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By Vishnu Vardhan

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Vishnu Vardhan

I was dirty and my clothes even more so. My train had reached its destination late by an hour and I was bogged down with luggage, standing clueless in Chennai Central Railway station amidst people that I doubted would understand a word I said. But there I was in half an hour at my office, guided by a localite in train till the local station, tickets brought by a stranger that I asked to help me out, and directions to my office given by the person sitting next to me in the local. A warm welcome to a complete stranger from a faraway land! 😀

Chronus Corporation is a mid-sized company, a fast growing startup that has its sales division in the US and technical divisions in Chennai and Hyderabad. They specialize in providing mentoring tools to companies and organisations. They have a well established product in the market and will be launching a few more this year. The interview process is a written test followed by 2 technical interviews. The co-founders themselves fly here for all the hires and selections. They take both 2nd and 3rd year students as interns.

Lets start with the Awesome in the internship. We were given a 2 week time to familiarize ourselves with the Ruby on Rails programming language. Then they made us build cool apps for practice Unlike most companies, we were given a list of projects which were very diverse and we could choose from them. Though the company is small, it is very diverse. You would find people from all corners of country and all IIT’s. You can literally walk up to anyone in the company and start a conversation.

The best part of being in a small company is that you get to know everyone in the company and all the facets of the business. There would be developers working on code, senior engineers planning sprints and reviewing code, product managers defining specs and sales team conveying the market needs; all sitting around you. We also got to see the simple, mundane issues as well as the technical details that are essential to run a software company. It is a company that values its startup environment and people there are like a big family.

My project was to explore various tools for A/B testing and improving the features to match the companies’ needs, as well as mastering the art of smashing and spinning a Table tennis ball.
In order to make our stay there hassle free, the company provided us with an awesome serviced apartment (unimaginably cheap) and a cab ride to office (which they paid and is flexible!). The city is well connected – Chennai has awesome bus and local train services.

Quite a few wonder why one would go to Chennai out of all places. It is believed that it is a city that is conservative in its language and outlook. But people do understand English and one can manage with a bit of Telugu too. Even Hindi is understood in most big places. The city has awesome and lengthy beaches; infinite temples, good cinemas, nice national parks and obviously IIT-M.

Tamil Nadu is a beautiful state and you have many places that warrant a weekend. Auroville and white town in Pondicherry and Shore temple in Mahabalipuram are definitely worth a visit. The fort and CMC and VIT campuses in Vellore were beautiful and big. The pamban bridge which is 2km long sea bridge (second longest after the Bandra Worli Sea link) is a must walk. The dead town of Dasnushkodi and the meeting point of the two seas there was a beauty. The rainy climate in Kanyakumari amazing. Aravind Eye Care and Meenakshi temple made Madurai an interesting visit.

Take my word for it, the people there are incredibly helpful and kind. In each of the places I visited, I neither had any problem of language, be it getting help in directions or lodging. To my surprise people there spoke Hindi and not just English or Telugu. In the end, I end my internship and this article with a satisfied expression on my face and an experience worth reliving.