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Internships/building a Resume: Undergraduate

For many of us who are fortunately or unfortunately not born with a silver spoon in our mouth it is important to BUILD your profile up from scratch. By a silver spoon I mean the plethora of opportunities that students in the leading educational institutes in our country (IISc, IITs, IISERs and wherever you may find some green grass on the other side of the fence) are privy to. But, one must remember to count their fortunes despite not having made it into one such institute and make the most of what is available. I know of people from really obscure and unexposed colleges landing up in the best graduate schools in the world or at the top of the ladder in the corporate sector, so it is not impossible!

This post is going to be a place to find some of the opportunities that are available to every undergraduate in our country majoring in Science or Engineering, who is willing to build her/his Resume with the final aim of either applying for doctoral studies abroad or pursuing further research in India itself. If you are averse to accepting that internship experiences and industrial trainings are to be seen as ways to fill up your Resume and not as life-altering experiences with daily epiphanies, then get yourself straight; it does not work that way. It is rather essential to put all the vacations you have to utmost usage. If you are on an internship to some top-institute, you'll meet new people, make friends and sometimes 'girlfriends/boyfriends', get new ideas and have weird experiences etc. in addition to the main goal of 'building your Resume', which is all good. One may get lucky and the vacation may actually include a trip to the mountains or the sea or to the bed (oopse!), depending on where you are placed, giving you much of the feeling of being on one.

I was lucky to have seniors who told us all about the opportunities we had and I'll share that with you. During my undergraduate in Aerospace Engineering at IIEST, Shibpur I had been to four different places for various internship experiences: IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IISc Bangalore and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (Bangalore). Two of these were funded by my father and the other two were blessings of INAE (Indian National Academy of Engineering) and my undergraduate thesis supervisor. I was foolish to have missed several deadlines but you don't be so! Another thing, internships give you is a bunch of recommenders, which is an indispensable and perishable resource when it comes to applying for further studies.

Here is a list of some of the internships in India (summer and otherwise) that one must check out:

  1. The Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE)

  2. The Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS)

  3. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

  4. SURGE, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

  5. Indian Institute of Technology Madras SRFP

  6. Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology SIP

For foreign internships:

  1. SN Bose (USA)

  2. Charpak (France)

  3. DAAD Wise (Germany)

  4. MITACS (Canada)

Including and apart from all this, please email professors in a courteous manner, sometimes that lands internships especially if a professor in your department knows someone in some institute. The blue print of the email is as follows: expression of interest in a particular program -- your current experience -- what has the professor to gain from hiring you and why your are suitable for the position. Attach your CV to the email. Having a website certainly has an edge. Please remember to tailor your email to specific professor's interests and never carbon-copy the same mail to a bunch of professionals; being made fun of is the least of what can happen! All the best and feel free to get in touch with me in case you wish to. My email ID is on the website.

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