Meet Pooja Das Sharma – A final year undergraduate student, pursuing B.Tech inElectrical Engineering from NIT Durgapur. She dreams to pursue research work inengineering leading to significant innovation for the benefit of mankind. Apart fromacademics, she is also the executive committee member of ISTE student’s chapter,NIT Durgapur. With hobbies of singing and painting, she is also interested in social service and is the Unit Leader of NSS unit of her college.
She was selected for the Indian Academy of Sciences Summer ResearchFellowship Programme 2013. Through this programme one can get exposure toresearch in one of the many CSIR labs, IITs, IISc and other research institutions.The duration of her intern was of 8 weeks and the stipend is Rs.7000/- per month.
So let’s know about her experiences…
InternFeel: How you came to know about the internship? Generally what was your way of being in touch with the mediato get the information about the various internships?
[su_box title=”Details”]For more details on this internship and to apply, visit Indian Academy of Sciences internship on EduInfo click here [/su_box]
Pooja: I came to know about IAS internship initially from my seniors at college. Apart from this I kept a track of various internships and their application dates through Internshala website.
IF: How much competitive is the selection process? What things you feel are looked for in the applicant by the selectors?
Pooja: The selection process is quite competitive. According to me, I feel that the selectors give importance to the write-up (brief project proposal or what we want to learn from the internship). The project proposal should be such that it is feasible in India. Apart from this the overall academic record, recommendation from teacher and any previous projects also give an edge over the fellow competitors.
IF: What qualities of yours – educational / otherwise, you feel helped you in having an edge over the selection process?
Pooja: I had done a research project after my second year too. So, I mentioned about it briefly in my application form. Apart from this my project proposal was on renewable energy which is very much in demand these days.
IF: Approximately when you got the news for the selection? How was the celebration?
Pooja: The list of selected candidates was out in March probably. The celebration was more of a pocket ripping ceremony with treats.
IF: What all preparations you did (academic/otherwise) before joining and after the results?
Pooja: Luckily I was allotted a guide at CMERI Durgapur which is located very near to NIT. So, after the result Icontacted my guide personally and discussed about the project I would be working on. He told me the prerequisites and I prepared accordingly.
IF: Any common mistakes which you feel students should avoid while searching and applying for internships?
Pooja: I feel that students should apply for internships with an aim of learning something new. Moreover I would suggest peopleto apply for research intern only if they are genuinely interested in research.
IF: So Pooja, 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?
Pooja: The project proposal which I submitted with the IAS application was on renewable energy, but after contacting myguide personally I came to learn about their ongoing project on Speed Control of Induction motor. So, when my guide asked if I was interested to work on Speed control I agreed to it. The project was to design the various circuits for the controller and this can be used in future for electric vehicle applications.
IF: What was the best thing about the work culture and the internship? What all things you liked there?
Pooja: My guide and the other scientists and students of CMERI were very supportive. I was given the freedom to work in my own way. There was not much of stress. I was given all the hardware components required for the project and it did not matter much even when I burnt a few components. Apart from work, hostel life was fun too. I made a whole new set of friends from different institutes across the country. We enjoyed a lot after office and also went on trips to nearby places during weekends,
IF: What problems you or your friends faced, during the internship, which your juniors may be able to avoid? Any safety issues for girls, which generally all parents fear about? Food and accommodation?
Pooja: As for me I did not face much problem during the internship, but some of my friends from South India faced problem adjusting with the food in the mess and canteen. Durgapur is quite a safe city. I have been living here since the last 3 years and I feel safe here. Accommodation at CMERI is very good. Two students are given one flat in sharing basis. The flat has two single rooms, a kitchen, balcony and washroom. Food in mess is also manageable.
IF: As with almost everything, what were the cons of the internship? The elements which you felt, if wasn’t there could have made this internship super awesome?
One major disadvantage of working at CMERI is that the hostel is located about 2 km away from the Institute and the transport facilityin that area is not very good. So, the Institute arranged a bus which would pick us up from hostel at 9.30am and drop us back at 6 pm. But if someone missed the bus then the person had to walk all the way. So, we were forced to wrap up all our work by 6 pm every day.
IF: Was this your first internship?
Pooja: No, this wasn’t my first internship. Last year also I had worked at CMERI with another project.
IF: It would help the readers and other aspirants if you could bring a comparison among your two different experiences.
Pooja: As both my internships were in CMERI itself, there is no comparison regarding location. However, my 3rd year project work was more challenging than my previous one.
IF: Were there any special events during the internships which you would like to share?
Pooja: We had a two-day industrial visit to Mejia Thermal Power Station organised by the Director of CMERI during the internship period. Though the visit was short it was very informative.During weekends I usually went out to City centre and Benachity for shopping with friends. Also, we made a short trip to Durgapur barrage on one weekend and had a lot of fun over there.
IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support you received from CSIR – CMERI administration.
Pooja: My guide told me my problem statement and the prerequisites for the project. After that I did the project on my own.Whenever I got stuck in something I used to take help from anyone available in the lab.
IF: Any special experience which you had during this period, which you would like to share with us.
Pooja: There was a cultural night in hostel one day wherein the students performed songs and dances. We got to interact with the trainee scientists of the Institute that day and learnt about their life at CMERI.
IF: To whom all people you would, like to thank in context of this internship?
Pooja: I would like to thank my guide for giving me a real life project topic to work on and the other fellow scientists and students of the Drives and Control lab of CMERI, Durgapur for their constant support throughout the internship period. I would also like to thank the HRD Department of CMERI for managing all the conversations with the Academy. I also thank the Science Academies for giving me an opportunity to pursue summer research project. I thank all the faculty members of the Electrical Engineering Department of NIT Durgapur. During the internship period I met many students from other Institutes and I wish to extend my warmest thanks to all of them for making the experience really memorable. Finally, I thank my family for their constant encouragement.
IF: How much difference this period of 8 weeks made in your intellectual capabilities and mindset. In broad terms what are your gains from this?
Pooja: After the completion of this project I feel very confident to try out new things on my own. I have learnt a lot about many practical issues which I could not learn just from classroom teaching.
IF: What advice you would like to give to your juniors, which can help them in getting internships in their future college life.
Pooja: I would suggest them to be aware about the different internship options available through websites or friends or other contacts and apply to places which interest you the best.
IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how much impact this internship will have on it?
Pooja: After this internship I figured out that I have an affinity for research work and I can shine in this field. So, accordingly I will be appearing in campus placements for those companies which will be providing me with an opportunity of carrying out research and development.
IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be?
Pooja: This is a very good initiative by InternFeel. I think it will be beneficial to many students to know about their working conditions, accommodation, food and safety of the place beforehand. Moreover knowing the past experiences of students will enable them to decide whether they will be interested in such kind of work or not and they can apply accordingly to the internship of their choice.
IF: So Pooja, we are at the end of the interview. From the entire team of InternFeel, we thank you for taking out your time and sharing your experiences for everyone and we wish you best of luck for all your future endeavors.
Pooja: Thank you. It was my pleasure sharing my experiences with you.