Rujhan Singla, Information Technology, Class of 2020, shares his experience of interning at Samsung R&D, Bangalore (SRI-B) through an on-campus opportunity.
It all started in July 2018 when different companies started visiting our campus to offer internships. Samsung R&D, Bangalore (SRIB) was the third company to visit and the first one I’d applied for. The recruitment process was reasonably simple: an online coding test, a written coding round and two Technical interviews or one GD and one PI. A total of 28 students got selected from DTU to work there as Summer Interns at Samsung’s Research Centre in Bangalore.
I was very happy as I believe that a corporate intern is really necessary to get a hands-on experience of how things work. In the real world, you need to get your hands dirty to gain exposure and to acquaint yourself with the technical aspect!
While theoretical knowledge is fairly important, the pressure at a corporate company is higher and the deadlines are more rigid as compared to an academic project or course and thus the responsibility and accountability is higher too. At this pivotal stage of our careers, I believe that the most important thing is to keep learning and growing.
Fast forward a year and it was time to leave for Bangalore. I was a little nervous at first but I only had one thing on my mind: to give my best and keep learning as much as possible in the process. They had arranged 5-star accommodation for us initially and it felt more like a vacation. The week was equipped with frequent Billiards sessions, FIFA sessions and a DJ night. We also used that time for PG-hunting which really showed us a bad side of Bangalore which can be really daunting. You’ll definitely miss your home-made/hostel food. From the first day itself, we all felt very comfortable and welcomed in SRI-B. All of our seniors were very supportive and informal.
In the hotel, there was an induction program where we were told about the teams we were allotted and the dos and don’ts of corporate culture. There was an informal interaction in the beginning which I believe was a great way to break the ice between everyone.
We were also told that the interns at SRIB are called MAGPIES – Meticulous, Agile, Go-Getter, Passionate, Innovative andEnterprising.
Each intern was assigned a Mentor and a Manager. There were many teams like IoT, On-device, Networks, Voice Intelligence, Visual Intelligence etc. I was in the Voice Intelligence team and worked on Samsung’s voice assistant, BixBy. My task was to enable BixBy to distinguish recorded-replayed (non-authentic) human sounds/ utterances from genuine ones, thus safeguarding devices against potential attacks and malicious and unauthorised access. I wasn’t sure if I would be successful but seeing positive results and after successfully presenting it to the Voice Intelligence team, weeks of hard work and struggle was converted into one emotion – Happiness. Although it depends on your team and mentor but I found my project to be really interesting and something which would helped the company in the long run.
The internship period also included a coding assessment and an interview, which they clubbed with our mentor’s feedback to evaluate whether an intern should be given a Pre-Placement Offer (PPO). I cleared the Coding and Interview rounds but didn’t get the PPO.
The Office Culture
As for the workplace, SRI-B is a great one to start with. The work culture is relaxed and the projects are very interesting. It’s a good place to learn and be a part of something new and innovative.
Although the timings were 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. but it was mainly about maintaining a 9-hour average over a month.
The office was astounding and had a gym, a TT table, couple of Foosball tables, a Jam room, a Trip room for recreation, etc. The Tech Complex (Baghmane Constellation Park) also had a Football field and a Basketball court. There were frequent team lunches and outings to keep it that way. They even organised an Intern’s Day full of dance, music, DJ and stand-up performances for us! We even received a bunch of goodies (a bag, a diary, a pen and a T-shirt).
Bangalore and the City Life
As a city, Bangalore is a good place with amazing weather and a great nightlife. The food and traffic can get irksome but overall it’s a must-visit place, especially Kormangala, Indira Nagar and Church Street.
The whole experience of living and interning at Bangalore gave me a sense of freedom and adulthood which I believe is important to be self-sufficient in future.
Takeaways and Tips
• Get out of your comfort zone: You really need to push yourself beyond your limit and out of your comfort zone for actual value addition. In my opinion, one should keep bettering herself/himself at every possible chance. It will seem impossible at the beginning but even if you don’t ‘succeed’, you learn.
Just do what you think you can’t and you will automatically see yourself doing things which seemed unthinkable and impossible at first.
• Don’t be limited to work: I believe that there is more to life than a career. Not only are these internship opportunities and experiences important for career, they are also important for one’s personality development as they give a much-needed exposure to broaden your horizons and for changing your outlook towards things in general. Keep working but try not to miss out on other fun stuff.
Try not to lose touch with anything (other than work) which gives you happiness. Sometimes no matter what you do, it just doesn’t work out in your favour. But, it’s okay and if you have worked hard, one day you’ll get what you deserve. Good luck!