Taha: Well, my name is Taha Sheikh. Product of KV No. 1 Bhopal. Currently pursuing B.Tech (final) majoring in mechanical engineering from ZHCET- Aligarh Muslim University. I’m among the toppers of my college with CGPA of 9.53.
Generally from technical perspective I like material science, thermodynamics, Automobiles, I.C. engines, manufacturing technology & apart from this I like travelling, surfing net, music , singing (though I’m terrible at it), cooking (I’m very good cook).
My determinant attitude and impatience to finish my work on time is what makes me different from others.
IF: Which internship you got the chance to take? What is it all about? Stipend, duration, place?
Taha: I applied for two internships. One was INSA summer research scholarship and SN bose scholarship.
I got selected in INSA and got CSIR-NML as my research institute and Dr. S Tarafder my mentor. This is India’s one the prestigious fellowships and students are placed in different CSIR labs, IITs, IISc and other govt. institutions for minimum 56 days. Under this I got to and fro travel allowance with 8000 INR per month as stipend.
The second was S.N. Bose. In this I couldn’t make to the final list but one of our university alumni saw my profile and offered me USA research fellowship at Youngstown state university Ohio.
Under this all my expenses were covered by them with a stipend of 1600$ for 2.5 months. So overall I got both national and international research fellowships. Luckily I did both internships as my Vice chancellor gave me official extension.
IF: How you came to know about the internship? To what all sources you kept yourself connected?
Taha: I was very active on various websites like Internshala, Eduinfo etc. so these all were the sources with which I was connected to.
IF: Tell us on the procedure to apply for the internship. Who all are eligible to apply for this internship?
Taha: Well, the procedure is not that complicated. For INSA you have to apply online. You are required to fill one letter of recommendation whose format is given by them. And then you have to send the complete application with relevant documents to mentioned address.
For S. N Bose download the form. One Sop, 2 LOR, resume is required.
Those students who are passionate about research and has good academic background with nice CGPA must go for these internships.
IF: Let’s talk about how competitive is the selection process.
Taha: The selection process is highly competitive in both the internships. First of all your CGPA must be very high with nice SOP. LORs are also one the important factor to get you in. thousands of applicants apply for these prestigious fellowships and only few of them get through.
IF: 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?
Taha: I think My CGPA helped me a lot. I have CGPA of 9.53. Also, I had some research papers (review) and some past research experience before applying. My hard working and determinant attitude which was reflecting through my achievements, SOP & strong academics with extracurricular activities gave me edge over others.
IF: About when you got the news for the selection? How was the celebration?
Taha: It was February 25 when I got a call from INSA. That was one the happiest moment of my life. After couple of days, my alumni informed me about USA research fellowship award that added more happiness. And then it was celebrated by partying with family, friends and my juniors.
IF: What all preparations you did after the results in view of the internship?
Taha: Well, I started revising theories related to my projects. When my university vice chancellor gave me further relaxation in academic session to carry on both internships I did some digging related to my both projects. Lastly I got busy with my packing having ecstasy and zeal to travel the world.
IF: So Taha, 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?
Taha: Going with the CSIR-NML one, I worked on Exfoliation of graphite to form graphene. It is project still running to implement graphene in super capacitor. In USA I worked on a project for US air force. It was sensors for drones.
Coming to the future perspective, both the research projects are still on their way for the implementation in real world. We got very good results and hope that world will soon see new revolution.
IF: What was the best thing about the work culture and the internship? What all things you liked there?
Taha: In India the culture of NML was very different from US. Here it was not that fascinating as in U.S. because though it was different sate but it was still INDIA. But the work culture was very friendly everyone was very helpful and supportive. Apart from intense research we had some good time like singing with my mentor (ha ha 😀 )
Talking about USA yes it was all different. New culture, new people and everything from wind to land everything was fascinating. The work culture in lab was very good. All were very polite with great hospitality. It was one of the best experiences I ever had.
Taha: Well though it was not related to my internship but, I went with my new friends to explore some new places because of curiosity. Like I went to Niagara fall (it was like I was dreaming, very beautiful), some downtown festival was very cool and entertaining.
IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support you received from both places’ administration.
Taha: My mentor was very supportive in nature. He didn’t push me hard to mug all time in my lab. He was very cooperative, friendly and very intelligent guy. I was being supported by all means from all places and by every person.
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?
Taha: First of all I would like to suggest that before applying you must know what you are applying for. You should not apply to anything blindly. First find your interest and then go for application process. This is an important factor which will give you a shot. SOP is very important so please take as much time you can take in writing it. Ask for LOR from those whom with you are very well acquainted. Now talking post internship, in INSA food and accommodation will be provided by them so, no need to worry. But, in USA you have to struggle with your food. You have to manage your own food and this is a bit problematic because we guys are not used to of American food.
IF: Anything you would like to tell us please. Feel free to share any interesting thing that happened.
Taha: I know this will sound quite strange but, be careful regarding the weight of your luggage if you are going abroad for internship(especially for the first timer like me.). Apart from this I didn’t encounter any other difficulties.
IF: Have you done any internship/training before? It would help the readers if you could bring a comparison among your two different experiences.
Taha: Well I didn’t work before but, I did two different internships in same year. One INSA fellowship at CSIR-NML and other US research fellowship at YSU ohio. Both of them were totally different form each other in context of work load, culture and projects. Here at NML it was a bit strict than US. I’ve already explained about my projects in earlier segment.
Overall the experience was great at both the places.
IF: To which all people you would, like to thank in context of this internship?
Taha: I would like to thank first almighty GOD then my family. I don’t think without these two I could have done this, special thanks to AMAN and SAMEER my best friends. My seniors for their guidance (DANISH Javed & Baqir Ali Alvi) love and support of my juniors I must mention them (DANISH, KHALID, SHADAB and MOJAHID). All of them were very supportive for me and were there for me whenever I needed them all.
IF: How much difference this period of 2 months made in your intellectual capabilities and mindset. In broad terms what are your gains from this?
Taha: First of all I lived this period because it’s USA – A dream country of almost every one. Indeed there are differences in my academic as well as to my persona after this period. It changed the way I used to think about research. The exposure brought some changes to my intellect and yes I have been benefited by this. I saw different education system and adopted the positive side of it. And I’m looking forward to see the implementation into our system that will let it to achieve new heights.
Taha: The most important is that be sure about your choice, whether you want to be a researcher or you want to explore the industrial side. After that before applying blindly, go through the internship details like what it is about, will you be benefited in your future career or not. Please just don’t play blind because, your choice will play an important role in your selection. And lastly choose those projects whose demands matches with your interests.
IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how much impact this internship will have on it?
Taha: Well I’m a short term planner and hence I’m focusing on my GATE exam and placements. After couple of years I have plans to go for higher education from GERMANY. This internship has explored my interest and enlightens the path of my career.
IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel and how beneficial it would be?
Taha: I would like to congratulate InternFeel because I know how hard it is to get an internship and your initiative is like boon to students who don’t have access to different sources of internships. Also the shared experience of previous interns helps students to know which internship matches their interests.
This is great work. Keep it up guys.
IF: Taha it was so nice to know all about 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 endeavors.
Taha: Pleasure is all mine. Thank you very much.
Have you done internship / training? Please Share your experience . It won’t take more than a hour but will help 1000s!
JOIN Facebook group and stay connected. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Internfeel/