About the Author: Shivam Bharara, a final-year Aerospace Engineering student from UPES Dehradun, takes us through the life of an intern under the rigorous ‘Student Mentorship Scheme’ by the Indian National Academy of Engineering(INAE).
My internship involved extensive research work under INAE fellows who resided worldwide. One of my seniors had told me about the project and I later visited the official website to get the exact details. During the same time, a Facebook group also helped me to know a lot about the other national and international internships like DAAD, Charpak scholarships, S.N Bose, and IAS Bangalore.
While there is no rigid procedure for applying to this internship, the best way is to individually send emails to the INAE fellows pertaining to your field. The interested fellows will respond to your email regarding the next steps. After this, you need to download an application form from the INAE website and get it signed by your H.O.D. Finally, send a soft copy of all the documentation along with your SOP (which acts as a catalyst in the process) to your INAE fellow. The governing council committee meeting of INAE finally determines the selection of the students. I believe that my two published research papers made my CV strong. INAE takes 60 students from all over India annually, and this year I was one of them. I got my selection mail from INAE by mid-April. I was delighted and immediately informed my family and friends about the great news.
I requested my mentor to send in some study material related to my internship project. It was something new to me, so I decided to devote some time learning the basics before I started. And yes, this helped me a lot. I was able to finish my project in just one and a half months. I spent the remaining time in drafting the report and properly editing it.
My research work was on the complex topic of “Simulation of Drag crisis in flow past a circular cylinder using 3-D Computations.” My project consisted of an analysis of Drag Crisis using LES Technique i.e. Large Eddy Simalations for the sigma model and the smagorinsky model. This project is a part of the subject “Aerodynamics”, which is taught to students in M-tech. The internship expected strenuous working hours, and I had to work from 10.00 a.m. in the morning to 5.00 p.m. in the evening. Further, I had to keep my work updated, as I could be called for a presentation anytime. I also heard a mouthful from my mentor for when I made some mistakes.
Well, the work culture at IIT Kanpur was quite good. It’s a comprehensive learning space, equipped with a variety of instruments. The M-tech Students there are highly educated and the best part was that one could interact with them even if they were not your mentors. From time to time, there used to be a ‘Defence’, where the M-tech students gave presentations in front of the Aerospace department faculty. I was fortunate enough to attend those sessions. Apart from this, the administration supported me in getting decent accommodation and provided me with the best of facilities. During the weekends, I used to go to Lucknow and Allahabad. These places were quite near to the campus and I enjoyed exploring new places.
My mentor, Dr. Sanjay Mittal, was extremely helpful. Apart from helping me with my project, he also helped me take some crucial decisions. He used to conduct a meeting with my allotted M.tech student and discuss my progress. He helped me find better solutions for all the times that I went wrong.
I am grateful to my mentors for their help and guidance. The eight-week internship was a learning process for me. I gained a mature and professional mindset, apart from developing a more refined approach to solving problems. I would advise the future interns to not only focus on their pointers but to also do something extra. Mere possession of good grades is of no use until you sandwich it with extra projects and technical skills. Focus on the technical aspects and revise all basics related to your subject. Whenever you apply for an internship, take note of all the requirements and accordingly update yourself. Draft a CV and SOP that are rich in content to cast an impression. And yes, make sure that you choose good topics for your project/research work.
The internship accelerated my academic career and will help me a lot in my pursuing my higher studies.
Editor’s note – Just like Shivam, you too can undergo a life-changing internship experience. Check out these aerospace engineering internships for yourself.