Hey there, I’m a Dual degree to-be fourthie in the department of electrical engineering. I’m currently interning at ION Energy, one of the best Battery management and intelligent platform of the world. This article describes how I got there and my experience working at ION.
It was the end of March, I got a call from an unknown number which I didn’t pick as it was the time when I was getting numerous spam calls. I never used to take a call without verifying it on the Truecaller. When I called back, it was one of the ICs who informed me that I had been shortlisted for the interview. It might not look like a big deal, but looking back It was simply a reliever for me.
Flashback to August, the internship season had just begun and I decided very early on to go only for the core companies. I got shortlisted in almost each of them but never got the congratulations message on the internship blog. Getting a shortlisted notification used to bring some thoughts of hope but not getting named in the final list would bring me back to square one. The semester was over in November but my waiting to get an internship wasn’t cleared. I went home in the winter vacation hoping to get it in the next semester. I applied to a couple of more companies along with ION, but the story remains the same. However, it wasn’t all bad. I got hands-on experience of how interviews are taken and it also gave me an opportunity to refresh what I had studied in my 1st and 2nd years. ION took their test in the starting of February but gave no updates after that. My roomie being IC was sick of attending my queries. March was about to end so I started thinking about taking a research project under any professor of the electrical department, but then I received that call which was like a panacea for my dying hopes.
There were two rounds of telephonic interview. The first round was technical which ran for around an hour, I was tested for my understanding of the fundamentals of electronics. The second round was just a formal personal interview which was quite short at which I was also informed that I’m going to spend my summer at the ION Energy.
Food, accommodation and the office culture
Although the company didn’t provide accommodation, doing an intern in Bombay and being an IIT-Bian never disappoints you when it comes to food and accommodation. Getting a direct bus from IIT main gate to the office makes it even easier. One more thing which helped me is that there are no strict office timings as such so I could be flexible in my timings of when to come and go.T It also helped me to plan other activities as well.
ION being a BMS technology company has four departments- Hardware design, Firmware development, mechanical design, and Testing & validation. I am a part of the hardware design team. I spent my first few days in understanding the previous and current projects, where I got an interaction with each employee irrespective of the department. Interning at ION gave me first-hand experience of an open and transparent culture, where I could approach anyone in the office and from any team and they would always be ready to help you. All this helped me get adapted to the culture very quickly, and lunchtime used to be even more fun, with everyone sharing their tiffin with the others. The discussions we used to have helped me rein in my nervousness. The kitchen is always full of Biscuits, bread, namkeen, etc., so you won’t be hungry anytime. Our office is really aesthetically pleasing to work at and there are a lot of perks for the team like meditation sessions and free snacks.
Hardware team at ION is responsible for designing the core hardware of BMS and circuits for the protection and testing of the same. After the first two weeks of my joining, when I got the full overview, I was allocated proper tasks along with other hardware engineers. My initial tasks were to do technical research to select the best analog front end ICs to be used for current and new BMS and to design the automotive test-benches for our products which can reduce the testing time from hours to a few minutes. In both tasks, I needed a lot of research work and planning. I learned a lot from spending every minute on these tasks. Since I needed to design a common test-bench for all products of ION, it gave me an opportunity to know about each of them, and alongside this many of my concepts got cleared, some of which were used to puzzle for me when I read about those in my courses in IIT. In addition, I became handy with working on some software. After completing these, I have been given an opportunity to design the hardware for a new product, which I need to design completely on my own. I’ve just started working on it, with one month to go, I’m sweet dreaming to learn tremendously from it.
Being the only hardware intern, I never felt like an intern, as I was a part of every meeting and discussion. Everyone, literally everyone there is a guide and mentor to me and every day brings a new opportunity to learn something. Every week we used to have a meet for the sprint planning on ASANA(an application for work allocation), where VP-business operation allocates us tasks and we need to estimate the hours to complete. In addition, we have the quick stand-ups every day where we discuss our daily progress whether our task is running on time or we are facing problems to get it complete.
There is another weekly meet known as ION all hands, where one of us is provided an opportunity to have fifteen minutes of fame (FMOF) presentation. I felt that it gives one a completely different insight into the technical world.
I feel lucky to work with a very fast moving and inspiring team like this. I’ve never seen anybody tired here, everybody is very excited every single day to go ahead. It’s a start-up so the views of every single person matter. Everyone is keen to listen to each other. Whenever I feel any difficulty, I just go and approach anyone irrespective of their department with zero hesitation. While I can’t judge this properly, but as per the feedback from my friends who are interning at other companies, I feel that I’m spending my summer at the best company in the world.
I would advise everyone to not run behind any random intern, short your priorities then go for it. If you aren’t interested, it remains nothing other than a point to fill your resume. Whether it’s taking up an internship or any POR, talk to seniors(not everyone) and more importantly to yourselves before reaching a decision.