Some days can never be forgotten. They teach you the lessons of life. I did my internship with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited; I still remember every bit of those two months. Those months changed my attitude of ‘Know it all’ to ‘A lot to learn’.
Since the day I stepped into the second year of my college in 2008, I planned to intern with HAL. There were two main reasons to opt for HAL. First, its office was in my hometown – Lucknow and second, my fascination with planes; though later, the myth was revealed and reality bit that as a trainee I was not even supposed to be on the shop floor. I applied for the internship in the mid of fourth semester of college. As my exams were scheduled in May, I had to plan my internship in scorching summers.
As there was less pain in my lonely and girlfriend less college life, god gave me more. I broke my leg because of some stupid reason in the middle of semester exams and had a hairline fracture in my toes including all the five fingers. Though I was slightly happy for I had an excuse to take papers for granted, the incident made me a bit sad as I was yet to pursue the two months of internship for which I had planned so well. After the last exam I somehow traveled back home.
On June 5th 2008 my internship started. I was very excited to be in my first so called very less paid job despite a broken leg. As I entered the HAL office, people gave me the look which I had never experienced before. As if a lean soldier had walked into the war zone with a broken leg and could die any second. It was worse than I had expected. Nobody was expecting a limping intern in the hard core airship manufacturing company. Though I wanted to work on job shop as I thought I knew all about it and will do good there, they didn’t allow me because of my broken leg. I was not even allowed to visit the shop floor. Some of the officials even asked me to apply for the next year as injured people were not allowed in the company.
Somehow after begging for a few minutes, I managed to get a position in the SUKHOI design department which was a ‘Sit down and be quiet’ job. The first few days were very difficult as I was one of the youngest members and the only trainee in the department. People were not very used to see trainees in such a confidential and secure department. I was not expected to touch anything without permission. Also, I had this ‘know it all’ sign on my forehead which was making things worse. With time, as I learnt to learn from others, seniors started sharing their knowledge. I learnt a bit about Sukhoi and how its parts are designed with the help of different computer tools. Though I never thought of learning all this, I enjoyed it. Later I presented my report which turned out to be good enough and much appreciated by the Sukhoi design team.
Later, the training in HAL also helped me in my college placements. It transformed me into a more professional person than I was before interning. I won’t call my internship very successful as I never liked walking on one leg in such a huge campus of HAL but besides all that, I enjoyed my first experience of the professional world. I enjoyed the one rupee lunch HAL offered to its employees. I noticed the safety measures the organizations and its employees take which I had never considered before while fascinating about planes. In addition to all this, the two months taught me how to learn from unplanned events of life. I learnt to be patient and accept the things as they came by. And as the Oprah Winfrey has said, “Turn your wounds into wisdom”, I did it and had a great experience.
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