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Monday, February 11, 2013

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The Internship story of Divakar Raj

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Internships provide an opportunity to get your feet wet in a career that you're interested in learning more about. Most people go for a random internship(wrong or right) position just for the money and the word 'wrong internship or right internship' varies by the first impressions. Let us hear the actual experiences of an intern Divakar Raj(Student Partner-Microsoft, Student-SREC) and how his internship prepared him for the real world. 


Divakar Raj says "Well, the journey started on August 16, 17, 18 when I got placed in campus recruitment for Odessa Technologies, Bangalore. I was the first to get placed in my department (which was a massive source of pride :)). Anyway, it confirmed a date of June for joining and it assured me that I didn’t have to wait for my call date. However, Joshua(SREC Placement director) sir sprang a surprise in the month of September saying that I would have internship from Odessa. I wasn’t prepared for it and was taken aback. Hell, how could I eat without mom feeding me, how can I wake up every morning, what about my project. So many damned questions. Well, thankfully I was assured that the internship would only be from January 2013. So, forgot mostly about it till the end of 2012.




Soon, the mail from Shruthi Doddihitilu(Odessa Technologies HR) arrived saying that I would have to join Odessa on 2nd January. I was really feeling bad about missing New Year. Anyway, talked to Arjun(College mate) and Prasadh(College mate) with whom I was going and also to Roshan Anna(College Senior, Odessa Associate) with whom I was planning to stay in Bangalore till I got into a PG (I really had no idea what it was until it was explained by a really good soul). Thankfully the date was revised and I had to join on 7th January. So cancelled the old tickets and got new ones. However, I received a mail on 2nd Jan stating that I was supposed to join on 15th January and since I was from Computer Science stream, I didn’t have a requirement to go through the basics like others in EEE and ECE branch. So, I got tickets for 14th morning and planned to spend the night @ Raji akka’s home and start my internship from 15th January.

Bus journey went fine. Got dropped at Silk Board from where it was reportedly easy to reach Raji akka’s home. Was thinking to take Bus but since I had lots of luggage, preferred an auto and it was a big mistake. He charged 500 for the ride and I bargained for 300 as the usual cost for that distance dont come above 200rs. Somehow ended up paying 350rs. Refreshed that afternoon in Raji akka’s home and went out searching for PG near my Office Location. Thanks to Sriram anna and Arjun’s information, found the PG where they were residing in. Its cost was 4500 per month. Saw the room and they seemed ok. Nothing special. 1 room-4 people-crappy wifi-Heater-TV-half Cupboard. Decided to move in the next day (15th January) with all luggages and left back to akka’s home. Slept there that night.

Next morning got bus directions from Arvind(Cousin) anna and started for Odessa. Used Nokia Drive (Awesome App, btw) to get to the office from the stop. Reached there at 9 itself. My reporting time was 9.30. Called up Swathi and told her directions to reach the office. She had come with her entire family. We went in and got our access cards. Saw our names printed in the board welcoming us. Felt really good:), though my name was spelt wrong :P. 


The other interns started arriving soon. They were Pawan Mishra and Sriya Vipin from Kolkata. Expected to see Arjun and Prasadh but knew they would be late in coming as they were arriving from Coimbatore that morning. Radha from HR team came at 10.00 AM and took us inside to the Conference Room. We were given a briefing on the Internship and filled some details in the forms given by them. We submitted our documents and we were taken to our places. My place was near to all interns and was next to Prasadh and Priyadharshini with another person making up the 4 in our cubicle.




I went for lunch with Prasadh and Arjun at a nearby hotel. There were many hotels around that place. Atleast 5/6 in the adjoining road itself. That day went uneventful for the rest of the time. Browsed my PC and got to look around the company.
That evening went back to Raji Akka’s home and took bags and came back to the PG. Paid the initial payment of 4500 and lodged in. Room was ok. 4 beds, Wi-Fi (but slow), Attached bathroom with heater, TV, Cupboard. Food seems ok but needs getting used to. Got my things unpacked and got settled… 

So, that’s how my journey at Odessa started on January 15th.



KEY POINTS THAT CAN HELP THE NEW INTERNS FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

•When the company that you are placed in is giving you an internship, it is NOT an Internship. This is a really clever business strategy by the company. They don’t let you do your own project but they train you in their modules and platforms. It is training for you to work in the company. And since the company needs to pay very less to the interns, they finish the training within this stipulated time at a cheaper cost on you.
•Avoid Autos, in almost all cases. I’ve heard about the infamous Chennai Autos but never dealt with them personally. Well, Bangalore autos can’t be far behind. The Auto drivers are quite shrewd and can find out in a matter of minutes if you are new to the city or an old-timer. Almost all of them are well versed in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. They always charge you with sky high rates. You have to bargain and bargain and do some more bargain. The story doesn’t end there. After you have reached the destination, they continue their bargaining to cost you off some bucks. And in case you don’t budge, they won’t accept any money bringing you into a tight spot. So, autos are strictly to be avoided unless in extreme cases like if you have many luggage. So, what’s the best way to travel around the city?? Buses of course!!! 
•Bangalore buses are awesome (if you know how to use them). Bangalore’s BMTC has such a good Bus system. 3 types of buses are available. The normal old fashioned buses, the new model buses seen since recently in Coimbatore, and the state of the art Volvo AC buses. It is a real comfort to travel via the latter but of course it’ll hurt your pocket. By my calculations, the tickets are around Rs.7-10 per km. But if you decide that you want to travel by buses often, Day passes and Month passes are available and they serve to reduce the overall cost. The conductors and the people travelling are generally helpful and language also is not a barrier since all of them speak good English. Even then, the Volvo buses have electronic name boards specifying the current stop and the next stops. So, the Bangalore Bus Experience is really good and comes up trumps any day over the Bad-as-usual Autos.
•PG’s are going to be a huge part of how contended you are at Bangalore. Because they provide you with food and shelter. PG’s range from 1500 to 7000, from single rooms to a moderate 4/room to even 6-8/room. Think and enquire and cross check a lot before selecting a PG. Ask seniors, relatives and whomever available for their opinion on PG’s. The main thing to consider is food and a separate bathroom for the rooms. Most PG’s don’t serve good food but try to find the best among them. Go for a 4 in a room as it’s comfortable/nominal. It’s well and good if you choose to stay in the PG with your friends as you will need company in such a place. Also, choose a PG close to the company because you will be late in things like waking up in the morning etc. and you need all the time you can get to get to the office quickly. Go for a PG that’s above at least 4000/4500 because cheaper than that will make you surviving in really bad conditions. 
•Contact the Company before you leave for the internship asking them what the agenda of the internship will be. Simple things like knowing what platforms you will be working on, what software’s you will be using can go a long way in making you getting accustomed to the company.
•Make sure all your seniors in the company know that you are coming. They will always offer to help you in any case possible. 
•Always keep a small note having details of all the addresses, phone numbers etc. Worst case scenario you lose your mobile phone, you can always contact help.
•Speaking about mobile phones, always have GPRS in your phone at least for a month till you get used to the new place. Internet helps you in the new place with many things you wouldn’t even think of. From finding places in Google Maps to getting contact numbers of some important places, GPRS is almost indispensable. 

•And most importantly, Be ready to adjust !!!"

That was one awesome internship journey I guess. It was a blend of how you can find yourself at bangalore and how to propel yourself in your internship. I beleive Divakar Raj experience will help a lot of people. If you are an existing intern or a person looking for internship. Do let us knew about the interesting stuffs that have happened in your life by hitting the comments below.


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