Daily Winner for: – 8th August 2013
Name of the intern: – Tanmay Sahni
Institute: – IIT Delhi
Organization interned with: – Georgia Institute of Technology
Halfway through my second year at IIT Delhi, I was very desperate to land a foreign internship. I was determined to do something constructive during the summer and what better than discovering an unknown land and culture while gaining precious work experience. Being an undergrad majoring in Civil Engineering, it wasn’t particularly easy to find a professor who’d support my trip either in the form of a stipend or accommodation. I had a couple of economically viable options ,and one of them was to work at Georgia Tech(GT). The professor offered me a room at his house for the internship period. I had no qualms about turning down another offer to grab the one from GT, after all GT is a huge name to be associated with.
I was initially skeptical about staying at a stranger’s house for a couple of months, that too in a land far away from home. But as time passed, I realized what was initially my biggest concern was in fact, the most wonderful aspect of my internship. Apart from the professor’s son and wife, we also had an Uzbek professor and his son living with us. It would be fair to say we were one big multi-cultural family!
Work Experience – I absolutely loved the work culture at GT. Everyone was helpful and accommodating. The infrastructure was fantastic and it was a delight to have your own office room for once(even though it was shared). I learned a lot from my professor who was always ready to answer my doubts. We also had a group meeting on each Friday, where a person from the group discussed a research paper. Needless to say, it was a great learning experience. And more importantly, the free pizza at the group meeting! To sum it up, my work life at GT was pretty routine and satisfying. I was able to complete my report in time and the professor was happy with my work.
Living with the family – I am not the most comfortable person in new settings and it was evident on the day I landed in the US. I was feeling a bit out of place and I was absolutely worn out. I felt it was best to grab some sleep. But a couple of days into my stay and I was already a member of the family. They did their best to make me feel at home and boy, did it work! Hosting a foreigner(or any stranger for that matter) at your house seemed like an odd idea to me but they had done it before on numerous occasions. I fed their cat, mingled with their neighbors, went grocery shopping and helped them with dinner. This gives you an idea on how I wasn’t just a ‘paying guest’ living at their house but truly a member of the family. The professor’s son was about as old as me and was an undergraduate at Georgia Tech. He kept me company and also invited me to social outings with his friends. He also took me to his ‘fraternity’ house and I had a close look at the fraternity culture, which is largely an American phenomenon. The professor’s wife chalked out an itinerary for me and the Uzbek professor to see various attractions in and around Atlanta .In fact, she personally drove us to a new attraction every weekend. Heck, she even tried cooking Indian food once(she failed miserably though) ! The icing on the cake was our family trip to the beach which co-incidentally was on the weekend of my Birthday. They made me a cake and ordered Indian food for me(learning from their past mistakes). The Uzbek professor was a kind fellow himself and he told us a lot about Uzbekistan, a country I previously had absolutely no knowledge about.
Although, I didn’t travel as much as my friends who interned in Europe, I would still cherish my internship as a wonderful overall experience, an experience that gave me a family away from home.
If Tanmay’s internship experience motivates you, you can view the latest international internship.
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