Tejaswi Agarwal's brief stint at MITACS Globalink Research, Canada, as a student researcher opened his eyes to a world of possibilities.
In May this year, I boarded my flight to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I heaved a sigh of relief as the last one year had been hectic, preparing for this trip. I was selected to do my internship at the MITACS Globalink Research internship programme for 12 weeks.
MITACS is a federally and provincially-funded research network that brings together academia, industry and the public sector to develop cutting edge software tools. The aim of this programme is to get top undergraduate students from India, China, Brazil and Mexico to come to Canada in their pre-final year of studies for exploring research in Canada. The application process generally begins in August and the results are declared by December. Based on my project preferences, I was selected to be a part of the Computer Performance Lab at the University of Calgary, Alberta. I discussed the outline of the project with my professor in the first week to get a good idea of what I would be working on for the next two months. The project was work-intensive, but the weekends were generally free to explore the city of Calgary.
Life in Calgary was calm and peaceful. The Calgary transport comprises the C-train and buses, making it easy to commute to different parts of the city. Also, Calgary has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada. Going downtown, trying out different cuisines every weekend and meeting people was a great experience. Summer time is the best time to come to Canada as the weather is pleasant with temperatures generally ranging from about five degrees to 25 degrees in different parts of the country. Coming back to my research, I was working on benchmarking multi-core servers using performance counters. It was great to work with fellow graduate students in an environment where students are motivated and focussed on their research. The best part was the weekly group meeting when all of us working in the lab met up with our supervisor and discussed about research and gave suggestions. People in Canada are hospitable and polite. I got the opportunity to work with the best professors in my research area, which helped me understand the art of research. I believe every engineering student in India should try to get some research experience in India or abroad during their student days. I also got an opportunity to go to the U.S. to attend conferences and present papers. This internship also opened up opportunities for pursuing graduate studies in Canada.
I believe that summer internships are all about exploring your interests and aiming for a goal. With constant motivation, persistence and a desire to learn it will surely lead to a successful summer with great experiences.
The author is a MITACS Globalink Fellow. Email: tejaswi.agarwal2010@ vit.ac.in.