Ever heard of dreams coming true? Well, it was one such for me. I applied for an internship at Airbus, Bangalore via the PT cell, which was offering a work profile of Multibody Simulation. The shortlisted candidates were declared and an interview over Skype (that still gives me goosebumps) paved my path into the company. The interview was mostly resume based and questions were asked on my experience at Mars Rover Team. A day later, the phone rang with an unusually melodious ringtone, and the next thing I remember is our flight landing at the Kempegowda International Airport.
New place, all by myself, nervous as hell, until a cab from the hotel arrived and the driver, Vijay made the two hours long drive an ice breaker to a small world in itself, Bangalore. From Bangalore’s weather to Airbus, history and future, politics and technology, the conversation reassured me that it is going to be a good stay.
An excellent hotel room with facilities beyond explanation and indeed my requirement. Now you know why we need money! Monday came rushing, and along with that my first day at the office. Heads-up, you get a free cab drop-pick to office. There stood the fancy building, Xylem! Wondering if the greeting is to be a good morning or a hello, I reached the fourth-floor reception. Guided to the meeting room, the HR introduced us to the agreement papers regarding rules and regulations, IT security agreements and a few more onboarding paperwork. This was the point when I realised that I was stepping into something big.
Now, we were introduced to our buddies. Mine was a familiar face! The same person who took my interview. Oh, that sigh of joyous relief!
I was soon taken to my desk on the third floor and was introduced to over 20 people. Shaking hands, trying to learn the new names with faces, smiling throughout, I was still struggling with the good morning/hello dilemma, when the other person from my skype interview, who happened to be the department manager appeared. And out of haste, I greeted him ‘Good morning sir’ at 1 pm, to which he giggled saying, ‘Punit, until you find me a good nickname’. And that is how the working environment is, summarised in one line. Even my first meeting with the team started with a 2-minute silence in the grief of the end of GOT!
After this, all my days here have passed as another day at institute. Zero awkwardness, welcoming faces, helpful souls and not to forget – sarcastic humour! There is a mess recreated at the ground floor cafeteria, with tonnes of stories, serious discussions, fun mockery and what not. Did I mention about tasty yet cheap breakfast and lunch, and unlimited coffee/tea at all times? Oh, and the tea and milkshake at Brigade, an office complex nearby. Walk after lunch with hilarious college stories shared – ‘ I have lived in IIT Kanpur, IIT KGP in the 90s. Hall anthem of Hall 2, IITK still plays fresh in my head. ‘
This was all about the people there. Now comes the work allotted to me. I was in Research and Technology team in Airframe Department. As the name suggests, we worked on developing new mechanisms, improvement in existing parts, new methodology of manufacturing and so on. My job dealt with ideating new mechanisms for given problem area in the airframe. I was trained to use Adams and CATIA. Heads-up, never let not knowing something turn you down. You can learn anything new at any point of time.
I found this work more than just challenging. It didn’t just demand hard work and problem solving ability, but a huge amount of patience as well. Everyday, you are expected to bring out wonders, and solve every difficult shortcoming. But the experienced help from other employees, the exposure they gave me and the fact that they allowed an intern to present her ideas to focals independently, helped me grow. I clearly remember my first Webex meeting with French focals and the advice received: ‘Don’t take criticism seriously. If they don’t understand your idea, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Keep going.’
Keeping in mind that work here is challenging, it is made sure that the health of employees is given the topmost priority. Regular SQCDP (Safety, Quality, Costs, Delivery, People) review is taken. Third and sixth floors have foosball, carrom and pool tables, which are accessible to all. Zumba and yoga workshops, friendly inter department football, cricket, badminton matches take place monthly.
What I loved about Airbus was the freedom to think out of the box. The sixth floor has an area named Protospace. I bet you cannot help but fall for it! Some amazing work goes on there. People can walk in though. Exactly what happens there, discover it for yourself! During my internship, a competition took place, called print-a-thon, in which you can revolutionise any part of the plane you wish, working in a team of four. Reward – your idea will be taken forward and brought into reality.
One must see how affectionately they celebrate each others birthdays, achievements, and the full-on senti farewells. Our team also conducts FunTime on first Friday of every month, in which they play informal games to keep up the teamwork spirit. Not to forget the mails saying ‘Homemade sweets on my table. Limited stock available’.
Now a bit on what to do, where to stay, what not to miss in Bangalore:
The Airbus office is situation in Whitefield on the outskirts of the city. The first major issue you will face will be of unbearable traffic and travel expenses. One could try out scooty rentals for small rides, buses and metro for daily travels. To avoid 2 hour drive daily to office, opt for a PG nearby, in Hoodi or near Phoenix Marketcity. You better try your luck at finding a room in Zolo or Sumukh. The stay at Bangalore is also expensive, and not much proportion of stipend remains!
Don’t forget, it is your summer vacation too. Spend your weekends out. There are the Nandi hills, street food at Mosque road during Ramzaan, shopping at MG road, clubs at Kormangala, local beer at breweries too! There are few other places around Bangalore worth visiting such as Coorg, Kodaikanal and Pondicherry.
I went to Pondicherry last weekend, it has mesmerising beaches, and a great place for midnight scooty rides too, amidst French localities.
Three weeks left, and nostalgia has already hit me. I’ve met some amazing people here – made new friends, especially my roomie and her never ending talks. And the beautiful places I have seen and all that I have learnt – I am taking it all back with me. Bangalore has secured a forever spot in my heart!