Rants about internships!

What this post is not?

This post is from the get go not an argument about whether an external BTP should be offered or not.

What this post is?

Its both an objective and subjective look at why you should or shouldn’t do a 6 month internship at the cost of skipping a semester.

I have been flanked with questions about a 6 month internship by many of the BTech 2013 batch students. Everybody having very similar doubts. Also I would clear this up that I did not take an external BTP but still went for a 6 month internship, so I think this would be relevant to the thought process going on in your mind.I’ll split this up into very basic sections:

Pros:

  1. Doing an internship in a big company is a great learning experience.
  2. The quality of code that you write cannot be experienced doing any sort of project during college.
  3. I think in college we are never used to code reviews. I feel in every project the focus is just get it to work and be done with it. The case is very different in companies. You have to follow stringent coding standards and write modularised, beautiful and extensible code.
  4. Focus on architecture of the application/feature being developed. It is essential to present proof of concepts before beginning development.
  5. Attending meetings and getting your ideas and plans across to a team. A team is comprised of people with different levels of knowledge and technical ability.
  6. Working and coordinating with a team. While we do plenty of group projects it is very different when you work in a team of professionals. Everything you commit to do is your responsibility in the team.
  7. Estimating targets and goals is also a very valuable lesson in my opinion. Working on given deadlines as in the case of most college projects is very different.
  8. I can’t stress this more and I havent failed to. FREE COFFEE!

Cons:

  1. You end up completing your Bachelors in 4.5 years instead of 4.
  2. It can be sometimes difficult to adapt back to regular studies after a long internship.
  3. You can get in stuck in a project/team that you are not interested in. It is difficult to gain a positive experience from that.
  4. Sometimes projects get scrapped in between or you get assigned to a team which has no work at the given point of time.
  5. Summarising the last two points essentially you don’t have control over the nature and quality of work you will be assigned. That part is a gamble. (Rest assured though that this happens rarely.)
  6. Because you will end up graduating a long 1.5 years later, companies are hesitant in offering PPO’s(Pre Placement Offers). My only reason not to mention this in the pros is that my company (EMC) has not offered a PPO to any pre final year students at the time of writing.

Who is it for?

  1. People who are still undecided about what they want to do post completing their bachelors. For e.g if you are torn between pursuing an MBA , a masters in computer science or a job. My personal experience dictates that this is a very useful experience.
  2. People who are bored of regular college studies and need a change in scenario and/or work.
  3. People who want to experience how to live life independently.
  4. People who want a valuable addition in their resume of an industry experience which later helps with placements or research opportunities.

Who is it not for?

  1. People who are absolutely sure what they want post 4 years of education. I feel that these people would already be working towards their aim or would be clear of how they want to achieve it.
  2. People who are not comfortable staying away from college/home for a long time.
  3. People who aren’t comfortable missing a semester and essentially delaying everything by a half a year or a full year(In case of placements).
  4. People who are doing an internship just for a PPO. I would recommend that you do a summer internship, which in our case ironically gives you a better shot at a PPO instead of a 6 month internship.

That is all I can come up with at the moment and anyone is free to add to this through comments. Please try to leave comments on the blog so that we have a consolidated link to give to anyone and everyone who has a doubt.

Information included in this post is to the best of my knowledge.

I would again like to bring to your notice the perks of FREE COFFEE while forming your decision

Cheers to your wonderful future :)!

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