Name of the intern: – Cibi Pranav
Institute: – NIT Trichy
Organization interned with: – VME Precast
Everyone in their academic life would like to take an internship and I was also bitten by that bug. I wanted to do a project at the IITs so that it may add to my resume. But the lady luck ditched me at the last moment creating a void in the summer vacation. I was desperate to use the hols as effective as possible and with some efforts from personal contact I got an internship opportunity at a precast concrete factory.
Well, precast concrete refers to factory made concrete elements that are directly fitted at the construction site, enormously decreasing the project time and higher quality control. Seems good?? Yeah, but it will just cost you everyday around 80 Km back and forth travel from your home. Added to this were the timing, 7:30 am to 8:30 pm. Thinking of this schedule for three weeks…oh did I just make a grievous choice? Definitely not!
The first week, I was supposed to observe and learn about the production techniques and quality control. I was tremendously happy about the profile. With the beginner’s enthusiasm I started wandering through the factory in search of my trainer. What greeted me there was a serious face of my trainer telling me that he is too busy to attend to me. I felt like an unwanted stranger in the place spending my time idly watching the process that looked so…seriously simple. Thanks to the automation. Not a grievous choice huh? I later caught up with my trainer after lunch. I badly wanted to get his attention. I didn’t want to ruin my hols in this wretched and unwelcoming place. I offered to help him with the presentation that he was supposed to make to the Directors about the quality control in the plant. Working with him gave me the initial breakthrough to the knowledge and experience pool that he possessed. Lesson: Be prepared to take any opportunity to impress the employees.
With this small victory, I prepared for day 2. On arriving at the plant, I was made to wait. Waiting for some eternity, I was damn fed up. Nobody seemed to acknowledge my presence. I had to kick up conversation with the guards, least I could do. Finally, I got to have a youth Safety officer for company who explained to me the essential safety practices and I had a good experience in safety auditing in the plant. Lesson: Do not get frustrated when you are made to wait, at least in the beginning.
On the subsequent day, I met the Vice President of the operations. He asked me to join him in his daily rounds in the plant. Good gracious! It was the VP! He gave me an introduction to all the processes and this man knew his stuff. During the entire visit, the men and resource management always kept disturbing him. With my eagerness to know about the shortcomings in human and resource management in the plant, later I started making note of all the flaws, deficiencies and was writing down possible solutions in the rough. Fortunately, VP suddenly appeared and took my note to read it. It was the game changing event in my internship. He was visibly impressed and asked me to make an official document and forward it to him. Then on, I started being respected as a trainee employee in the plant. Lesson: You do not know when good fortune strikes; keep documenting all the things you observe. Your eagerness is shown in the record
On next few days, I was getting to learn quite a good amount of processes, methodologies and the machinery. Thanks to the VP! I realized many practical difficulties involved in precast concrete manufacturing. Being a relatively infant field in India, designing precast buildings is a very difficult process. And it requires very high degree of precision. Precision not only in dimensions, but even in every constituent of concrete. The production involved quantity estimating, mould making, concrete pouring and is complemented with multiple rounds of quality checking. Suddenly I am exposed to a lot of things in the plant which would not be possible to obtain if I just kept complaining of my hardships. Lesson: Don’t give up your pursuit to learn, it is like a lake. Deeper you go, it becomes wider.
When the internship was going good at the plant, I got an offer to visit a construction site for 3 days. Mind it; summer in Chennai is intolerable especially with the humidity. Site conditions were horrible and not even the favoring VP could help me. The erection and fitting processes were all it would take to construct the building. I got to interact with two Graduate Engineering Trainees (GETs) and they had spent quite some time working in the site. They understood the actual purpose of internship and allowed me to join their supervising job and material management. I felt very responsible then! Lesson: Identify the like minded people who will be always helpful
Another candy to this experience was meeting with marketing personals of the company. Since the construction was their own project, they shared with me about the marketing and sales in construction industry and were kind enough in offering tips, adding more feathers to my internship cap. Lessons: Be flexible to learn about other departments associated with the work.
Alas, I spent my last week in Planning and Design Analysis department which gave me insight to designing of concrete structures but I was not very receptive towards it. No regrets. We had neither done it in the college. However, I hope this experience will prove to be highly useful in the academics. Finally…on the last day, I could feel the pangs of being separated which I least expected in the beginning. I now feel that lady luck just took a back seat to propel me to a better experience. It might be repetitive but only an industrial experience can complete your education. With this, I, Pranav presently doing my third year in Civil Engineering, Sign off.
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