Q1) In which course are you presently enrolled? Please tell us something about yourself- your interests and areas of specialization.
My name is T. Satish Kumar. I am a final year undergraduate student in Ceramic Engineering at National Institute of Technology, Rourkela. My hobbies are listening to songs,photography and other creative pursuits. I also like to solve puzzles and mathematical problems and enjoy working in robotics and automation.
Q2)Which internship did you opt for? Give us a few details-stipend, duration and location.
I got selected in Mitacs Globalink 2015. It is a programme which gives opportunity to pre-final year B.Tech students from 6 countries to do research internship in Canada during summer for at least 12 weeks. It covers all the expenditure including travel (on reimbursement basis), visa,accommodation, health insurance and a weekly allowance of 200 CAD. I interned at the Center for Optics, Photonics and Laser, Université Laval, Quebec (QC), Canada
Q3)How did you come to know about the internship? Which channels of information (Internet/ Personal/Corporate contacts etc) did you utilize?
Every year only a few people get this opportunity, I came to know about this in my 2nd year and since then I kept in touch with them. Also you can find out about such internships from the official websites and internship portals on social media. This year the last date for application is September 24, 2015.
Q4) Briefly describe the procedure for application. What are the eligibility criteria for this internship?
All the pre final year B.Tech students, left with two semesters of coursework post internship, and having a CGPA of 8 or more (for India) are eligible to apply. There is an online form, which you have to fill, indicating a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 projects of your choice from among the given options.
Q5)According to you,what are some common mistakes that you feel applicants should avoid in the internship application process?
While selecting the projects, students should opt for all the projects having a similar area and scope of work. This will be beneficial as they will be submitting a common Curriculum Vitae for all the projects.
Q6)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?
In this programme they forward the application to the professors for selection. What they forward to the professor is your CV, Grade card and Research rationale. So what I believe is apart from CGPA your CV and Research rationale matters. One of my friends with 8.11 CGPA got the internship, so don’t lose hope and prepare the CV and Research rationale well.
Q7) What kind of groundwork did you do post-selection and before beginning the internship?
After getting selected for the internship, first you have to accept the internship online within the deadline. I got a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from my institute, required for both Mitacs and Visa. Then I filled some more required forms on the Mitacs website. Around mid-April Mitacs provided the documents required for Visa. After getting that I booked the ticket and applied for Work permit/Visa.
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.
My project was on Development of New Composite Optical Fibers for Multi-functional Applications in Optics and Photonics. I prepared optical fiber using a new technique for getting low core to clad ratio. In near future it will be of use as by using this method the number of iterations/steps is reduced compared to the traditional method.
Q9)What was the best feature of the work ethic of the organization and the internship? What was it that you liked about your workplace?
I liked the work culture and timings there. People care about their laboratories and their work. Also people there are more independent. I like the lifestyle of India and the work culture of Canada.
Q10)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)
Yes, there were many events. We had mentors, each having around 6 interns under them. Mentors organised two social events within that period, and we also had online webinars by Mitacs. Events may be industrial or university visits, dinners depending on the department you are in. Every week there was one event hosted by the hostel authorities.
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?
There weren’t many difficulties.There might be some issues related to diet and time zones. Depending on the place in Canada, it is around 8-12 hours behind IST, so in the beginning you may face jet lag. For the vegetarians it would be difficult and they might have to cook for themselves. Also non-vegetarians must check the variety of meat they are being served.
Q12)Was this your first internship / training? If not, what do you think was unique about this internship?
Yes, it was my first internship.
Q13)How much difference has this internship period made in your intellectual capabilities and mindset. In broad terms what are your gains and takeaways?
This internship gave me really great exposure to the work culture abroad. As it was a research internship, I came to know about all the avenues open to me with a degree in Ceramics and gained an in depth perspective of my subject
Q14) Any advice for juniors that can help them in getting internships in future and for deriving the best learning experience out of it?
Whichever internship they might be applying for, the Statement of Purpose (or Research rationale) should be well written and organised. Also, if one is interested in higher studies then one should opt for a research internship in a lab or university rather than going for Industrial training.
Q15)What are your future plans and how much of an impact do you think this internship will have on it?
I have two options in mind- Going abroad for further specialized studies or a start-up, which will help move the society forward. So I will be joining a job in order to make an informed decision
Q16)Any views about this initiative of InternFeel,and how beneficial it would be? Any suggestions/feedback for improvement?
I think InternFeel is a good initiative through which students can come to know about various programmes and procedures to apply.