Wildcard Entry for: -Â 12th August 2012
Name of the intern: -Â Manu
Institute: –Â Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Informatio
Organization interned with: -Â Developmen
When the Indian Space Research Organization comes to your campus and offers internships in their Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU) you are really thrilled because DECU’s got a really fine line of work and they also say that it has the best of facilities and infrastructure. DECU has different groups that work on the various segments involving the application of ISRO’s satellites for communications.
I and my colleague were placed in the Content Generation Group that basically deals with video production right from pre-production till the post production. We were basically chosen to work in their Multimedia lab. The first 2 to 3 days were spent in some formalities; as it is a government organization the response there is not as fast as it is in most other private organizations. It’s not really a down side but for energetic youths like us it can be a little boring.
ISRO, Ahmedabad has a very high security place and so every time when you come and go you have to go through some protocols. In the future if anyone reading this is planning to apply there be ready for your everyday frisking. The worst part : You are not allowed the following : cell phones, pen drives, CDs and any other electronic items.
Our mentor was rather supportive and wanted us to make the best out of the internship. He asked us to decide our own projects and told us our limitations. The first two weeks we mostly has sessions with various personal working at DECU regarding the work at DECU, video production, film and camera etc. In short, it was like a two week preview of the firm that you are working with. That came really handy because it familiarized us with the possibility of the different kinds of work that we could take over.
There are always disappointments when you are asked to submit work regularly. We were asked to hand in weekly reports with the kind of work we did during that week. Even if it was sitting and listening to lectures we had to write that and hand it in to our mentor. But it then came in handy towards the end.
Apart from the project we were asked to do some graphic design work which was mostly making titles for programmes and articles. It was fun but some of it makes you feel like a DTP operator because the senior who wants your work doesn’t really want your work but wants you to make what he/she is visualizing. It is a good experience, I would say, because in the market you generally do come across such people more often who want you to do things as per their fancies and wishes and don’t really want you to use your head.
After going through their work in the 2 weeks we finally decided to work on education and specifically their EduSAT programmes. These are syllabus-based educational programmes which DECU has produced for different educational boards across the country. They have over 100 programmes for the CBSE educational board and these programmes are usually relayed via satellite to their various EduSAT centres. We found out that there was no repository either online or with them that could be accessed by anyone at any time. We asked about it and they gave us the green signal to start work on it.
This, I would like to point out, was a very good experience for us because here we had to develop something for them and it was more of a challenge. I guess it is good only for students who really want to do something in an internship. I’ve heard some people are made to get coffee and tea and photocopies as their internship work. But luckily for us this was a good chance.
Now to point out the downside. This being a government organization we need to go through a certain hierarchy for certain permissions. The first and most basic is ‘Internet’. We had to get our mentor to give us internet access and he would allow us access for only a small amount of time. It was on another system and not the same system on which we were working. By the way, speaking of systems: DECU has some state of the art machines in their multimedia labs. The downside was that no one was there to guide us through the process of arriving at the design. the design was highly appreciated and also critically viewed when we asked for suggestions. They are pretty blunt and they really chewed us apart even for spelling errors. So in a way we got help but then again for the UX/UI part we got more of a client review rather than a mentor review.
Towards the end they did appreciate our work very much. Now the small things that happen during the internship there and which I feel are very important for such an organization : paperwork. They wanted everything in written and it’s like a mandate. I took charge of the documentation so it was really difficult to keep up with all the writing. The weekly reports. The project proposal. The project documentation and then at the end the report writing. In all it was mostly typing for me towards the end. The part that also annoys you at times about such government organizations is how paper work can even stop you from leaving your internship. You definitely don’t want to leave without a letter of experience or certificate of merit from such an organization but to do so you really need to make sure you finish all your paper work before you are done with your internship.
Lastly, about the work culture and atmosphere. Well when multimedia comes to your mind and specially films and videos a lot of students think of the place as cool, hip and happening. It’s just the opposite. You are definitely the youngest one there and if you don’t follow Gujarati very well sometimes you might just feel a little out of the place. People working there basically have software expertise but not much education in Design at large. So you can expect to gather some knowledge about software but not much on the design end.
I would to end my experience by justifying why I chose to say my internship was awesome: because I really got the chance to take care of a project on my own and it was a very good team effort put forth by me and my colleague. The internship put in a lot of confidence because it is a very good feeling when you make a project on your own and it is widely accepted by various departmental heads. One last thing — this really is the last thing. Sadly we weren’t given any stipend but overall it was a very decent experience.
Inspired by Manu’s internship journey? Apply to these cool internships now and take a leap towards your career.