Niveditha Shenoy, a CSE student at RVCE college, and an enthusiast ISP of Internshala shares her internship story and how she landed to her field of interest.
Came fourth semester, and we, the 4th semester engineering students had to make the first few important decisions of our academic life. The common question being “How I would spend my vacations?” There were so many questions bugging my mind. Vacations in engineering is a time of excitement and dilemma, a time of stress. Should we enjoy or go for an internship? Where would we really get through with our minimal knowledge? It was a time of fear…if I don’t get an internship wouldn’t I be lagging behind? Wouldn’t I present a poor profile? And the big question disturbing me was what would be the right decision?
Ah!…Where should I start my story from? Let me start it from my ‘Internship Hunt’, and then, my depressed life waiting for a confirmation and then, the awesome internship I went through.
“You know that company has selected 6 students from Arya college and she is one among them,” Aadya quipped. True. All of us in our group were desperate for an internship. There were people with 2 different views in our class. The first group of people did not worry about internships. They just wanted to enjoy their vacations. The other group of students either worked under their parent’s establishment or had influence. This left us, the desperate students, who had to squeeze in through our merit. Luckily, a senior had sent me the ‘Internshala’ link. I checked out various company profiles and shortlisted some of them. It was challenging to decide the profile because I was really particular and I only wanted ‘android application development’. I was not willing to settle for anything other than my interests and I wanted to put my vacations into a good use.
For me, internship meant ‘a milestone’. An internship would make my Facebook profile look beautiful and would sound awesome when I would reply ‘I am interning’ when loads of people would ask me ‘What have you planned for your vacations?’ I didn’t want to intern just for the sake of interning. And so I applied for a dozen of companies…some replied, some did not.
We were already half way through April, and we had just one and a half months for the semester to end. And with the hectic record work, internals, lab externals, seminars, assignments, projects, power point presentations, I found a ray of hope in the form of an ‘internship fair’. Yes! Our college had conducted it. I applied for 3 companies (as it was the maximum limit). Some companies wanted interns with very high profile. ”How can we be proficient in so many fields; We are just 4th semester students after all,” I convinced myself. Out of the 3 companies to which I applied, one was because the company was recruiting 40 students and the probability of me getting selected was more. I attended their interviews and then the wait for the confirmation began. 1 week…no reply…2 weeks…no reply…and me???…I was already depressed…Still, I didn’t lose hope.
And, as luck would have it, our electronics department conducted a mock placement competition. What attracted me was that the winners would get an internship in a start-up company and the company profile matched my interests. So I went to register for it.
“Don’t worry ya! .Only 7 students have registered and the competition is tomorrow.You will surely win it,” she said. My joy doubled when I heard this.
‘ROOM No. 202 – ECE Block – MOCK PLACEMENT’; I read this and quickly went to the 2nd floor and there it was class room no. 202. It was packed with about 60-70 students out of which half the class were my seniors from CSE. “How on earth have so many people had registered?” I felt like hitting my friend who had lied yesterday. All publicity tactics.
The competition began and the 1st round was Aptitude Test. I went through the questions from the last half. ”What the hell?..Which language is this?…I was puzzled. I had never seen such syntax before.” I didn’t lose hope. I quickly completed the aptitude and started the technical questions. It wasn’t difficult. I could somehow relate it to C and C++. And to my luck, I got through the first round. 13 out of 70 were selected and I was one amongst them.
The second round was group discussion. The intensity of nervousness started increasing as time went. ”God! I don’t want any topic related to politics”, I prayed. And yes! God had answered my prayers that day. It wasn’t related to politics but it was ‘Should the government reduce the age for consensual sex from 18 to 16 years?’. Damn! What a topic?!? My answer was surely a no! I had my points…Yeah! Many points actually. I thought I would initiate it.. Aa…Aaa…and before I could start, my opponent had already initiated. “The crime rate would reduce if the age is reduced…and blah blah blah.” He had so many points and every time I would put forth my point, he would somehow come up with some practical answer. He was just too good.
I have lost it, I thought, but I hadn’t. Good for me that I spoke something. Group discussion is where how you portray your views matter. And I had done it very well. This was the feedback of the judge. And I was one among the top 3 contestants.
I was on cloud nine that day. I had achieved something which I thought I never could. But I still hadn’t received any confirmatory letter regarding the internship. So I was still not satisfied. And then, the wait began.
By May 5th, all my friends got their joining letters, but I hadn’t. Unable to control my anger, impatience or whatever you may call it, I sent a mail to the company regarding the delay. And there, my inbox had ’INTERNSHIP CALL’. Damn! There was another round of technical interview which I had to face. Somehow, this interview round too went very well., though I wasn’t told anything regarding the internship. As exams were over, I packed my bags and left to my hometown with a heavy heart. The level of depression increased day after day, and ‘internship’ was all that I thought and dreamt through day and night. I would check my phone 101 times a day, checking whether I had received a mail from the company.
It was June 14th, and my friends had already changed their facebook status to ‘Intern at…’ Aaaa. I can’t forget the stress, the tension, the feeling that I was ‘nothing’.
“Neethu! I can pray for you if u wish to. Don’t you know how lucky I am for you? But, I will pray only if you promise me that you would buy me a Tomy Hilfiger watch in your stipend. Will you?”, my sister asked.
“Shut Up! Will you? Can’t you see I am tensed here? Get lost,” I said and continued my daily routine of checking mails. And there it was…’THE APPOINTMENT LETTER’. Ah! My sister was in fact lucky for me that day. The next question which bothered me was how much my stipend would be and as always a long list of demands popped up from my sister. I called up my friends who were already interning. Some said that they quit their job because they weren’t given any ‘technical’ job and many others were asked to fill excel sheets. All these feedbacks were not so interesting and were not encouraging at all. But I was on top of the world.
I reported on July 1st. To my irritation, my fellow teammate opted out and as the intern requirement was 2, they thought of freezing my internship too. I was shell-shocked. What is this? As if my fate depended on his attending. “I can manage without a teammate,” I assured them and my internship began.
My first task was editing pictures using photoshop. We were working on an android app and all these pictures would be the asset I was told. And they gave me a complete day to finish about 2 folders which I finished in an hour. I am blowing my own trumpet, I know. I was actually bored with just editing pictures and wanted to learn something new. “Ma’am, can you please give me something more technical and difficult?” I asked her. Probably she was happy that I had completed my job and so I was given my more technical job and that was ‘developing a website’. The definition of happiness to me has always been trying out new things, improving and learning new things. It was a new challenge. I had to develop a website using wordpress (it’s actually very easy. At first, I did not know anything about wordpress and so I thought it would be challenging). I was asked to put in all my creativity and within a week I completed my first website.
“Ma’am, I want to develop another website on my own,” I asked my boss. “Niveditha, who do you think has designed and developed this? I just guided you and it was your work,“ she replied with a wide smile on her face. This was the first liberal appreciation I have got from anyone till now. It motivated me and boosted my confidence. After that, I completed another website using HTML, CSS and Jquery.
My next task was to develop an android app. This was the work I was really waiting for. I designed the user interface exactly according to the design I was supposed to and then developed the app .The best part in my internship was that my boss was always there to help me and I learnt a lot.
I see a big difference in me after attending the internship. I got to know the practical, minute details that goes into developing websites. It was an awesome experience. Before I could even realize, my one and a half month internship came to an end. My college was reopening in a week’s time and I wanted to spend time with my sister. Now that I have completed my internship and I am already in the first week of my 5th semester, I keep questioning myself. What is that which made this 1 and a half month so dear to me? This has been an extremely fascinating experience, not just technical but, I also discovered the person I am within me. Technically, it has helped me into analytical thinking. It made the dull and boring theory work into exciting, creative and experiencing real practical work. This has really drawn me into the field of my interest.
Coming back to the personal side, I really enjoyed travelling in the BMTC (changing 3 buses). I enjoyed the short walk from my office to the bus stop, especially relishing the road side ‘Golgappa’s’ (now my friends will shout at me for being so LS (Low society). But tell you, they do maintain hygiene. Proof: I am still healthy).
Let me muster up courage to tell you about my stipend. Well! It’s a stipend, not a salary. My first stipend cheque read Rs.4000/-. I can’t tell you whether I am happy or sad. The sad thing being I had to delete many things from my long wishlist which I wanted to buy. The only thing I managed to buy was a Tommy Hilfiger watch for my sister and from the remaining few hundreds, I sponsored my books.
It is rightly said, “I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I learn. I do follow up, I get a vision and succeed in my vision.” This internship was one of the best experiences in my life and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If given a chance I would want to relive every moment spent in my office, the small cubicle, the busy schedule and the loads and loads of happiness. Yes. Interning is a way of being happy.
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