About the Author: Saket Narayane (on the extreme right, wearing purple shirt) of NIT, Warangal, shares how he bagged a software development internship at General Electric and how he loved the work culture of GE.
I was in 3rd year of engineering, hunting for an internship. Many companies were coming to our college through the T&P cell of our institute for selecting interns. General Electric (GE) was also one of them.
GE visited our campus in the month of December 2015. The selection process stretched over 2 days based on three rounds of elimination. On the first day, we had general aptitude round. The difficulty level was moderate with the deciding factor being one’s speed and accuracy as we had to solve 60 questions within 60 minutes. Results were announced shortly and 9 candidates were selected, from the batch of around 90 students, for the technical interviews which were scheduled for the next day. In technical interviews, they asked few algorithms, DBMS concepts, and some programming related questions. 3 candidates were then shortlisted for the HR interviews in which a few general interpersonal questions were asked. At the end of that day, they selected 3 of us for the summer internship. I was ecstatic when I heard my name. Soon we got our offer letters and recruitment team was constantly in touch with us till we joined the company to address our queries.
I joined GE as a Software Developer intern in the month of May 2016. Right from the first day, I was treated very nicely which made me feel like I was the part of the family. Moving on to my internship project, I, along with other interns, had to develop a .NET Framework plugin for Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical using various languages like C#, VB, AutoLISP. To be honest, I didn’t know any of these languages. But much to my surprise, our mentor told us that this wasn’t really a big issue and soon enough we got to know why exactly he said that. First two weeks of my internship were entirely dedicated for getting acquainted with the technologies to be used for completion of the project. They don’t expect someone to know all the languages; they just wanted someone with a good foundation and a desire to learn new things. I never felt like I was alone as there was always someone to help me out when I was stuck.
We frequently had meetings with our US counterparts who were helping us to understand the problem statement. Since they were working in Longmont, Colorado which is 11 hours and 30 minutes behind IST, either we had to contact them early in the morning or late at night. However, our manager made sure that we didn’t have to stay in the office for extra hours due to these meetings. He asked us to choose our own time to come and leave the office. Flexibility in the working hours is one of the best things I experienced there. As long as one completes the job in time, one is free to manage his own schedule. For someone like me who wakes up late in the morning, this was nothing less than a boon. My manager never asked me to work for more than 8 hours a day, but still, I voluntarily used to be in office almost all the time. As a matter of fact, I spent more time in my office than I did in my rented apartment, thanks to the ambience of my office.
Work Culture of GE is very awe-inspiring. It offers great work-life balance. Even the tiniest of accomplishments were celebrated. We even celebrated children’s day in office. Children of all the employees were invited to our workplace. We played with kids, ordered a lot of pizzas and ice-creams, and at the end of the day everyone was so happy that nobody wanted to leave. (yes, including the kids!) In GE, they encourage their employees to live a balanced and healthy life. They have nutrition facts stated for each of the item available in their cafeteria. They also have a gaming zone which consists of various games like Carrom, Table Tennis, Xbox, etc. to keep their employees entertained. (No points for guessing where you could have found me if not in my cubicle!)
My team had already finished our project before the deadline, with a week to spare for software testing and deployment. We gave our final presentation and got positive reviews from everyone. Our project was ready to be deployed across various regions in the world where GE operates. I didn’t even realize when the last day of my internship arrived. I was so happy that I finished the project, but little did I know that the most difficult part of this internship was yet to be experienced – ‘Goodbyes’. I had a really hard time telling everyone that that was my last day with them. Everyone wished me good luck for future, and I left with a smile on my face and with a promise that I will be back in due course.
This was my first exposure to the corporate world, and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life. Thank You GE!