About the author: Roshan Chauhan, a student of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Mumbai, shares the story of how a research internship helped him secure a job in his first attempt.
I was an average student in the 3rd year of engineering, and I didn’t want my unremarkable grades to hold me back in the race to get a job. Internships were the only way to sharpen my profile and increase my odds of getting a job. My panicked hunt for an internship led me to the training and placement cell in my college where an Internshala Student Partner informed me about Internshala and how easy the process of applying to internships was. I created an account on the platform immediately and started looking for internships that suited my interests.
In January, I got an email from Internshala about an internship that fit my preferences—a research internship at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Clicking on the ‘Apply’ button led me to the official BARC website where I learned about their selection criteria. Being a computer science student, I was eligible for a 2-month internship at BARC. I gathered all the necessary documents—my resume, an application on my college letterhead signed by the college authorities, and all my mark sheets—and submitted them directly to the BARC training school in Mumbai. BARC accepts applications all year round on a first come first served basis, so to be on the safe side, I applied for the internship four months before my desired starting date.
Four months later, I received a response from BARC’s HR department stating that my application was accepted. Following this, my documentation was processed and I was provided with security clearance. Before the actual project work began, they conducted an interview to assign me the projects best suited for my learning. Post a few standard questions like “Tell me about yourself.” and “Are you planning on taking research as a career?”, they asked about my field of interest. I emphasised on my inclination towards machine learning and microprocessors. Then, they evaluated my technical knowledge of object-oriented programming in Python and C++ along with machine learning. Additionally, they inquired about the projects I had done in this field.
I was finally set to start my amazing two-month experience! Every day, I would go through the high-level security procedure—no mobile phones or electronic items of any kind were allowed on the premises. I was assigned to the supercomputing facility and modular laboratory. On my very first day, I was asked to study the supercomputer at BARC. It was an incredible experience to see and touch one of the most powerful supercomputers in the country! Later, I worked on a multi-disciplinary project about predicting earthquakes from data gathered through sensors placed in various parts of India. I was assigned a project guide to help me throughout the internship. He let me study everything right from the very basic to the advanced level of the project and deep learning technology. He encouraged me to learn everything on my own but helped me out whenever I got stuck. He also helped me understand the various software elements of technology and monitored and assessed my work regularly. Not having access to my phone from 7 AM to 9 PM meant that books, technical or research papers, and blogs were the only media to learn. Without my phone, I could concentrate well and developed a lot of productive habits like reading books, reading and writing blogs, maintaining logs of every task, code management through GitHub, etc.
This internship completely transformed my lifestyle and structured me to work in a sustainable environment. In the last few days of the project work, I was completely astonished to see the changes in myself. At the start of my internship, I knew only the basic concepts of programming languages, operating systems, and some software tools; however, during my stint, I learnt various aspects of code optimization and machine learning in-depth and found myself fluent in coding highly optimized code over distributed networks. On the last day of the internship, I presented my work in front of higher dignitaries; I prepared a lot for the presentation and fortunately, it went well. Later the same day, I received my certificate. Ending my internship made me emotional, I was disheartened to leave the campus. I thanked my guide and other employees at BARC who made it such a surreal experience for me.
But wait, this is not the end! I went back to college the very next day after my internship ended. It was the 7th semester and various companies had started their hunt for hiring fresh graduates. Exactly one week after the internship, a company named Quantiphi Analytics Solution Pvt. Ltd. came to my college for the first campus interview of the year. I updated my resume with the internship details and this time, I was confident enough to present myself. I took some aptitude tests and after getting shortlisted, I was called in for a technical interview followed by an HR interview. I answered almost all their questions confidently and shared my exciting internship experience with them. After just a few hours of scrutiny, they hired me as a software developer with a handsome package! It is all thanks to Internshala because, without its help, I wouldn’t have gotten this golden opportunity to work on the BARC Research Level Internship Project and subsequently, land a high paying job!
Are you looking for an exciting way to learn and gain hands-on experience? Apply to these cool research internships and find your niche.