Hey, I am Shubham Seth, a second-year B.Tech. student from the Electrical Engineering department. I am currently pursuing an internship at Silvernox and I am going to discuss it a bit.
I found out about the internship from the internship blog during the lockdown. The internship application was originally for a web and app developer, and I had recently gotten into web development. Thus I felt it was a nice opportunity to further my skills in the area and I applied for the position.
However, during the interview I learned that they were more interested in my work in Machine Learning and Computer Vision. The fact that I knew some of web development was an added bonus for them. During the telephonic interview, they asked me several questions based on my projects and assessed my understanding of the concepts. They even went through the website I had created and asked me whether I was familiar with certain topics or not.
THE WORK EXPERIENCE
Although I can’t completely disclose the nature of the work, it was related to Object Detection and Localization, and I had had some experience in the area beforehand. Thus, I didn’t require a lot of preparation, as I only had to brush up the concepts, and I was good to go.
Initially, the work allotted to me was in the fine-tuning of a MaskRCNN model, and I had to design several experiments and draw conclusions based on them. When I was not doing that, I helped around with minor tweakings and bugs in several other codes. I was really enthusiastic, since even though I had a keen interest in Object Detection, I hadn’t been able to extensively work on it previously, due to my lack of resources. At Silvernox, I was provided with these resources and I was able to use them to my heart’s content.
Soon, I had to work on a dashboard to display the results of the work done by the team. This was completely a new area for me, since even though I had some experience in web development, I was completely new to App Development. To be completely honest, it was kind of overwhelming, as my superiors just told me what all they wanted in the dashboard, and then left me to my own devices. At the time, I felt like a 5-year-old who had been handed a sword and was told to go straight into battle with the demon overlord.
But as I worked on it, I started gaining more experience and was able to develop a basic app in some time. Then I continued expanding on the base as per the requirements from the higher-ups and though it took quite a while, and hundreds of bugs, I was able to develop a properly working app. It was quite exhausting, but I am able to quickly deploy apps on the go now and I feel like I learned a lot. I also learned that even though it felt like I was a kid who had to beat the demon overlord, I didn’t have to fight him straight away, but rather level up my skills and fix my deficiencies before challenging him.
Currently, I am simultaneously working on the maintenance of the app and the development of a YOLO object detector. The work is really fun, and I learn a lot from working, not just concepts, but other various skills that one picks up while working with people who have more experience than you.
Working from home was quite a mess initially, as I had never worked with remote systems before. Initially, even opening an interface was quite difficult, and required a lot of time. But once I figured out the commands, it became quite easy and I was able to work much more normally. Other than that, work from home has several drawbacks. Since you will mostly be working from your room, you feel quite comfortable and this may lead to quite a lot of naps, especially if you are a person who sleeps late at night, like me. Managing work while simultaneously helping out at home is another big task, and takes some getting used to. But overall, once you get used to it, it’s quite manageable.
There are quite a lot of differences between a WFH internship and a traditional internship. One glaring difference I felt was that you had to figure out a lot of initial problems and setup on your own, as there is no one that can look at your system and tell you exactly what to do. Communication gaps do occur quite frequently initially. But on the flip side, you get to work in the way you feel the most comfortable, and I feel like that is quite amazing, and boosts productivity quite a bit (even though you are more susceptible to falling asleep). However, work from home does lead to missing out on a lot of office fun and meeting new people, although being an introvert I would accept the trade any day.
Through the internship, I developed a lot of skills, from App Development to familiarity with various Machine Learning algorithms, and ways to more efficiently deduce a way to the optimal solution. But I guess the most important lesson I learned was that, just because a job is tough doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF INTERNSHIPS?
In my experience, to get a good internship you must have a good CGPA and a few projects in the relevant areas. You should have a deep understanding of your work, and should be able to answer any questions related to it. Also, you should try and pick up as many relevant skills along the way as you can, even if you only have an intermediate level of proficiency in them. Times like these are a golden opportunity to learn and implement something new. You never know what skill you have may come in handy at what time.
If you do get an intern, make sure you are always learning something new, as this is primarily what internships are for, to grow your knowledge in a particular field through hands on experience. It’s also a good opportunity to assess whether you like the particular field and work. Also, all internship work starts out slow and appears to be very tough, but you soon get used to it. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t seem to be making a lot of progress initially.
That was my internship experience.
Thanks a lot for reading!