Anish Satpati -Siemens

Hi junta!!

This is a short post about my internship experience at Siemens. I am a 4th year undergrad at MEMS department and I interned at Siemens from a work from home setup in the summer of ’22.

At the end of my 2nd year, I was quite sure that I wanted to go into tech, so I applied only for IT/software and analytics profiles. But since I did not have much coding experience, I didn’t get shortlisted in IT/software companies. I was a bit disappointed and started doubting myself, but I didn’t give up and promised myself that there was light at the end of this tunnel.

Selection and Prep:

After about two and a half months of getting very limited shortlists, I found out about Siemens in the 3rd week of October, through its IAF via the internship portal from PT cell. There wasn’t much given in the description but there were actually a variety of project topics for which you could get shortlisted but topic selection could not be done beforehand and was allotted by the company itself based on your resume.

I quickly signed up for it as Siemens is an MNC and has base in several countries around the world, and also because it had applications of ML in one of their projects’ descriptions. The previous seniors who had interned there had had a pretty good experience and my decision was reinforced. Plus, there was no coding test, which was a big plus point for me😊, as I didn’t have much of a coding profile.

The interview selection process had just one aptitude test along with resume shortlist. As for the interview, there was only one round and the interviewer was also pretty chill. I was asked about some of the projects on my resume and my motivation for working on the problem statement which they had described. Luckily there was no HR round. Talking to seniors proved to be really helpful while preparing for the interview.

I did not prepare anything company specific as such, as I didn’t know about the company beforehand, but I did have a background in machine learning, which I learnt initially from Coursera xD, and from a couple of ML projects from my minor courses in the C-MlnDS department. Before the interview, I brushed up on basic ML algorithms like KNN, Decision Trees and Neural Networks, mostly about how they work and how they can be applied in different problem statements.

About Work:

The profile of the internship was more on the R&D side. I was selected for the digital twin section of their research department; you can read more about this on their website. And so, my work was not exactly on ML but the overall problem statement had applications for ML. The team I was assigned to was working on developing a state-of-the-art algorithm which could give us the differences between two versions of the same data in a short amount of time. Several techniques had already been invented to solve this but the computation time was huge for larger input file sizes. So, essentially my task was to go through a few research papers on this topic, understand their logic and try to come up with an implementation. I thoroughly enjoyed the project as it was something I had never done before. The learning curve was a bit steep but interesting and entertaining at the same time. My supervisors were very supportive and encouraging. They were easily approachable (online only though☹) and ready to help you out even on the smallest issues.

The WFH experience:

The internship was entirely online and although there was a fixed working schedule, it didn’t really feel as much due to the WFH setup. You could login when you wanted and log off when you felt done for the day. I had regular meetings with my team everyday which really helped in overcoming the difficulties I faced along the way. The one great thing about a WFH setup is the awesome advantage of eating delicious, home-cooked food all while working from the comfort of your home!

Since most of my work involved reading research papers and implementing it, the WFH setup didn’t have much of an impact on the work front. But there was a lack of interaction and exposure from other teams and the projects other groups were working on due to the online format. I feel that in-person interaction is very important to grow as an individual as there is only so much you can do through a Teams meet. The communication is much richer and more vibrant and one can learn lots by communicating directly with the people in the company, an experience which I was devoid of.

Concluding Thoughts:

Overall, it has been a great experience, full of challenges and getting to learn new stuff along the way. My advice to all the juniors preparing for the internship season would be to have faith in your skills. At times it can feel low and discouraging if you are not getting shortlisted in many of the companies you apply to, but remember this is just a phase and you will get through it no matter what. I also want to stress on the resume front, you should be fully thorough with your resume, know every word you put there and be ready to defend it in the interviews (having a decent CPI grants you extra brownie points too). In case of interviews for ML profiles, you will be asked mostly about your projects and their inner workings. Have a good grasp and you will sail through the process effortlessly. Just believe in yourself, have confidence and you will make it in no time!