Dear readers, Today we have an interesting person to share his internship experience from one of the prestigious college schools in India, the one on their minds: “Most JEE – Advanced toppers want to study here”. Hope you got it. Let’s jump into his interview.
InternFeel: Please tell us something about yourself. Where and what are you studying currently?
Shubhendra Pal (SP): I am Shubhendra Pal Singhal currently pursuing B.tech in Computer science from NIT Trichy. I am a public speaker at Toastmasters International and an adventurer. I love to travel, talk on various abstract things. My main strength is that I am always positive in life and I am able to find a way to my interests keeping in mind, the desired internship requirements.
InternFeel: Give us details about your internship – process of application, stipend, duration, and place?
(SP): I did my internship at IIT Bombay as a part of Eklavya project which is coordinated by Dr. D.B. Phatak. Students from Electrical and Computer Science department can apply under Eklavya project. The internship is for 7-8 weeks. The payment procedure for hostel changes every year but its roughly 8000 for 2 months.Mess(Rs. 120-150/day) and bedding charges(Rs 1000) are separate.
InternFeel: How competitive was the selection process? According to you, which qualities have helped you have an edge in the selection process? Also, what were the key things that selectors were looking for?
(SP): All the work under Ekalavya is released under Open Source. Hands on open source project for Software Quota is a must. Cgpa is not given importance rather professional coding skills is given a huge priority. Academic Quota is generally based on good cgpa and your past projects in both open source or research-based. Top two students from good institutes are selected under academic quota.
I already knew Ubuntu, GCC, MySQL, Python and I had many projects based on web development along with a cgpa of 9.5 that helped me grab this opportunity through academic quota. All the other factors like rank, knowledge of open source too helped me in my selection. The reputation of your college also helps in your selection sometimes.
InternFeel: Could you please highlight the work/research you carried out during your internship period?
(SP): I worked with Fundamental Research group in reputation systems. The websites like stack overflow have been trying to implement a transparent and perfect reputation model. Research on how to make it perfect by studying its flaws and its respective solution and implementation in the collaborative community was my project.
Regular meetings with Mr.Nagesh Karmali, our mentor was always very helpful where any one idea developed was brainstormed to just prove it. My coding part of the project was in Django framework along with rest API and my research was on how to make a 100% transparent and non-breakable reputation model.
InternFeel: Can you give us interesting details about your experience – good and bad? (It could be something like the amazing location of your internship, the friends you made for life, a bad senior, accommodation given in case of an outstation internship and something along those line.)
(SP): Internship at IIT Bombay gave me a new enthusiasm and a direction of how things work in real life.IIT Bombay work culture is professional and that’s what helped me to complete and refine my model. Each week proper evaluation of the project was done so that I could work more and think more on what can be done.
Best thing in IIT Bombay is an adventure- Leopard sightings and crocodiles in Powai lake is a place to visit which makes you realize that you want to live and not die. If you really like adventure, then you can contact me and I will share some personal experiences of seeing them closely and how afraid we were when we actually saw them coming towards us.
Now discussing some negatives. Hostels would not be up to the mark that you would imagine. A typical govt hostel,(though with a facility of mess and grocery shop inside) can be expected. Heavy rains will be there. Umbrellas will be provided by the administration but it is better to carry one. There is only LAN in Hostels, so you can bring yours if you already have one.
InternFeel: How do you think this internship has helped you grow? In other words, what are your key takeaways from the internship?
(SP): My earlier intern at IIT Madras gave a direction that research work is what interests me but there are two fields i.e. applied or theoretical. IIT Bombay gave me an insight into how both works and now I would like to dive into the field of research in applied theory. Economics has always been my interest and hence, I am planning to give shot in research in Game Theory too, (recently coming up as the most powerful field).
Second, the professionalism and the feeling of meeting up the deadlines was an amazing factor and everyone should experience this before going to higher or placements.
InternFeel: Has this internship had a decision altering impact on your career? Do you now think of a different future path as compared to before doing the internship?
(SP): Yes, this internship helped me a clear my mind as to whether I want to do research or company intern and placement. Rigorously coding is not my piece of cake. I like to code but not for the deadlines or for the living. This confusion was resolved when I was doing research as well as simultaneously coding for my project. I realized that research side was the thing that I can do for my living because thinking abstractly and reading research papers is what I like and being a good coder, I have that experience of difficulties of implementation of the research model. So thus combining both, I just got one answer: Applied Research.
InternFeel: Lastly, do you have any words of advice or caution for students aspiring for this internship and reading this piece?
(SP): Grab this opportunity to work with IIT Bombay. Do a lot of projects and keep pushing it regularly on GitHub. Maintain a cgpa above 9 for academic quota and a decent knowledge of algorithms for C test or very good coding skills in different technologies for software quota. Don’t give up if you are not selected through academic quota, try software too because ultimately you will learn something out of it.
We thank Shubhendra Pal Singhal for sharing his experience here. We hope his experience will be helpful for many.
Shubhendra Pal words for InternFeel:
InternFeel is a platform that helped me plan my things when I came to Bombay for the first time. Thanks a lot for interviewing me and helping students out there!