Internships play a really important role in building a person’s CV. The third-year internship becomes all the more important for a person as it could be a life changing experience for that person, leading him to introspect what he really wants to do in his or her life. Whether he wants to study further, pursue a job or maybe pursue research. This article pertains to a profile which interests many, it is the research area in the field of chemical engineering. We would like to thank Paridhi Gupta, Simar Kaur and Sukant Koul for their valuable inputs.
MOTIVATION FOR TAKING UP THIS FIELD
Generally, students who are part of the integrated five-year course at IIT Delhi tend to take up internship in this field considering they have another year to look at more options. It’s not necessary that a person who is solely interested in research or wants to pursue it as a career takes up these kinds of internships. It is generally a part of the plan for people who want to explore different opportunities before fixing eyes on one. Also, generally these internships are on foreign lands, a plus point for those who like to travel.
So, one does not get research internships through the TnP cell, so one has to be on his or her toes and start mailing the professors in various universities across the globe to land their dream internship. Also make your CV and your cover letter at first, proof read it and make sure to incorporate all your strong points in that. The cover letter is an essential factor for program selections, and one’s ability to weave a story around his/her strengths and learnings in projects, as well as courses, determines the selection from a large number of applications each school receives. The right time to start mailing is generally from around September-October.The mailing process is similar to throwing a bunch of darts at the wall hoping one sticks. You need to have the right amount of patience before that dart hits the bulls-eye.
The thing that matters most is your academic achievements to some extent and mostly the projects you have undertaken. Having done a course in the college or having done a summer project in the area that is connected to the research area you are trying to work into helps and plays a major role in the professor shortlisting you.
CG is definitely something that professors look at, however not generalizing anything because there are a lot of students with a not so high CG who have got good research interns. However, it would be always beneficial if you have a decent CG because some Programs definitely have a cut-off.
Paridhi- She pursued her intern at Washington University in St. Louis. You get a blurred idea of the target for the internship, and then you have the freedom to decide your own path towards it. Starting from literature review, she found out a method and got to design her apparatus and perform experiments.
Sukant– He did his internship under Prof Martin Nielsen at Technical University of Denmark (DTU). He worked on the synthesis of catalysts for a green process used to manufacture GVL, which is an industrially popular compound.
Simar– She worked on characterizing and comparing low cost sensor-based PM monitors for indoor aerosol sources. It was an experimental study. She pursued her research intern at the Washington University.
WORK HOURS AND ENVIRONMENT
There are no particular work hours defined for an intern. The work culture in the university is quite different and the same work culture can be seen across universities across United States. There are people who come in the afternoon and work till night and others who work from morning to evening and yet others who work whole day. Nobody expects one to be working during the weekends. The freedom to work is the best part of the research.
The professor was very interactive and supportive.They had group dinners and team outings. The international department of her university organized many fun-events for the interns, such as Barbeque lunches, Float (Canoe) trips, a Baseball match, etc. It also extends an opportunity to interact with other interns from around the world. The working conditions are wonderful, the laboratories are big and one gets to learn a lot from their peers.
Technical University of Denmark
The work hours are very flexible where one could finish their work even at 3 and leave. Also, the environment of the place is quite relaxed, the people are very helpful and nobody puts pressure on you to do anything.
– Keep a track of all the programs that universities offer for research intern. People tend to make a general mistake of not applying in these kind on programs.
– Always apply in your field of interest as the professors do not just look at your past work but your motivation as well as the capability to learn new things.
– Getting a good research internship is also dependent on one’s luck, keep trying as the process may sometimes get disheartening.
Article by: Hridayesh Lal,Anukriti Yadav