Internshala welcomes a new entrant to the “Winner of the week” Hall of Fame! Mahak from IIT Madras shares tips on how he landed a much-coveted internship at MIT and his experience of working with Nobel Laureates and exchanging ideas with them. As intellectually stimulating as it can get, this story is sure to inspire a thousand others looking for serious academic research as a career. With this spirited narration & maximum number of “likes” that the post received, he now graduates to “Winner of the week” Hall of Fame on Internshala and wins Flipkart gift voucher for Rs. 1,000/-.
Congrats, Mahak! Next step – “Winner of the month”!
Daily Winner for: – 10th August 2011
Week winner for: – 5th – 11th August 2011
Name of the intern: – Mahak Singhal
Institute: – IIT Madras
Organization interned with: – Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research, MIT, MA, USA
How I got it?
When in August last year, I started looking for an internship in summer 2011, I already had a decent amount of lab-work experience and had selected the area of cancer research to do my internship in. The rationale behind the selection of cancer research being that I was going to work in the same field during semesters under one professor at my college. During one of the courses, I was told about the person who pioneered the cancer research by unraveling the mystery of various hallmarks of cancer- Dr. Weinberg. I was fascinated by his persona and the amount of research he has had done in the field. I browsed through his webpage and read about the work he was doing recently. Then I wrote him a mail connecting the dots between my knowledge of the subject, my understanding of his work as mentioned in his webpage and saying that I aspired to work in his lab as I had ardent interest in the field citing my erstwhile ongoing project in the same field and my previous lab-work as the proof of my interest. To this mail, I attached my CV which was scrutinized and edited by many of my seniors and friends and was written following the etiquette of writing a CV and highlighting my achievements and strengths. After an anxious wait of about 10 days, I got a positive reply from Dr. Weinberg saying he would be more than happy to accommodate me in his lab for summer 2011.
What I wanted to accomplish from the internship:
• Developing temperament and methodology for pursuing academic research
• Learning cutting-edge concepts and techniques
• Future directions
o Getting important contacts which might be useful in future when I apply for PhD
o Recommendation letter from the professor
o Explore various programs for higher studies
What did I learn and gain:
I accomplished almost all my set goals- I did some quality work, used state-of-the-art technology and met legendary personalities including Nobel laureates and authors of umpteen research papers in most esteemed journals. Standing in the same league as them and exchanging arguments with them was dream-come-true and a major confidence boost. I was exposed to the work culture which is best in the business. The horizons of my understanding of the topic were broadened. The icing on the cake was the innumerable new friends I made and the plethora of fun I have had in the weekend parties. I worked hard, partied harder and came back with an assurance of much-coveted recommendation from Dr. Weinberg, whenever I needed it in future.
Found Mahak’s journey interesting? Apply to these cool internships and take a step towards your career.