Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. Dania is pursuing Chemical Engineering and shares her wonderful experience of internship days.
There comes a time in the life of an Engineering student which is more difficult to face than the thought of your crush not liking you.
You grapple with the situation and put in the fight of your life to reach a conclusion. You may be dribbling the ball in the Basket Ball Court, but sub-consciously, you are deciding the title of your next degree: M.S. or M.B.A.!
Having interned at IIM- A the last summer (2014), I was almost certain that Marketing is the field for me. The skills acquired in engineering plus the creativity would help me be at a place where I would love to work. Somehow, I could not convince myself to forget the fascination of my teenage: Invention. It need not be a gigantic thing like an amazing rocket launcher, I would be happy being a geek working in the Chemical Labs and learning new chemical structures everyday. The inner war between MBA and MS was more pronounced than ever before. In my third year, either a student was preparing for CAT or for GRE and in the rarest of cases, both. I joined TIME too, in peer pressure.
The December of 2014, I decided to give myself a chance to realize my predilection. I decided to go for a fantastic research experience. If I truly love Science more than Marketing, I would strive for a career in the former. Hence, began the process of applying to foreign universities.
My C.V. presented a decent image of my interest in Science and Extra- Curricular Activities. Being a 9 pointer helped too. (Yeah, yeah , Don’t judge :P ). As luck may have it, I converted a few emails. The best one was undoubtedly an internship in the University of Pittsburgh in the field of Computational Chemistry and Engineering. I was interviewed on Skype and was asked to solve a few questions related to the curriculum, which were manageable. The interview went well and I was offered a position as a research intern.
The internship began on May 10, 2015 and went on till July 14, 2015. I had the time of my life working under a Greek professor, co-coordinating with a Ukrainian guide and teaming up with great American students. The hospitality of the place left me spell-bound and the work culture has made me a humbler person.
Addressing a professor by his first name and group presentations followed by coffee at Starbucks(Sponsored by the prof for the entire team) and working for 7 hours a day just to converge a calculation on Linux made me love my sojourn. I had never imagined that Science and Engineering could be THIS interesting! I would wake up at 7 every morning, reach the lab at 9 AM and continue to work till 4-5 PM just to bring amazing results for the ongoing research.
The place, the people and the stay has brought about a thousand minute changes in my persona which will stay forever. It has made me love Science all over again.
My internship’s goals were divided by the professor week-wise. Every week, I was supposed to finish a fixed set of calculations and analyze the results. In my free time, I took the liberty to explore the city and the main building of the University. You might be wondering how much time would it take to skirt through a building! Well, here’s the element of surprise: The Cathedral of Learning, which is the main building of PITT, is 33-floor tall. It is the TALLEST academic building in the whole wide world! The University dates back to 1787, and it has stood through the test of time.
I was so awed with this change that I can keep writing about the place and people incessantly!
On my last day in the lab, I was offered a greeting card signed by all the teammates and a farewell gift from the University. That’s not it. The Ukrainian guide even held a farewell Barbecue party at his place. We watched movies and discussed TV series and life and globalization (anything irrelevant can be added) *Sobs*
The last day of may stay in PITT, I quietly listened to every word of the Professor, realizing the fact that it will be very long before a man with Greek accent guides me in Chemical Engineering again.
As I scroll through the summer of 2015 again, the pixels seem redolent of the happy past.
Marketing may be hot but Engineering is beautiful.
And even more beautiful are the Carbon- Carbon bonds, of which the whole universe is.
Sorry, just could not hold back the Chemical Engineer in the last line!
Editor’s note- If you also have an interesting story to share, you can now participate in Your Internship Story Contest 2016 and win cash prizes and goodies worth Rs. 1 Lac!