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Juhi Singh is a 3rd year Undergraduate pursuing a B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Material Science
So here I begin my successful journey which was full of many (believe me, many!) unsuccessful attempts. Sophomores and thirdies describe this journey as the one for getting a flavour of what your life is going to be once you enter the corporate world (or rather in simpler terms, start earning). But believe me, this is not all what it’s about, it is something more than that. You not only end up getting a flavour but an experience, a learning, a small earning, a personality change, a bunch of good friends and most importantly, the ability to make an informed decision about your future.
After 2 years of non-core enthu and lots of other things like PORs, projects, I was determined for another internship in the non-core sector. But what you decide is sometimes not accompanied by your fate. From day 1, I was being shortlisted for interviews. I never gave a thought to doing an internship in a core company or a university intern. After facing failure in around 10 interviews (probably even more, since I lost count), I started applying for university intern. I was never enthusiastic for a university intern but I had no option left. In mid March, Applied Materials came. It is one of the best global companies in the field of equipment for semiconductor industry. I was not even aware of it (given the core nature of the company). There was a shortlist and an interview. I just prepared my resume and a bit of HR (I had become a pro at answering HR and resume based questions; so not much prep was needed). And voila! I got selected. I was not even sure how it is going to be – a core company which had always given core research projects to intern. It was never like that I could not do it, it was simply that I did not want to do it.
The work and culture
From day 1, I was apprehensive. This was not that I had in mind for an intern. There was a welcome lunch at Meluha, the Fern. We were introduced to the company, its culture, the Mumbai team and people from senior leadership. There were 3 days of training sessions. What came to me as a big surprise was that this company is the world’s most ethical company (now this is something that gave me a good vibe).
They have three labs in IIT Bombay (Applied Materials’ lab) and they have been associated with IITB since last 10 years. Their labs are really sophisticated. We were allocated 2 projects each which were based on the ongoing research in their labs along with mentors for each of them. My projects were “To improve the existing corrosion resistant coatings on aluminium alloy” and “Solid state batteries”. Along with this, one thing that I liked the most is that the work hours were not fixed. We were free to decide them for us depending on the work we have. Plus, we were saved from the hassle of wearing formals every day to the office.
All I was suppose to do was to dig up the entire internet on the given topics and come up with something new for the first one. This was the starting. Later on I realised that we are the ones who own our projects. We were treated equal to our mentors, free to carry out experiments in their labs and at the same time take advantage of IIT facilities. Before this, I never knew that so many facilities related to characterization and depositions exist in our campus. It was quite interesting to learn and experience things which were just a part of my courses earlier.
People over here were somewhat impressed with my work and hence, I was allocated another project in the mid of the internship. This one was with the Bangalore team. To my surprise, it was a business development project. This was an opportunity for me to do something that I wanted. Market sizing, market and competitor analysis, product differentiation, product pricing – yes! It was all about this. They were planning to enter a new market and they wanted me to analyse the fit for Applied. I got to interact with teams from different parts of the world. Regarding the work hours, they weren’t fixed. However, my mentor used to keep track of my progress via meetings. I never felt like an intern. I was treated like an employee. The work and meetings – every thing was monitored by a team of Sr. Directors and Directors. And yes I am proud as the amount of work that I did as an intern here, I would have never done it anywhere else.
Free food, travel and hot chocolate
I am not an alcohol lover. But that free hot chocolate made my day. So there was something more to be happy about – the Mumbai office was located inside our campus. So I did not fall prey to those BEST buses or Mumbai locals during peak hours! Phhew! Apart from that, I did not have to wander here and there for every meal. I was in my hostel and in my mess. I went to Bangalore for 2-3 weeks for the third project. I was made to stay in a 5 star hotel with all expenses paid. The office space was great. Overall, people are workaholics here, with great amount of knowledge of what they do. It’s an amazing place to work with such brilliant people.
What am I taking away from these two months?
Well, apart from the tangible benefits such as luxurious accommodation, travel reimbursements & remuneration, this internship gave me lots of memories that I’ll be taking with me. It gave me an incredible opportunity to interact with some of the stalwarts of the industry as well as work with some of the most knowledgeable and hardworking people in this firm. It most importantly gave me a benchmark to compare my next endeavors in life and I am sure they will have a lot of ground to cover.
This internship experience was a remarkable one. I learnt a few valuable things – punctuality, professional work ethics, adhering to deadlines and the most difficult, to meet expectations of others at the same time thrive to put forward the best out of you. Whatever work I did is not going to be kept stored in some computer drive. It is going to be judged by top people in Applied. Along with this, I think I have an advantage by being an internee in Applied as I got exposed to core, research and non-core – all in one go. My hard work has paid off as the company wants me to work for them even after the internship.
People who are really interested in core and research can have a very good experience while interning here. Along with this, Applied Bangalore is something which could be a great learning opportunity for students having interest in non-core sector.