Kickstarting my career with multiple internships at start-ups and Samsung

About the author: Utkarsh Agarwal is a 3rd-year CSE student at Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore. He started interning at the end of his first year and shares how he scored an internship at Samsung this year.

In my first year at college, I saw some of my friends participating in hackathons and winning prizes. I found this quite exciting and decided to participate in them too. Since I had some spare time due to the lockdown in March, I started learning Flutter and started participating in hackathons from May onwards. However, I did not win any of them which demotivated me for a while. I thought that hackathons were not my cup of tea and started looking for other ways to use my skills. With the summer break approaching, I decided to look for internships. Another motivation behind pursuing internships was that my family’s financial condition was not good during the lockdown, and I could not afford to ask my parents for my overhead expenses. So, getting paid while gaining industry experience was a major driving factor.

I did a Google search to look for internships and came across Internshala through Quora. Moreover, one of my friends got an internship at Data Stats through Internshala, and he had a good experience. I applied to the same company for the position of a Flutter app development intern and got through. When I joined, the team was working on an app called ScanEase, which was a PDF application. This app was an alternative to Chinese applications that the Indian government had banned. They had already made a basic structure of the application, and my contribution was to work on image compression and enhancement through Dart plugins. I also worked with Google Drive and Dropbox integration and a business card feature. Once I completed this internship and had some experience in my resume, finding new internships became easier.

Next, I joined Investiture, which was a Fintech company. Their app, Mera-Advisor, had EMI and risk-based calculators. My task was to implement the logic behind these calculators through code to generate pie charts, bar graphs, and pdfs. I also worked on the front-end and back-end of their blog. Apart from this, I worked with the real-time chat feature in the app using web sockets.

Between internships, I was also working on projects and participating in competitions. One of the projects that I worked on along with some seniors was an application called Kisansewa. It was a Flutter application with machine learning integrated into it. We worked on a TensorFlow model which could detect plant diseases by scanning plant leaves. Other features in the app included giving farmers the option to rent tools from nearby farmers, showing agriculture news and displaying the weather forecast. 

Having gained sufficient experience with Flutter, I decided to expand my skill set and started learning web development. After learning MERN stack, I worked on a project to create a video-calling app. Later, when I started applying for internships, I requested one of the employers to conduct an interview on this application. Based on this project and other internship experiences, I was able to land my next gig at Yatharth IAS, a Jaipur-based institute. This internship required me to dedicate 8 hours a day, but it turned out to be the best experience because I learned immensely. The company was transitioning into online learning due to the lockdown and building a website. In the first week, I customised an existing website on a website building site. After the first week, I worked on the institute’s website that they were building from scratch. Initially, I worked on the front-end with a designer. Next, I created RestAPIs through Node and worked on the student forum.

While interning here, I also participated in an on-campus placement by Samsung. The company was looking for research and development interns and only CSE students were eligible. The first screening took place through questions on data structures. There were three questions and we had an hour to solve them. I solved two questions and made it to the interview round. This round was a mix of technical and behavioral questions. 

1. Why do you choose Flutter over React?
2. What are the challenges you faced during your projects?
3. What was your contribution to the group projects?

They also evaluated me based on my previous internship experiences. I cleared the interview round and was among the fifty selected students. In this internship, we are working on a read-aloud feature on Bixby, the Samsung virtual assistant. This feature would be especially useful for visually-impaired people who can ask Bixby to navigate to a URL and read a certain line or paragraph.

Do you want to give an early start to your career as well? Then, register on Internshala and flip open the opportunities!

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