I’m Sahil Jain, a final year undergraduate student of Mechanical Engineering. My happy place is my home which is in Durg, Chhattisgarh.
I had the privilege of an on-campus internship at Dr. Reddy’s, Hyderabad (YES! you heard it right!!!, it was an offline intern 😎).
Even after 2 years at the institute, I wasn’t sure which sector to pursue (A situation familiar to many students). So, I had decided to keep my options open and explore as much as possible for the internships. During the initial days, I applied to FMCGs, companies offering analytical roles, and basically any profile that caught my eye! Having said that, the one thing that I did know was that I did not want to pursue core companies. Ironically, I ended up getting shortlisted for the final interview round for a core internship at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. Still having second thoughts about whether to pursue this internship or not, I approached my elder brother. He advised me that rather than ditching this opportunity altogether, why not give it a chance.
After the initial shortlisting (resume-based), there were three rounds.
First Round: The first round involves a preliminary test checking your primary chemical/mechanical (as per your branch) engineering knowledge and aptitude questions.
Second Round: The next round is Group Discussion, that too an entire core GD. The GD was conducted in a panel of 9-10 students belonging to the same branch. Therefore, there were different panels for mechanical and chemical students. The GD lasted roughly for 30 mins and the case to be discussed was given on the spot with some time prior to group discussion to ponder over.
Tips for 1st and 2nd Round: Make sure you are well prepared with basic fundamentals and knowledge pertaining to your branch (example, thermodynamic, fluids, etc.) This will be very helpful for both the 1st and 2nd rounds, especially the GD.
Third Round: The final round is the interview round which was Technical + HR. They asked about my projects and some HR questions. It was a very short interview, and when the results were announced, looking at my name in the blog, I felt I have given myself the best birthday gift. (Yes, I got selected on my birthday!!)
Tips for the 3rd round: Make sure you are well prepared to defend anything, especially the projects you mentioned in your resume. Because the technical questions they asked were majorly based on the projects that I mentioned.
Having decided to explore this opportunity, I accepted the internship offer. Because of the prevalent COVID-19 scenario, we believed it would be a WFH intern (considering that our seniors too had a WFH intern). Surprisingly, DRL wanted to do an offline on-campus internship. We (6 IITB + 4 IIT Kanpur students) were called to work at the Hyderabad office. I worked in the Advanced Characterization Techniques (ACT) Lab of IPDO (Integrated Product Development Organization, the R&D department of Dr. Reddy’s), Hyderabad.
Objectives of my internship: There were two aspects; the main goal was to develop an analytical process tool for in-situ image-analysis of microspheres formulation (Microspheres are small spherical particles with Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient encapsulated by a polymer.) This tool lets one know the inside-out of the process in focus, required for efficient scale-up of a process from laboratory scale to plant scale.
The other aspect was getting hands-on experience of microscopic tools for cross-section analysis of microspheres.
I had the opportunity of working in a laboratory under the guidance of a specialist in microscopic techniques and an alumnus of IITB (a 2018 graduate).
The internship started with a two-day digital induction session. Following the covid-19 quarantine norms, we stepped into the office, post 1 week of quarantine at the guest house. Meanwhile, we were allotted the projects and mentors.
In the initial days, I emphasized understanding the project and the various aspects involved: relevant theoretical background, deliverables, key challenges, working mechanisms of the various tools and machinery involved, and the safety norms. Later on, I performed experiments for process analytical tool development and used various microscopic tools.
Frankly speaking, getting hands-on experience of such sophisticated microscopic tools and other advanced technologies for real-life projects was the best experience.
The day I stepped foot on the DRL campus, honestly, I felt I was back in college. The whole campus is full of flora and walking there every time you will feel as if you are walking in Insti itself.
I worked in the ACT Lab, and everyone there was so warm and welcoming, I was treated like a family member, not an outsider who came only for 2 months. A total of three different teams worked in the ACT lab, but because of the constructive environment, warm and friendly people one can definitely say that these people belong to the ACT team and not three different teams.
The things that I liked the most about DRL were: no specific dress code, free weekends, and complete ownership and responsibility of the project you are working on, which is rare among other organizations.
The typical working hours are 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM. However, two other working shifts were prevalent because of the existing Covid-19 scenario and covid norms: ‘A’ shift (6 AM -2 PM) and ‘B’ shift (2 PM – 10 PM).
We stayed in Kondapur, in the company’s guest house. The accommodation facility exceeded every expectation. It was like living again in a college hostel with the difference being that accommodation and messing facilities were way better XD. As our work location was far from our guest house, the company arranged the required transport facilities.
As the internship was physical, I was highly enthusiastic about meeting college friends once again. Once the covid restrictions were relaxed, we did not miss a single moment to explore Hyderabad. We went for road trips, visited famous locations in Hyderabad and had a lot of fun.
Conclusive Notes: The whole internship experience is something I will cherish forever. It was a wonderful experience, full of challenges, fun moments, meeting new people, making new friends, everything was awesome! It was a wonderful learning experience, shedding light on what the Pharmaceutical Industry is and it’s working.
As I previously mentioned, I wasn’t really into the core industry. Still, if you ask me now, I really loved my internship experience. Now my perception of the core sector is entirely different.
Therefore, my advice for you will be to just believe in yourself and your abilities and success will come in no time. It’s okay if you are not sure which sector to pursue, be open to opportunities, explore and then decide.
All the best guys and girls. Macha dena!!!!
Feel free to contact me on Facebook or LinkedIn, if you have any queries. Happy to help!!!!!