Internship Experience of Smriti, at IIT Bombay, Ekalavya Program

Smriti Thakur
InternFeel: Hello Smriti, pleasure to meet you. Please tell us about yourself. What makes you different?

Smriti: Hi!!I am a student of NIT Hamirpur of Computer science department. I am a fun-loving person who loves travelling. I love photography and my hobbies are reading novels, watching sitcoms as well as video editing. The characteristic that makes me different is my attitude towards life, no matter where I am, I am always optimistic and believe in defeating my enemies with success.

IF: Which internship did you get the chance to take? What is it all about? Stipend, duration, place?
Smriti: I did my internship in IIT Bombay as a part of Eklavya project which is coordinated by padamshree award winner Dr. Phatak. Students from Electronics and Computer Science can apply under eklavya project. The duration can range from 6-8 weeks. Stipend is dependent upon the no. of weeks spent i.e. 6000 for 6 weeks and 8000 for 8 weeks.

IF: How did you come to know about the internship? To what all sources you kept yourself connected?
Smriti: I had subscribed to Internshala which keeps you updated on the internships. Also, some of my seniors had told me about the eklavya project .

IF: Tell us on the procedure to apply for the internship. Who all are eligible to apply for this internship?

Smriti: Who can apply-
1. Students graduating in Computer Science/Engineering, IT, or Electronics.
2. Who will be completing 3rd year in April/May. Students completing 2nd year, with exceptional academic performance and other achievements may also be considered.
3. Students with experience in programming will be preferred.

All the people interested can apply online on http://ekalavya.it.iitb.ac.in .Usually the notification of internship comes in the month of January and application deadline is also late January. There are basically 2 ways of applying for the internship:

One is direct application from your college other is through software contribution quota. In both the ways, specifics and manner of the application are same. Just in software application quota you have to do a project for IITB and then you are selected.

IF: Let’s talk about how competitive is the selection process.
What qualities of yours, you believe helped you in having an edge over the selection process? What key things you feel were looked for by the selectors?

Smriti: All the work under the mission projects is released under Open Source. Consequently most of the tools and software environment used in Ekalavya R & D, are also from Open Source Software(OSS). Interns work on Ubuntu (a variant of Linux), and use Java, Python, MYSQL/Postgress, GCC, open source flash, android IDE and other such packages.

I already knew Ubuntu, GCC, mysql, java and my pre-knowledge about these languages helped me, as well as the previous projects I had done which one has to mention in the application form. All these factors coupled with a good CGPI and a good rank in your branch helps in your selection. The reputation and the rank of your college also helps in your selection.

IMG_2096IF: About when did you get the news for the selection? How were the celebrations kicked?
Smriti: I still remember I got the news of my selection on 14th February. I was thrilled and went out partying with my friends. My parents were also overjoyed on hearing this news.

IF: What all preparations you did (academic/otherwise) after the results in view of the internship?
Smriti: After the news of my selection, I rebrushed MYSQL, PHP and started to learn a little bit of python programming. I also tried my hand in android programming and thus was able to make a few basic apps.

IF: So Smriti, could you please highlight us what work/research project did you carry out during the internship period? Its application in near future and your work in it?
Smriti: I was working on the project ‘Interoperability between video and web conferencing’ under the guidance of Mr. Rahul Deshmukh of Team CDEEP. The project was more of a research based in nature where I studied about 2 protocols: SIP and RTMP and the gateway between them. The project was done with a hope to break away from the Flash Player’s restrictions, to allow interoperability between Flash applications and SIP network, and to allow Flash and Flex developers to build interesting new internet multimedia applications using the SIP technology.

IF: What was the best thing about the work culture and the internship? What all things did you like there?
Smriti: The best thing about the internship is the work culture in IIT Bombay. As the cream of the country is doing its internship there, so you get a chance to share ideas with brilliant as well as creative people. The mentors are distinguished in their fields and are patient with the student. Each week proper evaluation of the project was done so that student wasn’t pressurized. Of course, punctuality and sincerity are encouraged in the institute where students work in labs from 9 to 6 and sometimes even at night.

IF: Were there any special events during the internships
Smriti: One of the most encouraging aspect of the internship is the extra-curricular activities provided by Team CDEEP in IIT Bombay. Mr Rahul Deshmukh, the team co-ordinator organised 2 hackathons for interns. The first hackathon was Mozilla OS hackathon in which we were updated about Mozilla OS phones and learnt how to develop apps for the phone. Also, Wikimedia hackathon was organised in which knowledge about Wikipedia, Wikimedia commons was given to the interns. All in all, it was a great experience which gave a lot of exposure about the upcoming technologies to the interns.

IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support did you receive from IIT Bombay administration?
Smriti: My project guide was Mr. Harish Satpute who was a very patient and knowledgeable teacher. He had divided the whole project into different phases. For 2 weeks I studied about the project details thoroughly so that I could understand the working of SIP and RTMP thoroughly. Then we went to the implementation phase and at the end the future aspects. Also, if you work for Team CDEEP, even after the completion of project you can still work on future aspects from your college in collaboration with your mentors and can also work with them in IITB in vacations.

IF: Let’s now talk about some negatives.
What problems you or your friends faced, regarding the internship, which your juniors may be able to avoid?
Smriti: As there are many interns in for IIT Bombay Summer Internship, students may face problems of lodging especially girls because of existence of only 2 hostels. Girls should prefer hostel 10 as the food and lodging is good there. To avoid any problem, arrive at the campus 1-2 days before the start of internship.

IMG_2106IF: Whom all you would like to thank in context to this internship?
Smriti: I’d like to thank my group mates, Anushree Garg and Rakhi for the incredible support they provided as well as my mentor Mr Harish Satpute for bearing up with me and Mr Rahul Deshmukh who helped me in finding my own interests in sip and rtmp. I would also like to thank Dr. Phatak for providing us to work together and as a whole contribute to open source.

IF: How much difference this period of 2 months made in your intellectual capabilities and mindset. In broad terms what were your gains from this?

Smriti: I must say I learnt a lot during the internship. I was a mere beginner at the start. Learning so much in such a short period of time is commendable. I got to know about how protocols and codecs work, gateways, Mozilla OS, Wikimedia, network emulators and gained hell lot of experience on a personal level. And yup I got to visit Mumbai too…which is a damn rocking place .

IF: Advice for juniors? Which can help them in getting internships in their future college life and also advice for making the best out of it.

Smriti: Guys try to do as many projects as you can right from 1st year. Brush up on sql, php, python, java. Try to practically implement as many projects as you can. Also, try to keep your cgpi good in case u hope to get a masters degree from a good university. And yeah the most important part….no matter where you go…please…HAVE FUN!!! ‘Cause that is what college life is all about.

IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how much impact this internship will have on it?
Smriti: Most probably I’ll be working after completing my college. The industry like experience which this internship gave is certain to give me an edge in my professional life. The knowledge imparted will definitely help me along the way.

IF: Any views or comments about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be? Any suggestions for improvement?
Smriti: I think you guys are doing a really great job. I think, to really know about any subject, the first-hand account is necessary and that is what you are providing to the interns. Hope you succeed in your future endeavours.

mozillahackathonIF: Smriti it was so nice to know all about you and this. We agree you would have been busy with your academics. Even then you took out time for this. We thank you and wish you best of luck for all your future endeavours.
Smriti: Thanks a lot guys for inviting me for this interview. I hope it will be helpful for the interns. And guys keep up the good work.


To all Students: We wish to organise an online event to answer your queries regarding Charpak Program and Foreign Internships. If you are interested please comment at this link. 

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