DAAD Wise Summer Internship Program Experience by Raman(IIIT Allahabad)

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InternFeel ID: IF15032


123InternFeel: Hello Raman, pleasure to meet you. Please tell us about yourself. What makes you different?
Raman: I am a final year student pursuing Information Technology at IIIT Allahabad. I am from Hanumangarh, Rajasthan. My areas of interest are Data Mining, Secure Engineering, AI, Retrieval Mobile and Information Software Engineering. Currently having a CGPA of 9.63. I love programming and algorithmic puzzles. I believe that I am good public speaker and team leader. My hobbies are drumming, watching TV Series, playing badminton and traveling.

IF: Which internship you got the chance to take? What is it all about? Stipend, duration, place? What other internships you got selected?
Raman: I was selected for DAAD WISE internship to pursue Summer Research Internship at Fraunhofer SIT, Darmstadt, Germany. It is a scholarship program which provides funding to a B.Tech 3rd and 3rd/4th year of an integrated course to pursue a research internship in any Public German University for a minimum duration of 60 days and a maximum of 90 days (Roughly 150 students were selected last year). For this applicant must have one letter of invitation from the host German professor under whom he/she wants to work. DAAD offers stipend on daily basis (21.7€/day – including Saturday and Sunday i.e. 650€/month), air fare of 550€ and a compulsory health insurance. Visa Fees is exempted for DAAD Applicants. I was also selected for S N Bose scholars program to pursue Summer Research Internship at University of Wisconsin, Madison. It is a scholarship program which provides funding to Indian students to do 8-10 week research at US Institutions. You don’t need any formal invitation as in case of DAAD, mostly they will tell you which professor is interested in you. Regarding the stipend a total of 2000$ is given plus airfare and accommodation at some universities. Visa Fees is to be paid by yourself.

IF: How you came to know about the internships? To what all sources you kept yourself connected?
Raman: Actually, I came to know about DAAD WISE from my college professor and also websites like Internshala.
Regarding SN Bose I came to know about it from Internshala website and previous scholars. There is a group Internships Abroad (UTKARSH) on facebook, people should get connected to this as well.

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

Raman: For DAAD WISE you should be in 3rd year for a 4 year course and in 4th year for an integrated course. Firstly and most importantly, you need to get formal invitation from a German Professor. CGPA should be greater than 8.5 and your college should be eligible for DAAD WISE program. One can check all these
information at DAAD Delhi website. For SN Bose you can’t be in final year of your course, B.Tech, M.Tech and any
other equivalent course is allowed. Generally pre-final year students are encouraged to apply. The only condition is you need to be in Top 2 of your department to apply for SN Bose. In case, Top 2 is not applying then next
students can get chance and so on.
IF: Let’s talk about how competitive is the selection process in both the internships. 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?
Raman: Firstly I believe having a high CGPA gave me an edge over it. Then having done some research projects in collaboration with my college professor was an advantage. I was pretty sure what research project I want to do and that helped me formulate a good Statement of Purpose. In DAAD the most important thing is CGPA which generally serves as a cut-off criteria further they see your Letter of Motivation and the Letter of Recommendation. In SN Bose CGPA is not much important later but as only Top 2 of the department are allowed to apply then in the initial phase itself CGPA shows its importance. Mainly they focus on your Statement of Purpose and your research background,
also if any professor is willing to take you at US Institutions.

IF: About when you got the news for the selection? How was the celebration?
Raman: To be frank I was pretty confident about my selection in DAAD WISE. I got the good news in the second week of January 2014. I informed my parents, friends and loved ones. Everybody got surprised and happy because this was going to be my first foreign trip. For SN Bose I was not really expecting the selection because they generally
select students from IIT’s only. But I got the mail in the first week of March that I have been selected for SN Bose too. Celebration was not big this time as I was confused what to choose.

IF: What all preparations you did (academic/otherwise) after the results in view of the internship?
Raman: I already had passport. I would like to advice juniors that be ready with the passport till December otherwise it can cause problems. The biggest problem was to find the accommodation in Darmstadt. Rents were too high. I tried so hard about 3 months and only then was able to find a room. I also made one International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which helped me in getting discounts in many places in Germany and in other parts of Europe during my trip. I booked the flight tickets in the January itself as later prices go high. VISA process was smooth and no fees has to be paid by DAAD scholars. On the academic note, my PhD supervisor gave me some research papers and tutorials to read and implement, I had to do them along with my busy sixth semester study.

IF: So Raman, could you please highlight us with what work/research project you carried outduring the internship period? It’s application in near future and your work in it?
Raman: My project was “To add countermeasures against dynamic analyses into an obfuscation and hardening tool for Android apps”. It can be detected if mobile apps are running on a real device or being debugged, this can be a
security threat to apps containing important information. The task was to Instrument the android apps by for evading runtime analysis by adding techniques such as emulator detection, JDB detection and GDB detection. I
worked independently on this project. They will use this tool for further research in the security domain for mobile apps.

IF: What was the best thing about the work culture and the internship? What
all things you liked there?
Raman: The first thing is the superb research atmosphere at Fraunhofer SIT, Fraunhofer is Europe’s Largest Research Group so one can expect to get such research atmosphere there. Everybody was helping and supportive. My guide’s PhD supervisor helped me a lot during initial phase to make me familiar regarding the project work. Professionalism you can see in their day to day working which was the best thing to experience. There were talk sessions on various security topics and it was fun to be part of them.

IF: Were there any special events during the internships?
Raman: Yes, DAAD organizes a meet for all the interns during June every year. This year it was from 25th June to 28th June and was in Berlin. During the meet I got a chance to meet other interns, enjoyed Indian Food at Indian Embassy after such a long time, FIFA World Cup fever was in the air, we enjoyed Germany v/s USA match at a public stadium that too in rain. In short, these three days were best part of Internship because of the fun it brought.

IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support you received from the intern institute’s administration.
Raman: My guide and his PhD supervisors were very supportive, starting from making me familiar with the working of Soot/Jimple, they guided throughout my Internship period, during my final presentation they told me what can be done in future with the work I have delivered.
The administration was also very supportive. They helped me in providing me a Laptop, Transponder, forwarding the bank details to DAAD etc. We occasionally went for Lunch together at Mensa.

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?
Raman: The first thing is selection, for that you need to mail a lot of professors, get acceptance and then complete a lengthy process of submitting docs, after selection DAAD takes care of all the things except ACCOMMODATION. This was the biggest problem I faced, I tried very hard to find an accommodation in my budget which almost lead to cancelling of my visit to Darmstadt. Also Germany is pretty safe especially regarding for girls. Getting VISA for Germany is quite easy. So, just focus on your Letter of Motivation, and getting acceptance from the professor. Accommodation you may get late but everybody got accommodation somewhere or the other.

IF: Anything you would like to tell us please. Feel free to share any interesting thing that happened.
Raman: There were lot of interesting things that happened, the best among them was traveling to different countries, and we travelled many countries during weekends which was great fun. Europe is well connected with trains and one can easily travel nearby countries. One incident I feel like sharing is helping nature of Germans, when I first arrived in Reinheim where my apartment was, I searched for more than an hour but couldn’t find the street “Am Wembach”, even the local people didn’t know. Devastated and frustrated I loosed all hope, then suddenly a magical lady appeared on bicycle, she didn’t even know English properly but checking the address on the slip she herself went to nearby streets for finding it and after about 10 minutes she came back and showed me the way to my apartment. This was my first day in Germany and I was overwhelmed with her helping nature. After that I encountered this helping nature so many times in random strangers.

IF: To which all people you would, like to thank in context of this internship?
Raman: I would like to thank my parents for always being on my side, my professors, my friends and DAAD for providing me this opportunity.

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?
Raman: This internship has changed me drastically, I am now a more confident individual and have developed a more professional style of working. Also it was amazing experience for me to have a glimpse of different cultures in such culturally rich cities of Europe.

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.
Raman: Regarding foreign/Indian research internships do keep a check on various programs posted by EduInfo and other Facebook groups, and apply to them well before the last dates. Regarding Industrial internships you need to prepare well all your core subjects and not just your research interests and wait for the right opportunity to crack
it. All the best!
Don’t get disheartened if you have a low CGPA, it is just a number you can always e-mail the professors stating your previous works and they may provide you Stipend themselves from their Research grants.

IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how much impact this
internship will have on it?
Raman: This internship showed me path towards research, made me more research oriented, firming my mind to pursue Research as a career but before that I want to get some industrial exposure too.

IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be? Any suggestions for improvement?
Raman: It is a great initiative, infact I also read previous DAAD scholars interviews before my internship, this information is generally not available anywhere else and InternFeel helps in providing it.

So Raman, 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 endeavors.
Raman: Thank you so much, it was great sharing my experiences

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