Well yes, dreams come true. If your nights are sleepless and with every beat you are reminded of that then your dreams are meant to be true. Sourjya was determined and persistent towards his goal and his all sincere efforts reaped eventually. Just believe in the existence of your dreams and they will be yours to live.
My name is Sourjya Chowdhury, a final year Mechanical Engineering student at PESIT, Bangalore. I had this wonderful opportunity of interning at Imperial College London in the summer of 2015. Ever since I had entered college, I always wanted to do a foreign internship, be it research based or industrial. Naturally, I always used to ask my seniors (from other colleges as well) as to how to get an internship in a foreign university. Most of them used to say, that not being from an IIT or an NIT won’t help me much, as the professors in foreign universities don’t even look at non-IIT/NIT students’ CVs. Throughout my second year, I had developed a keen interest in the department of Aerospace, and I wanted to intern at some place where I’ll get to work closely related to the same field.
Come 6th semester of college and I was determined to land up a foreign internship anyhow. So, I prepared my CV and collected a couple of recommendation letters from my teachers and started to look for colleges where they can provide me work during the summer. I shortlisted close to 20 universities after a couple of months along with the professors and the field of research I wanted to work under/on. I started mailing them via college (through my Head of Department) on why I wished to join them during the summer and how helpful it could be for me. After successive failures, I finally got a mail from one of the professors in Imperial College London, that I’ve been selected for the summer subjected to a successful Skype interview. The Skype interview, which took place the following day, lasted for around 20 mins and the professor told me, he’ll get back to me soon. Three days later, I had an invitation letter, asking me to join Imperial College, London as a summer research intern and work on “Investigation of Annular Film Flows” for 12 weeks. My happiness knew no bounds and I screamed and screamed until I realized that, “Okay, this is actually happening!” I pinched myself hard and I wasn’t dreaming at all. My dream of landing up a foreign internship had come true.
What followed next was not short of a nightmare. I realized that applying for a visa is no easy task and it is easier said than done. Had to find suitable accommodation, get lots of documents attested, etc and finally after three weeks of receiving the invitation mail, I finally applied for my UK Visa. Needless to say, I got my Visa approved two days later without any hassle. Meanwhile, Imperial College agreed to pay me a monthly stipend of 400 GBP which would’ve taken care of my monthly rent in London. On June 1st, I landed in London and it was one of the happiest feelings I’ve had in a long long time. Although it is the third most expensive city in the world, it is a beautiful city nevertheless. When I was inside the plane, and I looked from my window, the iconic structures of London including the Big Ben and the London Eye was a treat to my eyes. Never ever had I thought I’ll get to be in London before I turned 21, and here I was! I joined Imperial College on 3rd June 2015. Reaching there, I met my supervisor and the professor under whom I was going to work for the next three months. They asked me to relax, focus on my work and said everything will be taken care of by itself. They made me feel at home.
Most of my other colleagues were in the twenties so I never really had a hard time. I met new people and made lots of friends in the first few weeks. There were other Indians who were interning at Imperial and we all kind of formed a mini-group for the weekends. The most important thing about coming to London was adjusting and knowing a different culture altogether. I was staying with two Polish girls so that itself was different to me. Not only the foreign culture but also I learned about the Indian culture (North India) through my friends in London. It really helped me as a person and I discovered myself in the process. The fun we had in London, can’t be written in words, but it was certainly worthwhile. The tube and the bus journeys, clicking pictures and shopping, all made it a summer worth remembering for! Work was always smooth and steady because of my amazing supervisors and they never really pressurized me with anything.
I got to design my experimental rig and the practical exposure I had in doing so, was immense. As I write this, I still have 3 weeks to go for my internship to get over, and I am nearing the end of my work. Not only did I work, which I wanted to at the first place, but also got to enjoy and know a lot of people, which I’m sure will help me in the future.
Hoping that the next 3 weeks won’t be a disappointment either.
Editor’s note- Have you got an internship story to share? A chance to win cool Internshala T and other cash prizes by sharing your internship story here.