the challenges or hardships you faced during your internship period?
Mukesh: Almost everything was challenging! Usually, the syllabus covered while in college is not always application-oriented. So, what you learn in college only acts as a foundation. Based on this, I was required to learn more, think and apply my problem-solving skills. I had to go through many research papers and learn certain concepts on my own from the internet to complete the day’s work. As challenging as it was, it was also a good learning experience for me! I learnt more from practically applying the knowledge I gained than passively reading from a textbook.
GT: Apart from gaining technical knowledge and experience, how did this internship helped in shaping you?
Mukesh: As the environment was very new, there wasn’t anybody to support me. If you needed help, you must go out and seek it. It taught me to be independent and I learnt to get things done by myself, without waiting for help.
GT: Finally, is there any advice you would like to give to the students applying for an internship?
Mukesh: If you are planning on interning at colleges like IITs or NITs, LORs will play a very important role apart from your resume. I would suggest maintaining good contacts with your college professors or working under them on any project, as those will be of great help while seeking for LORs.
The Guindy Times thanks Mukesh for his time and for sharing his internship experience. GT also wishes him all the best for his future endeavours!