Stop wishing, start doing. Swayamtrupta is pursuing Integrated Masters and shares his memorable experience of internship days.
That feeling when you are flying in an international flight leaving the borders of your homeland for the very first time, scaling the mountains and over a dozen countries in the course of the journey- the names only of which we encountered way back in the 5th grade, the changing landscapes and not to forget the enormity, that is, the Atlantic!
It was a restless wait throughout the month of November 2014. I had applied for the MITACS Globalink Research Internship for the coming summer and was eagerly awaiting the results. I knew that I fulfilled the criteria for the selection but so did many others – a cumulative GPA of 8/10 (for Indian applicants), a sound knowledge of the field mentioned as reflected in your Statement of Purpose strengthened by an equally validated Letter of Recommendation. And not to forget – a Passport valid for the said tenure.
The applicants were just not restricted to India – there were candidates from eight other countries competing for the gold. Some applicants got selected directly, and some had to go through a personal interview with the selected faculty/supervisor. I was glad to face the interview and got the chance to meet the researcher I was to work alongside during the coming summer (hopeful that time). The interview went quite well by my standards and there was a glimmer of hope for me. And then there was the wait till the fateful day on the 3rd week of November that I GOT THE MAIL! At first I grazed through the mail looking for “sorry you have not been selected” (I was really down for not receiving any confirmation till that time), but instead it went on showing – “Congratulations! You have been selected to pursue a summer internship at University of Victoria as a Globalink Research Intern”. I had to read that thrice to let the feeling sink in. Stage one was complete.
The visa procedure followed up and the rest of the formalities were dealt with smoothly. Former Globalink interns are a blessing in disguise and they will help and lead you in the right direction – do consult them in times of need.
I traveled from my Institute to New Delhi, boarded my first international flight to Frankfurt, then to Calgary and finally reached Victoria with a day to spare before my first day at work. All GRIs (Globalink Research Interns) are assigned a mentor to manage their stay during the internship period and look to their needs. They are the goto guys in any situation and the intern’s first point of contact at the host university.
My research was on Galaxy Mergers and AGN binaries – I worked on Image analysis on photometric data from SDSS looking for viable candidates undergoing mergers and estimating the relative post-mergers AGN activity to the early-stage ones. Also, I worked on another aspect of the work dealing with coupled AGN binaries (and ternaries) cataloging sets of merger groups for a Chandra X-ray proposal. The aim of the work was related to estimating the course of the cores of these massive systems – the SMBHs, the enhanced activity during the late stages of mergers leading to unison.
The internship is well-funded with over $4000 stipend covering the travel, the visa and the stay at the University with the opportunity to attend a couple of educational tours revealing the research works of eminent people from different facets of science, social science, finance and engineering, the internship is an all-round experience bonanza.
I was particularly lucky when my supervisor asked me to accompany her to the annual general meeting of Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) at Hamilton, Ontario. I, with seven other UVic graduates went for a 4-day trip to Toronto where I presented a poster on “Estimating the Angular sizes of Planetary Nebulae” along with a chance to meet and interact with the higher-ups in the Astronomy community throughout Canada – delegates and researchers from NASA and JPL, CHFT (Canada-France Hawaiian Telescope), Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, Square Kilometer Array to count a few, being able to diversify and broaden my research network and foundations.
Back from the trip, I resumed my work while losing no chance to explore the beautiful city of Victoria. I along with my new friends (interns and graduates of UVic) got a taste of the intertwined culture and tradition of the city, and the country as a whole – Victoria Day, Canada Day and British Columbia Day, all three with fun-filled parades, concerts and equally great people to celebrate with. Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, a tourist lookout place throughout the year with a plethora of options ranging from the Pacific coastlines, Victorian architecture and relics, outdoor adventures and in-house entertainment.
I’d let the snaps tell the rest of my joyous summer ride that was Canada.
If Swayamtrupta’s experience motivates you, you can check the latest International internships.
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.