After a detailed discussion with a few IT professionals, and deep research into the emerging technology sectors, I decided to study artificial intelligence (AI). I spent around 5 months studying the concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning, finding useful resources, and practising the algorithms. I believed that an opportunity in AI could be the stepping stone to my career, but my friends thought otherwise. They even warned me that I wouldn’t be able to find any internships in the domain, given my limited knowledge. I, however, decided to make it happen.
Being an Internshala Student Partner myself, Internshala was my obvious choice to look for internships. One fine day, I was looking for internships in AI when I stumbled upon a vacancy at Skcript Technologies. I applied to the internship and a few days later, I received an email stating that I had been shortlisted for the second round. I had mixed feelings of joy and fear at this time. I had to develop a chatbot for a blog with certain features they had mentioned, following the stated guidelines.
I spent two days case studying it and came up with a way to develop it. Once the preparation was done, I collected dataset for the chatbot from Kaggle and communicated with the Skcript team, to check if I was heading in the right direction. They provided a few suggestions after going through my proposal, like using Spacy or NLTK for language processing. After some more research, I started coding it using Python and NLTK libraries. A week later, I was ready with the chatbot’s programming interface and sent it to their team. Soon, I received an email from them citing that they found the chatbot interesting and would like me to visit their office for a personal interview.
My first interview! Boy, I was nervous. I entered their office and was greeted by Mr. Naveen, my manager to be. The interview was more like a casual interaction. He asked me how I learned AI and a few other questions about Python. He told me that he was impressed with my chatbot and wanted to do some crazy stuff with it. He set up the chatbot in the organisation’s system and connected it to their local database. He then asked me to modify the code so as to add a few more functionalities to it. In about 15 minutes, I modified the code. After a few more questions regarding this project, he broke the news. I was hired as an intern! He introduced me to the CTO of the company and the other staff. I was elated!
After joining the company, I got introduced to the corporate work culture. On my first day, I was asked which domain of AI I wanted to work on, and I said, ‘Computer Vision’. After I got comfortable with the basic concepts and tools they used there, I was asked to choose my project. I chose ‘Real Time Object and Face Detection in Android using TensorFlow’. TensorFlow had just launched support for mobile, and I was fascinated with it. I proposed this project to my seniors and they liked it; they also suggested a few changes. I did extensive research – writing long codes, erasing them, and rewriting. A few days later, I was ready with the prototype. The Chief Technical Architect shared a few ideas with me about the project. The final project involved collecting some personality pictures, boundary boxing them, and creating a training model using the TensorFlow object detection API. I documented the project work, and it was shared on the company’s blog.
I had the time of my life during this stint. I got a chance to enhance my technical skills. Along with learning to work on deep neural networks, TensorFlow API, Google Cloud, and Computer Vision, I built my communication skills and learned to be a team player. My manager, Naveen Raj, taught me to be flexible with my tasks and approach every problem in a structured manner. He always challenged me to push my boundaries and come up with solutions to everything on my own. I’d also take this opportunity to thank Karthik sir and Swaathi ma’am.
About the Author: D. Robin Reni, a student of Velammal Institute of Technology, shares how he secured an internship in artificial intelligence and gave a boost to his career. This article was first published on Internshala, an internship and training platform.