Daily Winner for: – 25th August 2013
Name of the intern: – Raja Sekhar Kalluru
Institute: – IIT Madras
Organization interned with: – NVIDIA Graphics Pvt Ltd.
First of all, let me tell you why Internship is such a big deal at IIT-M. As part of the curriculum, it is mandatory for all the students of the undergraduate programme to do an ‘Indian Industrial Internship’ for a period of at least 6 weeks. So, all the people of the institute will be putting up an insane fight to get an internship in some hotshot company, especially when it comes to Computer Science.
My attempts to get an internship started with applying for Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon. I couldn’t apply for many other companies like IBM, Adobe because they had a CGPA cutoff. I went up to the Technical interview round in former one, but couldn’t even clear the coding tests conducted by the latter two. I started feeling a little nervous, not because I wouldn’t get an internship but that I may have to settle for a small company or a start-up while I had an opportunity to make it to the big ones.
That’s when I got the mail saying NVIDIA is looking for interns. I sent my resume to them and they responded with a mail asking me for my free time so that they can setup an interview, a telephonic one. I responded and we were able to fix a time. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a Friday afternoon at around 3 PM. I was eagerly waiting for their call but I didn’t receive any. I waited until 5 PM with the phone in my hand and connected to a charger (I didn’t want to take any chances). I thought maybe they already found the right candidates and with my academic performance being modest they didn’t even want to call. Anyway, I just wanted to check with them and sent them a mail asking them the reason for not calling. I grieved over the weekend with a full season of Friends and Biryani from the famous Supriya Andhra Mess next to our college.
Just when I forgot about NVIDIA and started applying for other companies, I got a reply back from them saying that they weren’t able to call me due to some reasons and they would like to setup an interview again. We fixed up some time and this time, they called. I was just happy to receive the call.
The interview began with the customary introductions and he began asking me about the points in my resume. The courses I did till now, which were of concern to him and what I learned in those courses.
He also asked what I did in the summer following my second year (most of my classmates had already done an internship in their second year summer). While most people who just went home and didn’t do an internship would have said,“I didn’t do anything”, I told him that I spent time with my family and we went on some trips and as a single internship would be enough to get a degree, I didn’t see the need in going for an internship in my second year as I didn’t have much idea about my interests, so I didn’t want to do something only so that I would have something handsome on my resume. He was satisfied with my answer and started asking some technical questions which I wouldn’t bore you with (if you are interested in the questions, send me a mail). I answered all his questions, and I could make out from his voice that he was actually impressed with me, so I started answering more and more confidently. He asked me which textbook we follow for the course on Compilers, and I couldn’t recall the author’s name (I knew there were many) or even the textbook name, I could only remember the dragon image which is present on the cover of the textbook. I told him that we call it “The Dragon Book” and I couldn’t recall it’s name. He chuckled a little and then told me once they are done with taking all the interviews they would come up with a shortlist and the shortlisted candidates would proceed to the next round, a HR one.
I was pleasantly satisfied with my performance in the interview and felt confident about getting shortlisted. But a week passed and there was no news of any shortlist, and the feeling of nervousness came back all over again. Ten days after which they had interviewed me, I got a call again. This time it was the HR of the company, he told me I was selected for an internship at NVIDIA and asked me whether I would like to work with them. I was so happy but I didn’t want to show that, so I replied with a formal “It would be my pleasure”. He told me he would contact me later with the next set of formalities and then he disconnected. Once the conversation was over, I started singing (more like shouting) and dancing. I felt even more happier than when I cleared JEE (because then, I was sure I would get in).
About eight and a half months later I went over there and I think I did a fair job in my internship. About what the company offers:
– Accommodation for 2 weeks in a very nice hotel (I don’t know how many stars)
– Free travel (they have cabs to almost all the places in Bangalore)
– Free Lunch, and great food in the pantry 24×7
– Stipend of 25,000 per month (no taxes)
– Occasional team outings
– They have a table tennis room, pool table and couple of carom boards.
– My favorite one, they have the option to “Work From Home”
I worked, had fun and learned something over there. Some of the codes I have written are now being used by people in the company. Its an awesome feeling. I has a great time over there, they still have the feeling of a start-up even though they started in 1993 and they have fun. The people over there are awesome and they have a pretty open system where all the people are treated the same – managers, freshers, contractors – everyone has the same kind of setup and you can pretty much walk into anyone’s cubicle at any time and have a decent conversation.
All in all a wonderful experience which I would remember for a long long time.
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