We all come across the courses that are a part of our course structure. What is it then, that doesn’t make Joe a dull boy? What is it that our courses in college somehow fail to properly teach us?
Internships provide a student with a lot of exposure to industries and enable them to get a first-hand experience of professional life. The ulterior motive of core internships is to understand the implementation of the theory in real life and develop a professional outlook to industrial researches. And when it comes to the section of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity and power generation, Vipasha Mittal, a third year Power and Automation undergrad interning at Texas Instruments, is the one to seek guidance from. We would like to thank her for sharing her experiences with us. We would also like to thank Sweta Soni, Rishavdeep Singh and Vinay Agrawal for their inputs.
Company and its details
Texas Instruments is essentially a semiconductor company that deals in designing and testing of products. TI designs, manufactures and sells analog and embedded processing chips in over 35 countries and is one of the top ten semiconductor companies worldwide.
Kind of profiles and work allotted
Mainly the profiles available for IITD interns are digital and analog. There are other profiles as well such as software. TI is an electronics company so its focus is mainly on core electronics subjects like network analysis, digital and analog electronics.
At TI, you work on challenging and exciting problems that they themselves are currently working on. So you get to be a part of something completely new as well as substantial. You can either get a project in design or in testing. In both of them, you start from the basics and continue on to work on something that is sure to stimulate your grey cells. The projects given here designed such that the interns feel important while working, but one should be ready to the embrace the practicalities of electronics, which can often be overwhelming.
Selection Criteria and Process
Initially, there is a computer based exam meant to test your knowledge of digital and analog circuits and quantitative reasoning, each of which has separate sections. The aptitude section is extremely easy, and wouldn’t require much preparation. You can still go through logical reasoning questions if you want to for preparation. Based on the test, people get shortlisted for either digital profile or analog profile.
Next, there were 2 rounds of interviews: Technical and HR. The technical interview consisted of questions from RC circuits, MOSFETs, OPAMPs, and tested concepts from signals, control theory and circuit theory. The questions start from a level that is very basic and go on to be extremely tricky. However, the interviewers are extremely helpful, and help you arrive at the answers to the questions you find tricky. This was followed by the HR round which consisted of generic questions such as ‘Why do you want to join this company?’, ‘What are your expectations?’. It was more of an informal conversation where they were trying to understand if we are fit for their company. If you manage to get past the technical interview then HR interview is a formality; rarely anyone gets eliminated in HR.
At TI, the people focus a lot on crystal clear fundamentals and passion for your work. So, what they require is also the same. They give more importance to how clear your concepts are rather than what your CGPA is. Similarly, they are more interested in knowing if you had detailed knowledge of the projects you had done, rather than counting the number of projects done.
These skills were useful in the internship as well, since at every stage what helps you to overcome your problem is to target it using our basic concepts and then having the passion and diligence to think of a innovative solution.
Coherence between IITD courses and work of the internship
The work is very different from what we learn in the courses prescribed by our department. Of course, it builds up on what we have studied in the different courses, but you get to see a completely new approach to things and concepts that you would have studied. For instance, Vipasha’s project is in testing and so it is completely different and new from what she has learnt in the courses. However at every stage of the project, the knowledge of the courses helps you to build upon your project better.
Expectations of the company
According to me, the company expects passionate, hardworking and ethical people. The culture here is very informal- I was actually very strictly told in the first week of my intern to not call anyone ma’am or sir. So, what they expect is respect for ideas, and genuinely passionate people who want to take up a challenging problem and have the enthusiasm and ability to work hard in order to solve it.
Future prospects are immense and in addition, the amount of learning you have in these two months is unmatchable. Moreover, your project gets to have a major impact. For instance, the project that Vipasha was working on was a completely novel methodology of testing. It was challenging yet the team members considered using her method for testing their devices in the future.
Pre-Placement Offer (PPO) depends on the department you will be working in during the internship. In certain departments, if your mentor is happy with your work, they approve you for PPO. Then there is an HR round after which you finally get the offer. On the other hand, some departments hold interviews for selecting candidates for PPO. They mainly focus on people who they think will stay, so proving your dedication towards the company is important. In case you land a job here, it is pretty good if you’re interested in electronics. One gets a lot of freedom to apply ideas practically considering it’s such a big company and can invest in his research ideas. The work environment is also favourable. In case you don’t aspire for a PPO or fail to get it, the people in TI provide good letter of recommendations if you have performed well.
Tips to get an intern in TI
- Do talk to people who have interned in a particular company to get an idea of both the process and the work there. Prepare according to that- and not haphazardly.
- Don’t wait till the last minute to start making your CVs, and get it checked by someone experienced.
- Basics of circuits are asked in exams so understand all related concepts. They mainly focus on Thevenin and Norton theories, RC Circuits, Operational amplifiers and Basic functionality of BJTs and MOSFET.
- Having a strong base is crucial during the technical interview so it is better to revise a bit of JEE electrical concepts. Prepare RC circuits well, more at the intuitive level than was there in JEE preparation.3rd sem and 5th sem courses are relevant so make sure you don’t throw away all your study material!
- Lastly, they help you during your interview to arrive at the correct answer. They focus on how you think, and whether you have the attitude and capability to arrive at the right answer with a little bit of guidance. So try to think out loud and clearly.