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InternFeel ID: IF15033
Friends say hello to Miss Bhagyeshwari, a 3rd year student pursuing B-Tech at the LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur. Her branch of study is Electronics and Communication Engineering. She is an open-minded girl and loves exploring every domain in electronics and communications and the various possibilities of it in day to day applications in the consumer world. Till date, her research experience has been in the fields of Wireless sensor networks, signal processing and embedded systems. Apart from academics her non-academic activities include being an active member of the Astronomy Club and Entrepreneurship Cell of my institute, organising and participating in the techno-management as well as cultural fests of her institute as well as outside. In her spare time, she likes to read non-fiction and technical magazines, listening to music.
She was selected among 5000 plus applicants for the Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP-2013) at The Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. She worked on wireless sensor networks. The internship program was for duration of minimum 2 months but could be extended. The program hosted a list of projects in various technical domains like Computer Science, Electronics and Electrical, Mechanical as well as in other domains like chemistry, biosciences, humanities and arts. The Institute hosts a variety of projects in these domains and selects students from institutes from all over the country. It was a paid internship.
Great!! So let’s know more about her…
InternFeel: How you came to know about the internship? Generally what was your way of being in touch with the media to get the information about the various internships?
Bhagyeshwari: I came to know about this internship through IIT-Gn’s website. I was reviewing websites of various IITs and other elite institutions from the beginning of January. Also various internship sites like InternFeel and Eduinfo are helpful in giving regular updates about internship opportunities. These websites have their groups on Facebook which also kept me updated.
IF: How much competitive is the selection process? What things you feel are looked for in the applicant by the selectors?
Bhagyeshwari: The selection procedure is quite competitive. 70 students were selected in various disciplines across the country out of approx. 5000 applicants. The CGPI was one criterion for filtering out applicants but I feel they also considered the overall profile as in your projects taken during semesters and your academic extracurricular too. Moreover they look for a strong personal statement in their application form where the student is able to show eagerness and passion for learning and experimentation.
IF: What qualities of yours – educational / otherwise, you feel helped you in having an edge over the selection process?
Bhagyeshwari: I expressed my eagerness well to gain a research experience in my selected project in the personal statement asked. Moreover I have been doing projects as part of a Special Interest Group (SIG) in my institute. But most of all filling the application form to your best effort highlighting your academic as well as non-academic talents like maybe participation in any technical activities or member of a technical organisation like the IEEE or being a regular attendee of workshops should also be done.
IF: Approximately when you got the news for the selection? How was the celebration?
Bhagyeshwari: I got the news for selection in the 3rd week of April. I was quite happy about it as I had been selected for the project I opted for.
IF: What all preparations you did (academic/otherwise) before joining and after the results?
Bhagyeshwari: There weren’t any preparations as such since accommodation was provided in the hostel itself. Though I had to prepare myself for the Gujarati culture and cuisine. J
IF: Any common mistakes which you feel students should avoid while searching and applying for internships?
Bhagyeshwari: I feel internships are the best way to gain a rich exposure to a research domain and gain useful experience. Therefore one must start early and not apply hastily on the last moment. Don’t apply for the heck of it, but research on the places you apply to on the work that is being carried out at the institute and whether it matches his/her interest. Even if one has a less CPI, form a proper cover letter and good resume, highlighting your positive aspects and mail all professors in your field of interest. Your cover letter must not exaggerate but show your genuine interest and eagerness towards gaining knowledge and work experience. Also researching about the professor’s research area and any of his ongoing projects can also be helpful as it shows that you have shown genuine interest in his/her work. But be hopeful, as one might not get a reply to all mails immediately. Don’t stop, keep trying.
IF: So Bhagyeshwari, could you please highlight us with what work/research project you carried out during the internship period? It’s application in near future and your work in it?
Bhagyeshwari: I worked with Dr Arup Chakraborthy (Electrical Department) on wireless sensor networks and its extended application was the detection of various gas concentrations using a tunable diode laser spectroscopy interfaced with a sensor mote. The proposed application was to create such a network of motes to form a system for wireless gas sensing. My work during the internship period of 2 months was on controlling the WSN mote and establish its communication with a similar mote along with it’s interface with a diode laser and the study of varying laser intensity on the mote.
IF: What was the best thing about the work culture and the internship? What all things you liked there? The difference you found in comparison with the work culture of our country?
Bhagyeshwari: The work culture at IIT Gandhinagar was great. The internship was well organised and the mentors were highly interactive. The faculty there at IIT-Gn is young and therefore one would not find a communication gap between the professors and the students. The institute, though being one of the new IITs, was equipped with the best of facilities and labs. And what I really liked about the place was that I could feel a consistent growth there as if productivity was in the air. One had the complete freedom of brainstorming ideas.
IF: What problems you or your friends faced, during the internship, which your juniors may be able to avoid? Any safety issues for girls, which generally all parents are fearing about? Food and accommodation?
Bhagyeshwari: I really did not face any problems. What one could really do is be acquainted with the theoreticalbackground of the project one is about to undertake before joining the internship. Ask for literature and you will find yourself having a clearer understanding of the topic of research on reaching there. That’ll be helpful. There are no safety issues for girls in Gujarat, one place I never really had to worry about safety. Gujarati cuisine is unique; probably one might take time to get used to the sweet food there. J
IF: As with almost everything, what were the cons of the internship? The elements which you felt, if wasn’t there could have made this internship super awesome?
Bhagyeshwari: I really don’t have another internship to compare to because this was my first in undergraduate days. So I really don’t find any cons. It was my first experience in the domain of WSNs and to be able to learn and work me to a whole new level of intellectual understanding in the end. For me, it was an amazing start.
IF: Were there any special events during the internships which you would like to share?
Bhagyeshwari: Apart from research projects, the institute had extracurricular for the interns. Happy hour sessions, which were organised every Monday evening, comprised of games and interactive sessions with students from IIT-Gn. Also students from The California Institute of Technology visited the institute for a period of 10 days for the program “India ki khoj” which was being led my the members of Humanities and Social Sciences Dept of IIT-Gn. The program witnessed various speakers from diverse domains speaking on their areas of concern. It was amazing interacting with them. Also periodically, the institute organised informative talks by distinguished professors which added to a good learning experience.
The hostel life was pretty good too. Not something new for me as I have been staying in a hostel before. But there was no lack of any basic amenities. Gujarat has beautiful places to visit like the Gandhi Aashram, IIM-Ahmedabad, Akshardhaam, Science city, Kankaria lake and many more, and great cuisine to try so we also did hang out on weekends for recreation.
IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support you received from your intern institute administration.
Bhagyeshwari: My guide at IIT-Gandhinagar was a highly disciplined and organised one. I had complete guidance from the beginning. I worked in the sensors lab where I also had with me working two PhD students who were extremely helpful and cooperative. They helped me out with any mistakes I made and any concept I failed to understand. There were periodic discussions and presentation sessions in between the internship period that enhanced understanding and also helped me develop on my soft skills like presentation and speaking skills, something which is a very important factor seen during presentations.
IF: To whom all people you would, like to thank in context of this internship?
Bhagyeshwari: I’d like to thank my mentor there at IIT-Gn for giving me an opportunity to work there and the amazing guidance during the course of the internship and my fellow lab-mates with whom of course I enjoyed my work.
IF: How much difference this period of 8 weeks made in your intellectual capabilities and mindset. In broad terms what are your gains from this?
Bhagyeshwari: A lot of difference!!
In the beginning phase of every internship, one has to go through a good amount of literature study. And during this phase, I got to explore the various possibilities of applications in the domain of wireless sensor networks. It’s difficult in the beginning as one has just started reading a lot of new things, but in the end, one is at a new level of knowledge and intellectual capability. In broad terms my gain from this internship experience to be able to reason and think of what application I could make of the theory I have just read. Gas sensing using sensor networks and lasers was a whole new concept to me, and learning about it did make me understand it’s pros for practical use.
IF: What advice you would like to give to your juniors, which can help them in getting internships in their future college life.
Bhagyeshwari: I’d like to tell my juniors that if right now you are in your 1st year, there is not really a need for an internship. search but work on developing basic theoretical concepts. You could maybe attend the IEEE workshop that is being organised in your city, or go attend a talk of a professor in another nearby college or do that robotics/networking course and take up a little summer project in the institute under the faculty. But be open to learning and explore everything. By second year you’d probably know what domains you feel you are inclined towards so start doing some extra reading on that. Students should look for good internships after their 2nd and 3rd year and the key to getting a good one then is foremost your profile and then the right way to ask for an internship. Form a neat and clear resume and a cover letter and mail to people in domains of your interest. It’s better to start early in around November so that you have time to research upon the professor’s interests. And then go ahead and mail. Also keep in mind the dates for the Internship programs, you can start keeping a check from November. Sites like Internfeel help one know about how different various internship experiences are and subscribing to these sites can be of great help.
IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how much impact this internship will have on it?
Bhagyeshwari: My future plans include working on even more such creative projects that can help me further enhance my understanding on WSN and related domains.
IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be?
Bhagyeshwari: I completely support this initiative of InternFeel and I’d say that it is amazing work that you are doing. Such interviews are extremely helpful for beginners and help them prepare themselves mentally for such a journey. It’s the best thing for them to learn from the mistakes of others and to be cautious enough in their endeavours. Also providing with regular updates with latest internship opportunities is helpful to students as they get all relevant information at one place itself.
IF: So Bhagyeshwari, we are at the end of the interview. From the entire team of InternFeel, we thank you for taking out your time and sharing your experiences for everyone and we wish you best of luck for all your future endeavors.
Bhagyeshwari: Thanks a lot!