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Internship Rating: 6/10 (Rating provided by the interviewee)
Today we have with us Akshay Lakhanpal who talks about the good and bad experience of working at Larsen and Toubro ECC Private Ltd and how it altered his notions for pursuing higher studies versus taking up a job after graduation.
Read on to know more.
InternFeel (IF): Please tell us something about yourself. Where are you studying currently? What are your hobbies and interests?
Akshay Lakhanpal (AL): I am Akshay Lakhanpal. I did my B tech in mechanical engineering from NIT Hamirpur. Currently I am working as Scientist B in DRDL Hyderabad.
IF: Tell us something about your internship including stipend, duration and place?
AL: My internship was in Larsen and Toubro ECC Pvt Ltd. As a part of its recruitment drive for Final year students, L&T had recruited third year students for its internship programme called INsPirE. There was a direct interview in which 5 other students were also chosen.
Duration: 8 weeks in June and July 2014
Place: Kolkata (VIP flyover project)
Stipend: INR 4000 per month and a pre placement offer, based on performance
IF: 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?
AL: The process was competitive. For selection, top ten of the students in our branch were called up to face a direct interview by the company. Confidence, fearlessness and belief in my capabilities are the qualities which helped me to have an edge in the process. I am not quite sure what the selectors were looking for, but I think more or less it was the willingness to work with them which they were looking for.
IF: Could you please highlight the work/research you carried out during your internship period?
AL: I was training under QA/QC officer in the project. It was a project in which a flyover had to be built and all the structures were made of steel. Fabrication and erection of the structures was the work which was to be done by Mechanical engineers. My work was to get training for what I would do as a GET (had I been selected for the same). Therefore, I was put on site where I would supervise the people carrying out fabrication jobs. I was learning how every component is fabricated, transported and then erected on the site.
IF: Can you give us interesting details about your experience – good and bad?
AL: Good: (1) The people were really nice. Everyone from the HR division and other divisions made sure I settled in properly. The senior who I reported to was really nice and used to take out time off his busy schedule to explain to me how things worked in the project. I owe him a lot for helping me out in a big way.
(2) The level of faith and trust the company put in me was immense. I was only an intern, but they used to treat me like a GET. It was only after I got back to college and heard how ignorant other companies were to their interns that I started appreciating this fact.
(3) The company employees never failed to explain anything to me and I could roam around and observe without anybody objecting.
Bad: (1) The food and weather in Kolkata was really unbearable for me. The location of my stay was in locality where you could find lots of fish vendors on the road. So that was a huge trouble for me. But these things are minor things because they change based upon the location of the project.
(2) I attended every day of the programme and I felt I was not doing anything. I would go to office in morning, then go to fabrication place which was in between two lanes of road and then I would just stay there in scorching heat and dust while other people were working. Then I would come back and go home tired.
I used to be tired because of dehydration and when I would go home; there was absolutely no sense of achievement. After some time, it became really monotonous and repetitive. By the end of the programme I was relieved that it had ended. This is the biggest bad point about my internship.
(3) There was absolutely no design work. A methodology had been developed and you were asked to stick to it.
(4) Road projects are really tough conditions because there is constant dirt going around and the temperature and humidity is very high. Plus the fact that everybody speaks Bangla around others and all the bus boards and hoardings are in Bangla made me feel like an alien in another world. This language barrier was hugely depressing.
(5) Saturdays were working days. Working 9 to 6 everyday took its toll on me and with only a Sunday in hand, I was not able to see a lot of Kolkata.
IF: How do you think this internship has helped you grow? In other words, what are your key takeaways from the internship?
AL: The internship helped me grow personally. Academically, I learnt about fabrication and a lot about the possible problems in road projects. Personally, I learnt that going for higher studies is a better option than going for a job in Construction Company.
IF: 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?
AL: Yes, to be truthful this internship left a really big impact on me. It changed the way I used to think about jobs. It made me really adamant to go for an M-Tech course after my B-tech.
IF: Lastly, do you have any words of advice or caution for students aspiring for this internship and reading this piece?
AL: I would suggest everyone to weigh their options before choosing anything. Since I had only one option, I had to go for it. But always try for some academic internship first because the scope of learning there is a lot. Although this will be a disadvantage during your company interviews.
The bottom line is this: If you wish to go for higher studies, then academic internships are better. If you wish to go for a job, company internships are better.
Although I know many of my friends who were not allowed and given permission to work and do projects inside companies because of the ignorance and secrecy of the company. When they presented their work later during class, they were presenting some other person’s work. This didn’t happen with me, but you have to consider this before taking any decision.
We would like to thank Akshay for such an honest interview. This will help our readers to understand the importance of weighing your options on different parameters. We would like to wish Akshay all the very best for his future endeavors.