Hola amigos! My name is Immanuel Williams and I will be in my 4th year of my dual degree program in Electrical Engineering (B.Tech + M.Tech Power Electronics and Power Systems). As a matter of fact, I happen to be the only person in my batch to be interested in this domain (interested enough to change my specialisation to this from Microelectronics), and my area of interest not being a hot topic in recent times made things tough when it comes to getting internship offers. Even after applying via networking, I’d be rejected all the time so my first advice would be that be prepared to face rejections and be patient. There are opportunities available out there that will recognise your skillset and help you to do better.
If anything, I am grateful to my friends who alerted me about the internship offer from Honeywell, this being more in line with my area of interest. I checked the job profile on PT Cell and it really was the case. Apart from that, my parents suggested that I take it up not only because it gave me an opportunity to work in a nice firm but also because one of my relatives used to work there and he shared positive comments about working there. Finally, I also wanted to apply the skills that I had learned in a real world application and this seemed to be the only chance where I could do that in an area of my interest.
So, the selection process had 3 parts, a screening test in which questions were asked. Some of the questions were based on things like IQ and the use of language but a majority of the questions were basic questions on the curriculum of my department, mostly in my area of interest but few other questions were also asked. After this, there were two rounds of interviews, the first one being the technical interview was the one where I was asked questions about my previous work experience (projects with professors as mentioned in my resume) and a few technical questions. The second round was the HR interview where I was asked questions about my hobbies, strengths, weaknesses, and so on.
As far as preparation goes, I approached a few seniors in my department who had done internships in the core sector albeit in a different area. This was because I needed some general advice on how to deal with the core related questions in the interviews and the screening tests. For my area of interest, however, I also asked a Ph.D. student with whom I was working on a project about how to prepare for the selection process if questions in that area were to be asked. I revised some of the basic theory pertaining to my area of interest (some bit of 1st and 2nd year courses) and went over my resume again. This was an important step especially because the technical interview involved questions directly related to my previous work experience.
My work in the internship began on May 31st. The first few days had a couple of orientation sessions where a lot of information was bombarded on various work-related issues but it was easy to get started on whatever I was planning to do next. My initial task was to understand the market and technology trends when it comes to what kind of electric motors have been used in various industries. Keeping those things in mind, I had to design an electric motor for controlling the aileron angle of an aircraft. I also had to design a controller and made some improvements to the initial design of the electric motor so that it consumes less power but still does the required task efficiently.
As far as a work-from-home experience goes, I’d say that I didn’t find a significant difference as far as doing the work is concerned. The initial part of my project involving literature review was somewhat cumbersome (those of you who do research know how it is!) but the fun part started when I got to work on the technical software to get the desired results. Doing all of this from the comfort of my home seemed quite like a win especially when you get to eat home-cooked meals, play the guitar and BGMI, catching up on the latest episodes of WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Loki and with the restrictions somewhat relaxed in my area, I also had the liberty to go out cycling and keep myself physically fit.
The only downside of a work-from-home experience was the fact that I wasn’t able to go out and explore a new place. As soon as I got to know that I got selected for the internship program, I began making plans on meeting some of my friends in Bangalore but alas, those never came to fruition. I couldn’t explore my “onboarding location”, let alone enter the offices and other facilities. But as far as work goes, given my tasks, a work-from-home experience seemed more convenient in the sense that unlike other sectors where you are required to meet every day for long hours, I had the liberty to choose my work hours in the sense that I could work for as long as I want and report my findings to my supervisor/manager in a short meeting after which I can do whatever I feel like doing.
Work-from-home can be good or bad depending on the kind of work you would like to do. Certain job profiles require you to negotiate/manage things via meetings which you could do online or in person hence a work-from-home experience might be even more comfortable, given that you don’t have to leave your home. Some jobs require you to do things on the site itself and in those cases, work-from-home internships might not be quite fulfilling. It’s almost like showing a video of an experiment and saying that just because you have seen it, you’ve done the experiment, when in reality, you might not even be able to reproduce the setup! Either way, things can be bad if at all you don’t have the required IT assets like a laptop and even if you do but have poor network connectivity, you are at a greater disadvantage. Finally, work-from-home has no provision of you leaving your comfort zone and exploring a new place which some people might resent if they have friends in their onboarding location or they love to travel to/explore new places.
My advice to juniors who are currently applying for internships: Don’t stress yourself out if at all you haven’t found your desired profile or you have been rejected multiple times. It takes a lot of patience to get an internship of your choice, especially if you are pursuing an area which isn’t a “hot topic” in the current times. Try all ways like networking and apping to increase your chances of getting an internship but never for once, settle for something lesser than what you are interested in because if you are genuinely interested in what you do/are doing, you will find an opportunity to work on it. If at all you get selected for an internship position, remember that you are doing what you enjoy the most, so enjoy your work and give it your best shot. If it is a work from home internship, be sure to keep yourself healthy and physically fit by indulging in activities like cycling, if at all they are permitted in your locality.
Lastly, I am willing to help any of you guys out should you need my assistance so feel free to reach out if you have any issues.