If you are looking to intern in Hong Kong next and have similar experience as Paras, who is with us today, now is the good time to start applying. Read on to know more details shared by Paras on his internship at Hong Kong.
InternFeel (IF): Please tell us something about yourself. Where are you studying currently? What are your hobbies and interests?
Paras Garg (PG): I am Paras, currently doing my bachelor’s with major in mechanical engineering at IIT Ropar. I am in final year of my studies.
IF: Tell us something about your internship including stipend, duration and place?
PG: I did my summer internship at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), in advanced manufacturing lab under industrial and logistics management department (IELM). The process is simple, you got to be clear about your research area, search for right professor and contact him. Once you have his approval, ask him to help you get in touch with international students office at HKUST. Particularly, the School of Engineering (SENG) has its international student internships in which they pay you Hong Kong Dollars 20,000. For this you got to do 2 months of minimum internship, the stipend is on per day basis. So longer you can work, more the money you will get giving you leverage to spend more.
This is sufficient to cover expenses of living, food, return air travel and moderate bit of travelling within HK.
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?
PG: It basically depends on your research profile and your ability to convey it to the professor through your resume and e-mails that you are eager to work with him as a research student and can contribute. Funding available with the school is sufficient and there is no upper bar on number of selections. HKUST hosts lot of research students all across the globe. So it’s competitive, but if you can choose a mentor, you are definitely through with the funds.
IF: Could you please highlight the work/research you carried out during your internship period?
PG: My work was mostly computational. I was building a CAD software which can approximate a given complex surface into piece-wise continuous developable surface which will help manufacture complex architectural designs
IF: Can you give us interesting details about your experience – good and bad?
PG: For me it was a bit to hiccups initially, I was supposed to send a DD for registration fee which was misplaced by courier guys. It delayed my process a bit; but nevertheless admission office was very helpful and helped me get all the documentation and visa in time. So the start was bit rocky. But once there, it was incredible experience.
The best thing about it is their work culture which offers a lot to learn from and the atmosphere with the campus. I met 8 new Indian friends and made 15+ friends all across France, USA, Iran, Vietnam and Italy. We went to many amazing hikes & beaches together. We enjoyed & partied together in the night, singing and dancing to remixes of different types of music. Even my professor was so chill, he took me for kayaking off shore to see various untouched and beautiful island that lie across the university. Hong Kong is an amazing place with nature’s treasures and human marvels present in perfect symphony.
IF: How do you think this internship has helped you grow? In other words, what are your key takeaways from the internship?
PG: Internship project first of all was bit challenging and made me exercise my brain and fight with it. It gave me an opportunity to think, learn and implement. The satisfaction of completing the project in time was a good feel. Friends I made and experience I shared with them was the biggest take away I will say. Definitely this internship broadened my academic horizons and enriched my personal life.
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?
PG: Not much, but I can tell this that it made me realize that a career in research is the one worth considering. I had always thought to do a MBA because of my inclination towards extra circulars during my course of study, but now this has given me a hint that if down the line I realize that MBA is not my cup of tea, then research can be one. It has diversified my career options.
IF: Lastly, do you have any words of advice or caution for students aspiring for this internship and reading this piece?
PG: As you competing globally to secure a research assistant position, start early. Mid October would be perfect. Request your professor, to deduct the hostel fees and other registration related fees from the stipend. This will save you bucks and tension of making and posting the DDs (if at all prefer credit card option). Plus, if you are a veggie, don’t worry much, you get decent (~8%) veg dishes in the list. Do pack in lot of ready to eat stuffs and get hands on cooking in microwave. You will get veggies, rice, oats etc. from the supermarket.
We’d like to thank Paras for in-depth and insightful interview!