Hello all. My name is Vikash and I am writing this blog to share my internship experience at Reliance Industries Limited.
So let’s begin with my introduction. I am a 4th-year student pursuing a BTech in Chemical Engineering and honestly speaking I didn’t have much interest in core subjects, at least during the first couple of years. In my first two years at the institute, I was really interested in sports and I used to give most of my time to it. I also liked technical stuff a bit and did some coding as well. I had done multiple internships before Reliance, but all of them were related to either marketing or business. I kind of enjoyed it initially but after my last internship, I felt that the challenges as well as the technicality involved in such internships were quite less and eventually, I became disinterested. I wanted to do something better with a bigger impact or something which makes me scratch my head. As I mentioned earlier, I had little interest in core subjects, but that opinion of mine changed after I did my lab courses. I was fascinated to see the practical applications of all the stuff that I learned (not actually :P) from my core subjects. Each lab had something new to teach, maybe because I didn’t pay attention in class. Maybe it was normal for other students but it was a great experience for me. Enough about me, now let’s get back to the internship.
A question you might ask me is why did I opt for a core internship? It’s a fair question as I did no chemical projects and had a very low CPI. The simple answer to it is that I had no coding experience, didn’t want a business or marketing-related intern, and lately, I developed an interest in core subjects. These factors led me to opt for core companies. Initially, I applied for HUL and Piramal but due to low CPI, I wasn’t even shortlisted. I was pretty sure that I won’t secure a core intern, at least not in the 5th semester. Fast forward to the next semester, Reliance had opened its IAF and the stipend was handsome as well. But again, I was really disheartened because everyone would apply for this IAF and I once again will not be shortlisted due to my low CPI. But then came some good news. I was informed that Reliance is not going to shortlist based on CPI or Resume, instead, they are going to take a test. I was happy, but not overjoyed because I knew it was still pretty hard, but at least I would get a chance to prove myself. One thing life has taught me is that the opportunities we get are quite rare. You should respect and do justice to every opportunity. That is what I exactly did. I prepared really hard and bagged this intern. Let’s move forward to my preparation and the selection procedure for this internship.
So, my first barrier was the test. In the IAF, it was mentioned that the test will consist of 2 sections- aptitude and core. I was pretty sure that I would be able to ace in aptitude, so I concentrated more on the core part. I got to know that the core test won’t consist of any difficult or lengthy numerical. It will include some basic concepts and practical questions like the functioning of the distillation column and various concepts of heat transfer, mass transfer fluids and thermodynamics. A major part of my prep was watching youtube videos on the summary of these subjects and some videos which talked about the working of different types of plants. So the D-Day arrived and my hard work did pay off. I managed to solve almost all aptitude problems in 30 mins and did pretty well in the core test as well. I was happy and satisfied to see my name in the shortlist. It also boosted my confidence. Now comes the interview.
Before the interview, we were given a set of questions that we had to answer and submit. The questions were typical HR ones and also asked information about my family background. Now let’s talk about how I prepared for the interview. So we were not informed of what kind of interview it would be. Initially, I thought it would be an HR interview because the technical test was already done and they had also asked us to submit answers to some HR questions. I thought they would ask questions on the basis of that sheet and my resume. But when I talked to my seniors and batchmates they advised that I should also prepare for core questions. So, I started revising the basic concepts of some recent courses like Mass Transfer and CRE. I also looked for some technical interview videos on youtube for chemical engineers and tried to memorize and understand as many concepts as I could through those videos. Still, in the back of my mind, I was hoping for an HR interview.
Fast forward to the day of the interview, I borrowed formals from my wingies (most of us do the same) and went for the interview. The interview started really smoothly. He asked me about any projects I’ve done in a chemical. I didn’t have any, so I went on to describe my lab experience to him. Then he asked technical questions and I answered almost all of them. The trick is to sound basic and explain everything using simple language. If you complicate your answer the interviewer will complicate the question further and that is one thing that you really don’t want to happen. At the end of the interview, he asked me the field I wanted to work in. I answered him R&D and also gave a description backing it. We shook hands and with this, the selection procedure concluded. The result came during midsems and let me tell you that you don’t want this kind of happiness. It was very distractive during the midsems :P. This time I wasn’t just happy, I was extremely satisfied as well. I had rarely felt this kind of satisfaction before.
It’s getting long, isn’t it? But it’s the kind of experience worth sharing and I don’t want to miss any detail. I will now share my internship experience. TL;DR it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. One perk of working in big companies is the overkill management. Everything was smooth and well organized, be it onboarding or the meetings. We were also assigned domain mail ids and that was really cool. The best part was that there wasn’t any attendance system or working hours. I could work at any time. In the initial days, I was told to study research papers and understand the process and write reviews. As the intern was virtual, I was worried that this will continue for the rest of the internship and I won’t learn anything. It turned out I couldn’t be more wrong. After the initial week, we started to work on a live project. Which means it was ongoing and wasn’t just fabricated for internship purposes. The project was on the manufacturing of VCM which later on is used to manufacture PVC. My responsibility was to create a kinetic model of the process and validate it with the data available. Not only I validated the model I also went on to modify it for plug flow reactors and integrate minor improvements. There was heavy involvement of MATLAB and chemical reaction engineering in my internship. Initially, I struggled recalling all concepts but then I studied lecture slides from Moodle and it helped a lot. Throughout the internship, the mentors and colleagues were infi supportive, we could call them anytime and ask anything. I made many friends and I have to admit I enjoyed it more than I thought. The final part of the internship was to present my work to the panel and it went really well. I am so glad that I decided to choose a core internship. I am really proud of the contribution I made, the things I learned, and the friends I made. I would like to end this blog by giving all my juniors a piece of advice. It is not merely advice. It is something that I personally felt. “You should never let anyone tell you what you can do and what you can’t. No one, not even you know what you are capable of, so always be proud of yourself and attempt everything with a mindset that you will definitely succeed.”