Joshitha Tottala – TransytUPM Madrid

Hey, y’all! Yeah, one more internship experience to read. Don’t stop reading already as I am going to talk about my experiences in Europe. Well, I got your attention now, so I am gonna start with my boring introduction.

Hello, I am Joshitha, a 4th year undergrad from the Civil department (please don’t say civil chill hota hai on a kind note ;)). I am here to share my internship experience with y’all. So yeah, I did my research internship at the Transport Research Centre, Polytechnic University of Madrid. Yeah, kids, it’s Madrid. So my internship was for 3 months, where I worked on the impacts of COVID-19 on mobility trends in different cities, and I am trying to write a paper about the same now.

Instead of just talking about the process and stuff, I will walk through my journey and share my experiences, giving you an idea.

The application process

So I was this confused girl who didn’t know what to choose for her career at the beginning of the 3rd year when all her friends were making profile oriented resumes. Yes, I was also in the same situation as many of you are now, and I just wanna say you will figure it out as Ted did in HIMYM – dude, just chill. Now, digging into the details, I just had this transportation course in the autumn semester of my 3rd year. It was interesting that is when I decided to explore more about it as I never had something like an area of interest before that. I started exploring more about the subject by talking to seniors and reading some articles. Oh yeah, it was not that exciting, and that is when I came to know about the university internship. Who says no to an internship abroad? So, I started apping at the beginning of October. As you guys already know, how tiring it is to send lots of emails every day and waiting for a reply. My case was even worse as I was apping during the pandemic. To be honest it is easy to accept rejection more than the uncertainty; you got me, right..? It’s the same as I like you but as a friend ;( – getting your hopes up saying “We are glad to take you in, but we cannot assure you anything cause of the pandemic”. 

Not gonna lie, you need a lot of patience while you do apping, and the most important is to not lose hope. Most of the professors did not have any ongoing research projects because of the pandemic. I thought of giving up many times but still imagining myself in some other country during the summers motivated me through that.  In the beginning, I did not reach any professors from Europe cause of the language problem. I later started sending emails to professors from Europe as well. What do you expect? It’s the same; we cannot take any overseas students because of the current situation. Still, by the end of December, I dropped an email to one professor from Spain with so little hope, and then he replied the very next day, saying that his area of work coincides with mine. I was asked to submit a detailed work plan to consider for the further process. I got in by the end of February, and that is when the real struggle began, applying for Visa :(. After eagerly waiting for 15 days, I finally got my visa, and the embassy paused the Visa issue from the very next day (yessss!!! Lucky biatchhhh)

And Finally, after a lot of drama like cancellation of flights, border controls etc etccc I made it to EUROPE. 

The university

My internship experience

Ok, now let’s be professional for a while. I started working at the research centre. My area of interest was Transportation Planning. Specifically, my topic for the summers was to analyse the impacts of covid on mobility trends. The professor I was working under was lovely and helpful. Spanish people are sweet indeed. I started working on my research paper, made an excellent analysis and through the process, I realised that there are many things that we actually don’t know. Research helps you find the answer to at least one of the things you are not aware of. I started having an outline for my paper, but I honestly didn’t know how to write a research paper. My colleagues really helped me through that, and also big thanks to Google and Youtube. I am drafting my research paper with a really interesting analysis about how mobility dependence changed through different waves of the pandemic. To be honest, I had no idea about research earlier, but this internship taught me many things. For me, research is not only about finding solutions; it also teaches you patience and alters your way of thinking about a problem. I enjoyed my research intern so much that I am further planning to go to grad school.

Europe

Let’s now talk about my experience in Europe. I was in love with Madrid and Europe. I met many people from different countries, and I travelled alone around Europe, which is my best experience to date. I got to travel a lot cause of my father, who’s a travel enthusiast. Still, I always dreamed of travelling around the world, and this trip to Europe made me take baby steps towards my dream. I did many things on my bucket list, and my favourite one was visiting the Eiffel Tower at night. I made many friends from different parts of the world who were travelling alone like me or doing their Erasmus. The important thing that I’ve learnt is “Home is not a place; it is where you feel you belong”, and I found my home in Europe.

The ‘me’ by the end of 4-semester didn’t know what she wants in her life. But, here I am by the end of my 6th semester – into research, transportation and travelling. All I wanna say is you will figure it out no matter what and trust me in this. Take your time, explore different things, have fun and only choose what excites you (just like the person that gives you butterflies lol!!!). Never let peer pressure overrule your decisions cause it’s you who need to work for the next few coming years.

If someone asks you where you see yourself in the next few years, my answer would be ‘IDK’ (insert Khaby’s expression). Right now, all I wanna do is just go with the flow by doing the things the present ‘me’ wants to do. I agree that planning for the future is a good thing, but trust me, sometimes doing it unplanned is the most exciting and fun thing to do. Just don’t stress out and enjoy everything that comes your way.

Ahhhhh… lot of gyaann, am sorry I didn’t plan this lol ; ) 

Hope you enjoyed reading this.

Signing off

Joshitha.

1 month ago