How To Win Scholarships? Choosing, Documenting and Observing your Internship details.

Utilizing your time to observe the seniors students planning their experiments or workflow of the day will give you deep insights about real work life which is completely different from what you learn in your University.  This is the best strategy to learn and easily integrate into the laboratory or any new workplace. Different researchers have different abilities and attitude of working. I am sure that most of the people have read the books which share knowledge of achieving something in a short period and easily. The real fact is when you are trying to get something top-notch, you are trying to make things easy for others but not for yourself. And you will only enjoy this if you are passionate about the process of creating your project from scratch.

Another important thing that you can do to maximize the output from your internships is to document every detail of your internships in the form of pictures, words or videos. It can also be an initiation of your blog which is indeed an upside in today`s digital world. Having a professional and personal blog will increase your visibility in the market as compared to others who do not have a blog. It takes time for the people who are not sure about their likes to find the niche of their blogging.  As an intern, all this time that you have invested will take you to the right path and people.

Searching and choosing internships could be the hot topics among undergraduate. I was taking out the maximum amount of time to apply and search for the opportunities that will fall perfectly with my interests. Internships are the window where you can always count to get a different experience if you are willing to take a step in an unknown direction.

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I was asked a lot about how to choose or apply for internships. It is a situation where you must put a lot of time, thought and own strategy for your goals.  A perfect combination of different internships can increase chances of winning competitive scholarships and fellowships. Different internships and different places will always get you the new tasks and challenges that defines as a productive and diverse candidate for the position. This theme of choosing different internships can help you prepare a comprehensive motivation or cover letter which is the most critical part of your application.

Unfortunately, you might or might not have the luxury to choose for internships if you are studying in a country with fewer opportunities for student jobs. But where do you find and narrow down your research to the best option?

Referring to this situation, if you have a confusing picture about your goals or the organization that matches your career path, it will be better to segregate the choice of your internships in different sectors such as marketing, health, and fitness, communication or research. I also had a bit fuzzy picture of my goals, so I worked in different laboratories and volunteered in different Non-profit organizations.

So, it is essential to segregate and determine the percentage of your different interests so that you can plan your internships accordingly.

I will make things clearer by sharing my internship experiences.

During my second year, I had an official eight weeks summer internship in my course structure, which I think was the beginning of the most important phase in my undergraduate school. I was fortunate enough to strike the summer fellowship program by Indian Academy of Sciences to work in the top-notch laboratory of India. Ecstatic to be accepted in one of the best laboratories of India for which I moved to Mysore, Karnataka in May 2013. I did not have a detailed idea about my work responsibilities, but I knew that the team was working widely in lipid metabolism and the nutritional value of various food crops. The lab was working in different subprojects dealing with increasing the healthy oil content of seeds which are edible and can be used for multiple industrial and pharmaceutical purpose.

Again, I was assigned a Ph.D. student to teach me the work and lab rules. I invested quality time in my relationships with lab members or outside the lab. This way I was able to learn from different researchers and work on my communication and social behavior.

I learned a whole new set of things along with the working culture of Ph.D. and research students. Most students think that it is their scores that holds the most important in career either academics or non-academics. This could hold true for some students but not for all.

Your Research Experience section will generate more output and more questions that keep your moving and seeking. Remember that your time for internships is limited with the immense potential outcome; therefore, you should use this excellent chance with the right attention. You must be attentive to the things you don’t know either in the laboratory or administration.

Doing so, you will be able to eliminate the things or subjects that you don’t want to pursue further. Finally, try to go deeper and utilize digital tools to express your ideas in different ways. The easiest way to start is to create a blog of your interest which can be done at no cost.

 

 

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How to Win Scholarships? Attend Conferences 1

Conferences are one of the best platforms to represent and express your ideas to a diverse community. In my last post, I shared the importance of sharing your ideas within your small group, friends or community where you are regularly involved in certain activities as it builds your communication and networking skills significantly. Once you have learned to share your ideas, at a certain point during work or research in University, it is beneficial to present the data in a conference or seminar where you meet like-minded researchers and students with whom you can collaborate or learn different aspects of the project. And there are ample opportunities at national and international level for students to present their work either academic, industrial or non-academic. Participation in these multidisciplinary events improves your public speaking and networking skills. Today more than ever, industries and investors are attending these events mostly who are interested in young people vision with excellent communication skills. Communicating and expressing your ideas well will set you apart in every stage.

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I found one such International conference in Energy and Environment which was the next stepping stone towards in-depth research, improvising speaking and networking skills. In addition to that participating in events represents a good accomplishment and achievement in your CV.   My supervisor was enthusiastic about the conference and asked me to prepare the first draft of the paper.  I was keen to learn two new things; scientific writing and speaking in front of eminent scientists and researchers. Of course, more efforts will be required for this challenge, and at the end of the day, it ensures your satisfaction with research. But you will have to prepare your mind for all the reactions and recommendation that you will receive at the conference. Either positive or negative.

Many believe that undergraduate school is the end and expects everything to go smoothly within the constructed structure of the college. There is limited evidence stating that everything is happy to go lucky after undergraduate years. Only your response or reactions towards difficult situations define your career path.

It might be a little tricky to manage all these activities together which require routine and repetitive actions. It is your responsibility to take these repetitive actions consciously. When the actions are unconscious and uncreative, then the output of work downgrade slowly and ultimately die. It will become the same as the giving exams and completing assignments which is dull and boring after a small period. If you are considering a job or a review with a vision and finishing it with full conscious, it will yield into something productive. But if you are mugging or copying the assignment, then it won`t result in something meaningful.

Consider your project as a mission where every small act is a ritual. The project is productive and meaningful if one engages in the new learning consciously and wholeheartedly. It is wise to know that the failure rate of starting something independently is quite high and happen often. If you don`t believe this, then take any case study of successful people in any field.

I realized this when I had to prepare the manuscript for my conference presentation where I had no escape. The thought of escaping the project will take away the responsibility along with your progress. The student working in an independent project is not solely linked with personal development but also advanced social development.  This demonstrates a sense of responsibility and leadership that directs you towards a better path.

Later, while trying to accomplish the draft manuscript for the conference, I found myself struggling and losing patience. But after rewriting the draft many times and discussing it with my supervisor, an acceptable paper was prepared to be sent.

I was happy because it gave a sense of satisfaction as finally, my efforts were giving some results after one year. I was excited to present my experiments to the scientific community which could bring value to the science and enhances my personal experience of public speaking. The conference was being organized in Tiruvannamalai which have extreme cultural and religious significance in India.

Stay tuned for the next blog where I will share the detailed experience of my FIRST CONFERENCE 

 

How to Win Scholarships? Work on your Networking

Working on your networks features a lot of aspects and the first thing that will pop up in your mind will be – How do we get started? To accomplish something by networking, you need to spend a good number of hours in the right direction.  Learning how to make effective networks in your college experience is the first crucial step to open the new doors of learning and professional progress.

In 2011, In the first year of my undergraduate school, I was interested in scientific research and creating an independent project in addition to the coursework. I had zero interest in the course-work, but I cannot escape it either.  So, I thought that getting a hand on laboratory experience will be the most effective way to open the new path of learning

I always had the motivation of working in a lab back in high school where you can see different life process happening live. This gave me the idea that learning and practicing science are two different things.

But you can at least invest:- 10 Hours/Month for Networking via Email, facebook groups, LinkedIn, Researchgate, conferences and so on.

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Fixing hours and permanent schedule works for some and does not work for some. Keep your time management flexible according to your goals and objectives. But it is important to define your short- term goals precisely. Investing extra hours of networking will indeed require some time management and schedule planning in advance. Most students underestimate or misunderstand the meaning and importance of networking.

With the formula of networking and driven energy in my mind, I started my search of the laboratory in my University by interacting with senior students and researchers. There were hardly any other students either master or undergraduate who was participating as a volunteer researcher. But my experience in high school research projects had put enough enthusiasm to take immediate actions to enhance my communication and learning abilities. The networking has to begin with certain common direction and which could also fit within the framework of your college lifestyle.

I adopted a very simple strategy.

I approached many researchers with a rough project idea of using “Essential oils as Herbicides”. But I didn`t get any positive response for the next six months from anyone. I was not aware of the mistakes I was making at that time. I then went to known seniors for suggestions or if they have worked in any laboratory. And I also for opportunities in other departments as well. Spending time to find useful connections around the department accidentally introduced me to the Director of Parasitology department who happily attended me who was quite an exciting person. He was about to retire now, but in over an hour he gave me a lot of useful information. He also shared the story of her granddaughter who was pursuing her graduate school somewhere in the United States of America. He said and focused on a point that the relationship between supervisor and student is the drive change for all the ideas. It was a critical conversation for me as it made me realized the importance of your relationship with colleagues and supervisor in every step. Communicating with different researchers enrich your experiences and add more strength to your undergraduate school other than exams and assignments.

Moving on

I kept reaching different researchers in my department which has a maximum number of funded projects at that time.  Few gave me the contact details of other seniors who have worked in a laboratory as a volunteer, and another suggested me to contact the director of the department.

With all the hopes, I went straight to the director office and explained my situation in the reception and fortunately, I got the meeting with the director at the same time. I presented him as precise and clear I could tell as per my understanding, and he was completely attentive to what I was saying. I requested him that I want to work in a laboratory. And without wasting a minute,  he connected me with one of the scientists who had recently received funding from the Department of science and technology to work in the project of algae biorefinery to produce biofuels.

Do you want to know what happens next? Stay tuned 😉