Guneet: I am Guneet SinghMehta,currently pursuing B.Tech in Electrical Engineering
at IIT, Jodhpur. I am currently in the final year of my degree. Apart from academics, I am an active sportsman (got interested in sports after coming to IITJ). I enjoy swimming, long distance running, skating and occasional LAN gaming with my friends.
IF: Which internship you got the chance to take? What is it all about? Stipend, duration, place?
Guneet: I got selected for S N Bose Scholar’s Program. It is one of the well-structured program for engineering internships at universities in USA. Although this program has just been introduced 2-3 years back, it is one of the most sought after ones too. Once the students are selected, they are asked for their preferred
mentors in their preferred university. This program is fully funded i.e. Pageit takes care of your return flight ticket, travel and health insurance, accommodation and $2000 stipend. My place of work was University
of Wisconsin, Madison
IF: How you came to know about the internship? To what all sources you kept yourself connected?
Guneet: I had been tracking this particular program since its inception.Also I had some seniors who had got selected the year before me. Their advice and guidance helped me a lot. Apart from this, I regularly visited websites like Internshala and Internghar. As for the details, I also read experiences of people who did
internship in particular universities, on InternFeel.
IF: Tell us on the procedure to apply for the internship. Who all are eligible to apply for this internship?
Guneet: The procedure was simple. The candidate has to fill in a form with basic details, a statement of purpose, past research interests, Grade sheet, 2 letters of recommendation and the most recent official
transcript. In 2014, S N Bose Program typically allowed only the top 2 rankers of each stream in a particular institute. But now, this condition has been relaxed, students who don’t satisfy this criteria can also apply.
PageIt is thought by many that while applying for internships CGPA is the most important criteria, in my opinion it is not. Your research interests your statement of purpose also matter a lot
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?
Guneet: I guess most of the people in IITs apply for S N Bose Program, not to mention the condition of top two students, so yes the selection procedure is pretty competitive. I had a directed profile towards my research interests, I had earlier done an internship in the same field, which I think helped my cause.
Although CGPA is not the sole criteria, but having a good CGPA does help you to get noticed. I had a CGPA of 9.90,which might have highlighted my application. Apart from academics, having research publications also contributes a lot. Although, it is not expected from a B.Tech student to have a research paper, but if the applicant happens to have one (or more), it surely is a big plus. The statement of purpose is also another important in the selection procedure.
IF: About when you got the news for the selection? How was the celebration?
Guneet: It was a pleasant surprise for me to get an email from the program officials. My parents were ecstatic, especially my mother. For the next two days, I kept the news under wraps from my friends, which I spent trying to figure out a way to finance a party for my friends, who have been pillars of support for me.
IF: What all preparations you did after the results in view of the internship?
Guneet: The first thing I did after my selection was to get in touch with my mentor and started the groundwork for my internship. All the other logistics and formalities were handled by the Program officials, who
were extremely courteous and professional. Apart from the boring stuff, I got in touch with my fellow internees on
Facebook, chalked out plans for weekends, started exploring the university through google maps, and most important of all, started learning how to cook.
IF: So Guneet, 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?
Guneet: My work during internship involved application of Image Processing in detection of stages of cancer. My part was to extract the fibre structures from tissue images and to create a Graphical User Interface for the same, Fibre analysis is useful in the analysis of collagen structure around the cells which basically gives the information about the cell microenvironment. Any change in the anatomy is reflected in the cell microenvironment. Its major application is in studying how the tumour progresses and what causes a cancer cell to migrate to other parts of thebody.
IF: What was the best thing about the work culture and the internship? What all things you liked there?
Guneet: The best thing about my experience there was the superb research atmosphere which I got in UW Madison. All the people whom I interacted with were very friendly and courteous. One other thing that impressed me was the interdisciplinary approach of research, the emphasis is more on results rather than method.
IF: Were there any special events during the internships?
Guneet: We had biweekly seminars in which all the scholars presented their ongoing work. Apart from this we also had an orientation event and a luncheon towards the second last week of internship in which all the scholars along with their mentors were invited.
IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support you received from University of Wisconsin’s administration.
Guneet: My guide helped me get the proper knowledge and build the foundation for the project since the project involved understanding some medical terminology as well. He provided me with relevant literatures and softwares required for the project. The university organized special events for us like orientation and luncheons, biweekly seminar and talks. As far as logistics are concerned, we were provided with very comfortable hostel rooms with
all amenities required.
IF: Let’s now talk about some negatives. What problems you or your friends faced, regards to the internship, which your juniors may be able to avoid?
Guneet: The major issue is selection, after which all things are very smooth. As for the application, emphasis should be given to Statement of Purpose and Recommendation letter. CGPA is just a number, it doesn’t reflect the person you are. Be expressive in SOP an Recommendation letter and be original.As for people applying for US Visa, I would say be prepared, the consulate officer is not there to check your documents but to judge you as a person. Prepare yourself for the interview, don’t think that you need to only answer the questions asked, be more thoughtful and try to reply for the question you anticipate next, because the visa officer has to interview a lot of people other than you.
IF: Anything you would like to tell us please. Feel free to share any
interesting thing that happened.
Guneet: Well the most interesting thing that I recall was our trip to Chicago, which is just 4 hour drive from Madison. We had booked a hotel for our one night stay at Chicago, but on our way to the hotel, we thought of confirming the booking before reaching there. To our surprise, they didn’t honour our booking (there was a glitch somewhere in online booking). Being the usual “Jugadu” Indians, we decided that the waiting room chairs seemed more inviting than finding new hotel. But we got to know the station closes at 1 am, after which we got to know there was another station that remained open till 3 am. In the midst of all this, someone’s parents made a booking in a nearby hotel (one of the most expensive ones), costing 2 people as much as we would have paid for all 7, had our bookings been honoured.Someone remembered an old chronicle of one of the seniors, how they paid for 2 people and accommodated 4 in the same room. We got to know there were actually two rooms (One bedroom and another hall), so we sneaked one by one in the room and the funny thing is no one bothered to check. So in the same cost we all stayed in Downtown Chicago in a spectacular room with view of streets (Full Paisa Vasool).
IF: Was this your first internship?
IF: It would help the readers if you could bring a comparison among your two different experiences.
Guneet: I had done an internship in IIT Roorkee the year before I gotselected in S N Bose Program. The logistics of my internship at IIT Roorkee were by and large handled by myself, compared to S N Bose Program where there were no such hassles. As far as learning is concerned I think I learned more in the latter internship be it core or non-core stuff, but an additional year of knowledge and some maturity may also be the cause.
IF: To which all people you would, like to thank in context of this
Guneet: I am grateful to my parents for their continuous support in my endeavour , S N Bose program officials for making this experience such a wonderful one and most of all my B Team buddies in my institute for
their motivation and support, it wouldn’t have been possible without them.
IF: How much difference this period of 2 months made in your
intellectual capabilities and mind-set. In broad terms what are your
gains from this?
Guneet: I have grown both academically as well as professionally after this experience. Professionalism, is one thing you invariably are imbued in, while working in such institutes. Before my internship, I was not among the people who would start a conversation with a complete stranger, but this experience helped me to overcome the
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.
Guneet: One thing I learned is, the mentors not only expect the students to just do mechanical work or programming they also expect internees to think outside the box, bring in a new perspective for their
research. Also the focus should also be to interact with researchers, learn from their mistakes.
IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how muchimpact this internship will have on it?
Guneet: This internship has made me more research oriented and I would like to pursue the same as my career.
IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be? Any suggestions for improvement?
Guneet: Before I left for my internship I did read all the experiences of international internees at InternFeel to prepare myself for the stay and travel. It also gives you a good idea about the opportunities that might be overlooked.
IF: So Guneet, we are at the end of the interview. From the entire team of InternFeel, we thank you for sharing your experiences with us, for everyone and we wish you best of luck for all your future
Guneet: Thank you. I really appreciate your initiative for documenting the experiences for the benefit of other students.
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