About the Author: Sohan Bhat from PES Institute Of Technology, Bangalore, shares how a taste of the corporate culture in core engineering sector has helped him gain a hands-on experience.
I have always believed that the real, practical knowledge lies outside the confines of a classroom. If you want to learn something, you have to step outside and see how things actually work. One way of learning something is through an internship. An internship is something that gives a student the opportunity to gain practical experience in a professional environment, and to apply what they have learned in the classroom, in the real world. Internships are the cherries on top of the resume sundae which can make any student stand out in the eyes of the employers.
I always wanted to get the taste of corporate culture and to do an internship in core engineering sector, which would allow me to gain a hands-on practical experience in my field. So, in my third year of engineering, I had decided that I’ll get an internship in my domain. First, I asked my seniors and friends for suggestions while seeking an internship. Then, I prepared my C.V., collected a couple of recommendation letters, and started to look for mechanical companies where I could spend my summers productively. I started emailing the HRs stating why I wished to join them during the summer. After a couple of rejections, I got an email from the HR Department of Volvo CE, Bangalore stating that I had been selected for a technical round interview. The interview was scheduled in a week’s time. The interview went on for about half an hour, and it went pretty well. I was asked a few basic technical questions and also, a description of my projects. The team said that they would follow-up within a couple of days. Two days later, I received an email stating that I was selected as a ‘Mechanical Engineering Intern’. I was on cloud nine!
The internship was five-week long, and I must say that it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. Volvo CE was a jaw droppingly huge manufacturing plant with gigantic machinery all around. The huge facility fabricated and produced heavy-duty vehicles like excavators, pavers, etc. I was briefed about my project by my guide and was asked to follow all the safety regulations while handling the heavy machinery. I worked on a project under the Production Manager of the plant in the excavator assembly line. I was given a hands-on project, wherein, I got the opportunity to work with the operators and top managers alike. I learned to manage time, people, and resources. People were generous to help me with my troubles in the project. The working hours got to me sometimes, but the work satisfaction was tremendous. Every single day was a different experience for me. Every day, I was learning something new. Overall, I enjoyed my internship. This internship confirmed that this was exactly the kind of work that I wanted to do.
Volvo is known for its focus on diversity as well as career development programs, which I believe provides numerous learning opportunities for the interns. I had the opportunity to put the learned theoretical concepts into practice. I feel that it was an enriching experience to be a part of Volvo’s summer internship program as I gained a lot of technical knowledge, and also, gained valuable hands-on experience through my engagements. I also had the chance to participate in numerous events to bond with my colleagues and fellow interns. I liked the way the interns were treated just like full-time associates. Interns were assigned actual projects which were crucial to the company. I gained deeper insights into the mechanical industry, and it has helped me significantly with my career planning. I developed a better understanding of the career path of a mechanical engineer through this internship, which has helped me to make an informed career choice. My biggest takeaway would be the long-term relationships that I have forged with my colleagues and fellow interns at Volvo CE.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I urge everyone to believe in their dreams and apply for an internship. Work towards your dreams and turn them into a reality! Seek out opportunities that reflect what you care about, and want to pursue. But most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!
Editor’s note – If you also have an interesting story to share, you can now participate in Your Internship Story Contest 2017 and win cash prizes and goodies worth INR 1 Lac!