One of the key learning experiences recommended during your undergraduate studies is taking up an internship. Gaining real-world experience is key to boosting your employability and supplementing your academic knowledge, preparing you for life after graduation. That is why Pratiksha Sharma, from the Bachelor of Data Science (BDS) intake of 2018, decided to take up an internship at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay before embarking on her Year 2 experience at SP Jain Sydney. We caught up with her to know more!
Q) Where are you interning this summer? Could you tell us about your experience?
Pratiksha: I am currently working at IIT Bombay as a Research Intern under Professor Ashish Das. I remember meeting Prof Das at a guest lecture while I was pursuing my Year 1 of BDS at SP Jain Mumbai. I was quite intrigued by his expertise and expressed my interest in doing an internship under him. Thanks to Dr Abhijit Dasgupta (Program Director – BDS & BDVA), I actually landed the internship! In fact, many of my batchmates are interning at different IITs and ISIs (Indian Statistical Institute) currently, and this is all thanks to Dr Dasgupta and SP Jain.
Q) What aspect of this internship stood out the most for you?
Pratiksha: Did you know that IIT Bombay does not usually accept student interns unless they are in their Year 3? The fact that I got this opportunity right in my Year 1 is so thrilling! I can’t even begin to imagine how much this experience will shape my future.
Q) How did your internship supplement your academic knowledge?
Pratiksha: My mentor, Prof Das, is a Mathematics teacher who specialises in Statistics. Working under him has been truly awe-inspiring. The experience broadened my knowledge spectrum immensely. I even got an opportunity to work with different interfaces (including the USSD interface) and conduct a study on my own, from scratch! From collecting every single cell of data on a big data-sheet to cleaning it, dealing with missing information, processing it, and projecting it to infer real-life conclusions, I got an opportunity to do it all!
Q) What was a key takeaway for you from this internship?
Pratiksha: The most important takeaway for me was to question everything. How do you know if a statement is true? Is the data you are studying reliable? What led you to believe the printed information? All of these are points that people often fail to take notice of. But as Data Analysts, it is important for us to consider all of this, and more!
I also learnt that any recommendation or conclusion that you make on a real-life case is very different from the recommendations you would make in a classroom while working on an assignment.
Additionally, working with Dhruvi Shah (my classmate and partner during this internship) has been a fun-filled learning experience for me and has helped me build my team-work skills as well.
Q) What qualities do you think a student must have to be chosen to work at IIT Bombay?
Pratiksha: I think they should be willing to work relentlessly. There might be instances where you feel that what you are working on is something you have already studied. But there’s always something new to learn! And in the end, isn’t that what it is all about?
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