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Rashmi Choudhary is a 3rd year Undergraduate pursuing a B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science.
It has been eight amazing weeks in Ireland. One more week and I am going to miss this place so badly. I am supposed to deliver a presentation about my research on Tuesday, but here I am waiting for the deadline to come and writing about my internship experience at Trinity College Dublin.
So let me give you a brief idea of why I chose this internship. When the internship season starts, everybody gets crazy about getting an internship early as it’s considered to be a great achievement. But trust me when I say it’s not always a right perception and instead you should go and explore which field really interests you. Because the scramble for getting initial interns becomes a rat race and everyone wants them without truly understanding what they’d be about. Many deserving people miss out too. Only to realise they got much better intern of their choice later. I was interested in core so I thought of going for a university intern to know is it really the place where I wanted to be? And the answer is yes. This is what I am good at and this is something I really like doing.
The Selection Process:
To start with, it couldn’t get simpler than this. They don’t have skype interviews. All you need is a nice resume and a decent CPI and you are done. It comes through PT cell with the name CRANN, Trinity College Dublin, where CRANN is a research institute within the university.
After getting selected, I didn’t have to worry about those fluctuating air fares or arranging an accommodation. The University booked the tickets for me and also arrange for the first week stay. You just gotta get your visa done, sit back, relax a bit and admire the Irish hospitality.
Well it varies depending on who your professor is. I work with professor Michael Coey from School of Physics. My work is to study the magnetic properties of Titanium doped Manganese Gallium Heusler Alloys. My work comprises of synthesizing samples, characterizing them with X-ray diffractometry, taking magnetic measurements and making correlations between composition and magnetic properties. We have one group meeting and a personal review meeting every Tuesday. So here you don’t have Monday blues but a stressful Tuesday as you have to get up early and be there in the meeting at 9:30 am sharp. Your whole day will be about attending meetings and making presentation of the work done last week and also make an action plan for the next week. On the last Tuesday of my internship, I had to make a presentation in front of the whole group to summarize my research. Lab timings are flexible but you have to adhere to the deadlines in terms of finishing the allotted task. But yeah, you’ve got all the weekends free to explore this beautiful country.
For the first week of our internship we were staying at a very nice house at Sandymount, arranged by the university. Getting a lot of Irish chocolates, whiskey and champagne as a welcome gift was like a cherry on top of the cake. But after that, you’ll have to arrange your own stay and it’s not very easy to get an accommodation here. We spent days stalking daft.ie and got fed up of fake accommodation posts. Finally, we got a house through a student lettings agency. You will be given a Bank of Ireland debit card and your stipend will be transferred to your bank account on a weekly basis and it is enough to afford an accommodation, food and exploring Ireland. Though you have enough money to eat outside on a daily basis but I would highly recommend cooking at home at least half of the times as it gives you those chef feels and a feeling of self dependence, knowing that now I can survive anywhere.
Irish weather is very moody. You’ll see that at one moment it’s sunny at at the other moment it’s skin-biting cold. It may rain quite randomly as well, so If you plan to come here next summers, then do get all kind of clothes along. Travel is quite convenient and luxurious here. All the buses have WiFi. And yes the answer to the always-asked-question, is there anything for the vegans to eat, is a BIG YES! There are a plenty of options that are available. There are a lot of Asian supermarkets where you’ll get frozen and ready to eat food. If you are a non vegetarian then guinness beef stew is a must as it is Ireland’s signature food made with guinness beer.
Here comes the most exciting part of a university internship. Ireland offers you so many amazing places to be around. It is situated in the lap of nature and is so green that the whole country seems so serene. Even if you are not a nature lover and more like a party animal this place won’t disappoint you. Dublin where the college is situated is flooded with pubs and clubs. Quite surprisingly, the college also had one bar inside the campus.
One should never waste any of their weekend sitting idle at home here. Plan your weekend in advance and book a tour accordingly. If you’ll go there by public transport then it will be more hectic, time consuming and you wouldn’t be able to cover as many places as the tour buses do. One amazing fact about here is that the sun sets at 10 pm so never go back home so early if you love being lost in the streets.
The only sad thing about here is that you will experience the thrill of skydiving only if the sky is clear on weekends – which rarely happened during my stay here, and if it is then you also need to be lucky enough to get a reservation.
People and culture:
Irish people are very friendly and always ready to help. They have an incorrigible habit of engaging in conversation with total strangers. You can expect anybody to say hello to you while walking down the road. You won’t even realise that when saying thank you, sorry and opening and holding the door for other people became a part of your life. Though the language of Ireland is Irish but to my surprise nobody speaks it here in Dublin except the fact that signboards at stops are in both Irish and English. So you will never have any communication problems with people.
It has been a memorable stay here. Thank you IIT Bombay and Trinity College Dublin for giving me this opportunity to work here and thank you Insight for providing a platform to share my experiences.