“Airbus and EADS believe that an engaging problem and the right environment is all it takes to get the best out of any intern”

AECI(Airbus Engineering Centre India)/EADS – Innovation Woks India (IW) internship programme is one among the most sought after internships  on Internshala and in the premium campuses as well. AECI, with its recently set up operation in India and small size team,  is now looking to give shape to its still nascent internship programme in the near future. Internshala had an opportunity to engage in a one on one conversation with the HR Manager of AECI India, Shishir Kumar. Read further to find out what he has to say about the AECI  and EADS internships. 

IS: Could you give us an overview about the internship programme, mainly regarding the time you hire, the colleges you hire from and the assessment mechanism if any?

Shishir: AECI is a fairly new company in India and the total team size is about 250 people and we are still putting together a structured internship programme. Also, AECI and EADS IW internship programs have different focus. While AECI is primarily an engineering company, EADS IW focuses more on research and the internship programmes also are different accordingly.  So far, there has not been a specific time frame for hiring. In last 12 months we have hired two times, in October and in March, both the times through Internshala.

As of now AECI hires only from IITs and NITs and is likely to continue that way since the students have already proved their mettle bye clearing very competitive entrance exams like JEE. But on the other hand EADS IW is opening up to other colleges as well, and has already started the process by hiring two non-IITians through Internfair this summer.  AECI internships generally demand for higher duration (6-12 months) while for EADS we consider students who can stay for 2-3 months also. For the time being, at AECI we take in students who apply for internships for a three month period since that is what  most IIT students can afford. But in future, we would like to hire interns who can commit longer periods of time because the kind of work they do calls for that.

As our internship program takes shape, we expect hiring through competitions like Internfair to be a widely used selection mechanism.

IS: Based on our statistics, the EADS IW internship Programme seems to be high in demand. What, in your opinion, makes it stand apart from the rest of the industry?

Shishir: At AECI we make sure that interns are exposed towards actual work rather than dummy projects and we treat them similar to regular employees. There are no double standards shown towards interns on account of them being here for an internship and not for a job.

Interns are provided with exciting problems to work on and the necessary infrastructure that would aid him/her in solving it. Apart from what they have been assigned to do interns are facilitated to learn whatever they want, about Aeronautics.

The cornerstone of our internship policy is that provided the right environment and a problem that is engaging and interesting to them, interns work effectively.

IS: How do you think AECI benefits from facilitating internships? Do you have any mechanism in place to ensure that both intern and company profit from the internship?

Shishir: In every project there would be a lot of small but critical components involved.  In the past our interns have been assigned to work on those components which they have carried out very well. There has been a significant contribution from their part.

Also AECI and EADS IW are looking at internships as a mechanism to build a recruitment pipeline though we don’t have a formal mechanism in place for that yet.

IS: What should an intern expect to do at AECI? Do you have an organization-wide policy or is it left to the mentors?

Shishir: Again, EADS IW and AECI internships differ on this part. At AECI, interns can expect to be a part of an engineering project that is going on. EADS IW however asks its interns to work on individual research problems such as developing apps. The problem statement for Internfair can be taken as a miniature model of what interns should expect to do at EADS IW.

Certainly, it is not all work and no play. We do have regularly organized events at AECI to which, interns are also invited to make them feel at home. Expect free food coupons incentives and lot of fun.

IS: The EADS website features a well structured international internship programme. Does AECI play any part in that? Do you have interns from outside India working in the Bangalore office?

Shishir: EADS and Airbus  are well established companies worldwide and have been around for much longer than the Indian operations. They run well structured internship programmes where the annual intake is between 50-300 in some countries  AECI does not play any formal role in sending/recommending Indian students to those programs. Airbus  and EADS at a global level can accept international interns only if there is a proven scarcity of interns from the country in question. Hence it is difficult for a student from India to join our international internship programme

Similarly for our India office in Bangalore, we are able to meet our intern requirements through Indian students only and hence do not have international  students working with us here in Bangalore office.

IS: What would be your top 2 advices for students who are looking to bag an AECI internship?

Shishir: I would say first, convince us that you have a genuine interest in what you are applying for. Performing well in competitions of the kind conducted by Internshala could be a way of doing that. Also it is important to back up your interest with a sound theoretical knowledge in the subject matter of your study. In our case, it would be strong fundamentals in Mathematics and Physics that we look for.

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