It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. Navami (girl in the grey t-shirt and jeans) shares her awesome experience of internship days.
“The universe is random. It’s not inevitable. It’s simple chaos. It is subatomic particles in endless, aimless collision. That’s what science teaches us, but what is this saying?”
The south-west monsoon winds were dashing against the window of my room, bringing along with them tiny droplets of rain. The smell of fresh earth was hitting my nostrils when I happened to hear the “email received” notification from my mobile. From the bliss of enjoying nature’s pleasures, I was seemingly reminded about the mundane activities due to the ever increasing spamming from the email marketers. I had got emails for discounts in dog food, many pairs of shoes and I had won $500 million in lottery that day. Yet, I ventured out to check the mail and there it was- “You are selected for the internship at Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad”. For a moment, I stood dazed. My thoughts raced to recollect the names of all my friends who would play such a prank. But no- It was for real and my excitement knew no bounds.
“Cheer up beautiful people… this is where you get to make it right”
From being a rank outsider in my undergrad, I had managed to bag the gold medal by the end of the third year. My post-graduation was different. Here I had the weight of expectations on me. Yes, this was a chance which many chemistry students die for. I had got it and I had to make it count. The platform was set for IICT, Hyderabad.
“Chemistry is, well technically, chemistry is the study of matter. But I prefer to see it as the study of change.”
I was assigned a project on GC-MS instrument which is one of the most important analytical technique used for separation and identification of amino acids, fatty acids etc. One of the main challenges in this project was to learn about the different instruments beings used. However, the challenge was the paucity of time. I had to learn about the instrument and then analyze the samples being sent to IICT from the various labs across the country and then submit my findings. This was the initial part-the easy part. From here, it took a devious turn- I had to analyze the contents of plants used in popular home medicines and then device plans to extract them. This was indeed very exciting as this was one way I could increase the “cool quotient” of my project. But, I had never done anything even remotely connected to this area in my entire course. Many trips to the library and many MBs of downloads later, I got at least a foot hold in what seemed to be an endless pit. I could figure out three ways to extract. I had to test them out to see if those methods actually worked. Else, the process has to continue again.
I decided to analyze the contents of the extract of Ocimum Sanctum leaves.
“It has always been one step forward and two steps back”
To analyze the contents, I needed to extract them. And that was the first challenge. Sufficient quality and quantity of leaves had to be selected and dried, from which a sample has to be selected for extraction. At every phase there were challenges- The heat wave in Telangana suddenly made way for the rains exactly on the day I decided to dry my selection of Ocimum Sanctum leaves. Then my laptop decided to have its share of fun by showing the “replace battery” notification. I realized Murphy’s Law was discovered exactly during times like these.
Racing against time and a non-functional laptop, I somehow made it past the process selection stage when suddenly there are bureaucratic hurdles to be crossed while using the systems of the institute. Navigating this maze took away a major part of my time.
“If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”
Challenges often seem to be simpler in retrospect. But, while we are dealing with them, the entire world seems to conspire against us. The internship ended well and I was able to achieve more than what I had set out for. I learnt not only about the project, but also how to handle the myriad challenges that are thrown while actually working in the field. But what I learnt the most was to always stay awake for the challenges that might be thrown at us. May be that is the only way to make a mark.
(NB: All quotes attributed to Walter White from Breaking Bad)
If Navami’s experience motivates you, you can check the latest internships in Hyderabad.
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.