Internship Experience at Indian Institute of Science Bangalore: Tanya Agarwal

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InternFeel ID: IF15006

-+91 78996 25183- 20150610_005501Q1) In which course are you presently enrolled? Please tell us something about yourself- your interests and areas of specialization.

My name is Tanya Agarwal, I’m a 3rd year student of Chemical Engineering at NIT Hamirpur. I am hard working and committed to my work. I love to write, sketch and sing. I am judicious about my interactions with people and try to invest my time in the most fruitful way.

Q2) Which internship did you opt for? Give us a few details-stipend, duration and location.

I worked as a Summer Research Fellow at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore through IAS fellowship program for two months. The stipend was Rs. 8000 per month. I worked on the Electrochemistry of Human Insulin.

Q3) How did you come to know about the internship? Which channels of information (Internet/ Personal/Corporate contacts etc.) did you utilize?

I came to know about it from one of my colleagues. In my opinion, web portals like Internfeel, Internshala, Internlelo, Eduinfo are a good way to stay updated about the internships.

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Q4) Briefly describe the procedure for application. What are the eligibility criteria for this internship?

Anybody who has completed at least two years of undergraduate studies can apply. IAS fellowship program requires an online form to be filled. Then later you are supposed to submit your certificates, recommendation and NOC (No objection certificate) from college.

Q5) Let’s talk about how competitive the selection process is. What qualities of yours do you think helped you to have an edge in the selection process? What key attributes were the selectors looking for?

The selection process is quite competitive. Sometimes even people with extensive experience in research may not be selected. I feel my previous research experience, project ideas and CGPA helped me in grabbing this opportunity. And yes, there is also the element of luck. I think the first screening is on the basis of CGPA and then it is your work experience and the intersection of your interests with their requirements that matters.

Q6)According to you, what are some common mistakes that you feel applicants should avoid in the internship application process?

Yes, I feel applying for an internship just based on its reputation is useless. Before applying for internships the first important thing is to be clear about the concept of the programme. Then if you find that the programme is in line with your interests, you should go for it. Make sure when you contact a professor that you highlight how you could be an asset to his work. Professors are busy people. If you are casual in your e-correspondence with them, they will not take you seriously.

Q7)What kind of groundwork did you do post-selection and before beginning the internship?

Not much preparation was required. I mailed my professors to decide the work period and then I was asked to send my certificates.

Q8) Please give us an overview of the work/research project you carried out during the internship period, including its future prospects, and your role and responsibilities.

I worked on the Electrochemistry of Human insulin focusing on how the electrochemical behaviour of Zinc varies with different coordination environments. We studied the systems through Cyclic Voltammetry and Tafel analysis. The ultimate aim of the work is to understand the behaviour and properties of Zinc and to develop a rapid sensing platform for insulin which will then help in the development of biosensors for the same.

Q9) Was this your first internship / training? If not, what do you think was unique about this internship?

Prior to this, I did a three months internship as a “Climate Counsellor” under “International Centre for Culture and Education”. My job was to spread awareness about the growing climatic changes and to initiate activities during this period for the same.

Q10)What was the best feature of the work ethic of the organization and the internship? What was it that you liked about your workplace?

My internship experience at Indian Institute of Science Bangalore was amazing. As far as I noticed, everybody there is a true professional committed to their work. Whether they are moving out for a party, lunch or dinner the topic of discussion was the problems they are facing in their projects, the potential solutions and the like. Nobody keeps a check on their progress, they set the pace of their own work because they enjoy it. The internship transformed me in the sense of providing me significant insight into the intricacies of the subject, about which I had hitherto had a very superficial perspective.

Q11) Let’s now talk about some negatives. What were the glitches and problems that came your way, which you think your juniors should be careful to avoid?

I faced several administrative hurdles. Getting a NOC signed took me several weeks. But it was an instance of carelessness both on part of students and the administration. I would advise my juniors not to accept the things as they are and to complete the requirements efficiently and within the requisite time.

Gurpreet Iisc 20150730_134451Q12) Were there any special events during the internships? (Events can be academics related like field trips, conferences, hackathons, meets etc and also non-academic, relating to your hostel life and the like)

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend an “International Conference on Frontiers in Material Science” which was organized over a period of seven days. There were several special lectures organized for us during this two months stay. There were also several trips from the Academy including one to the Mysore Palace and the Brindavan Gardens. There was a “Twenty Sixth Mid-Year Meeting” organized especially for the summer fellows. It was two day program and scientists from all over the country enlightened us about several new domains of research sciences. This was yet another highlight of the programme.

Q13) How much difference has this internship period made in your intellectual capabilities and mind-set. In broad terms what are your gains and takeaways?

First of all, this internship has changed my approach to work. I learned to look at problems from alternative perspectives. I was exposed to an entirely new work environment. I made several friends and the memories I gathered are yet another beautiful part. My Ph.D guide Rudra Samajhdar was not only an excellent supervisor but is an amazing person too. I left the place with a lot of experience, work related and otherwise, and several friends and associates. It’s been, quite possibly, the best two months of my life.

Q14) What are your future plans and how much of an impact do you think this internship will have on it?

I want to go for an internship this year too and later wish to pursue an MS from abroad and this experience will certainly help in that.

Q15) Any advice for juniors that can help them in getting internships in future and for deriving the best learning experience out of it?

I would advise my juniors to keep trying for internships. It is never too early for anything good. Instead of applying blindly for all internships, it is my suggestion that you apply for profiles that match your area of specialization and interest.There is no point in doing an internship or training for certificates or the name. An internship should be taken up for the learning experience it gives you as a professional and as a person. The stipend, organization and brand name should be secondary concerns.

Q16) Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be? Any suggestions/feedback for improvement?

It is a really great platform since hard earned experiences need to be shared. I really appreciate this initiative and I think InternFeel is an asset for students. I too enjoyed reading about the experiences of other interns.

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