Madhu shares the key lessons she learned from her first internship at Micron's Global Development Center in Hyderabad.
My interest in digital system design led me to pursue my master degree at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Hyderabad, where the fourth and final semester's internship is an important stepping stone in securing a career in my chosen field.
I'd learnt from my seniors that Micron's operations in India would provide a natural extension of my interest and studies.
So when I began my internship at Micron's Global Development Center in Hyderabad at the beginning of 2020, it was with excitement and hope. Covid wasn't a thing then!
As I rode up the elevator and entered their swanky Skyview office for the first time, I was part of a large cohort of interns who rolled up our sleeves and dove headfirst into the world of memory design.
Early access to labs was important as I was introduced to their tools and methodologies.
Looking back, the timing was perfect, as the first two months were critical in helping me integrate with the team and begin contributing meaningfully. This helped me remain productive and engaged as we transitioned to an offsite work model.
My teammates, project supervisor and the talent teams ensured we seamlessly transitioned to work from home and that we were meaningfully engaged for the duration of the internship.
Daily morning huddles increasingly became more important as they gave me context to the larger project and how the company's design and manufacturing teams across the globe collaborate to invent, design, manufacture and bring to market the world's leading memory products.
Teams from the US, Taiwan, Japan, Italy and China would all join in to track progress, exchange notes, and help each other as the pandemic played out in each of our countries.
These sessions helped me realise the nuances and cultural nuances involved while working with a large cross-functional team spread across geographies.
While working on the project, Micron provided me the frameworks and support to explore and to work on my own ideas. This resulted in a proposal in the field of Register-Transfer Level (RTL) design, an idea that garnered acceptance, guidance and mentorship from my team.
My idea began to grow under the guidance of my colleagues and managers, some of whom had already paved a path to establishing corporate patents of their own. However, as we emerged from the dog-days of the subcontinental summer, a brutal lockdown, and a sharp economic downturn, there was anxiety and uncertainty amidst the interns.
The fact that I was making meaningful contributions and constantly learning from my peers and seniors helped me get through the worst of the summer. It will probably be a time I will remember for a long time to come.
The ground I had covered during my internship ensured that I was considered for a full-time design-engineering role within a key engineering group at their Hyderabad operations.
I cleared my written round, presented my internship work report during the formal interview, and was selected on the same day.
While I know 2020 has been difficult for most, it has been a year of significant milestones for me.
I learned to stay resilient, form communities around me and focus on the positive.