Foresight

Student Welfare Group

University of Alberta

Nikita Gagrani

Brief Introduction

Internship plays a really very important role in your career to know our future goals, and also gives you an opportunity to experience different things and your affinity towards them. I was involved in projects in the Department of Chemical Engineering from my second year. I also did a couple of internships, at Steel authority of India Limited and J.K. Paper Limited. So, I was familiar with a research environment as well as an industrial environment very much. As a result of it, I got internships at Honeywell UoP, University of Alberta Research Experience(UARE) and Mitacs Globalink(at University of Alberta, Edmonton). I selected Mitacs over all these because that project was relevant to my projects that I have done here.

 

Selection Procedure

Selection procedure is really very straightforward. You need to create your id and then select seven projects from the available projects

 I came to know about Mitacs through my seniors, and then looked it up on their website. Selection procedure is really very straightforward. You need to create your id and then select seven projects from the available projects, whichever of them appeal to you according to your interest and apply for them on the Mitacs portal. You also need to provide a statement of purpose where you have to justify things like “Why do you want to go to Canada?”, “Why do you want to do research?” etc. Apart from these things, your CV, academic transcript, one letter of recommendation, scanned copy of passport is required. As a part of the selection procedure, usually there is an interview with a professor who might be interested in selecting you. He might ask you about your future goals, why do you want to come to Canada and why did you apply for his project etc. Having an above average CGPA is a huge plus towards a successful application.

My Project

My project was based on drug delivery in which, I had to investigate how small molecule delivery to systems from polymer­based particles (microgels) could be influenced by light excitation of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of gold nanoparticles

 

Work Atmosphere

My internship was in Edmonton, Canada. Canada is a naturally beautiful place, and the weather over there is generally very cold. Luckily, mine was a summer internship, so I didn’t face temperatures of ­-30 over there. Canadians are very famous for their politeness and I would also say the same. The working atmosphere along with the interaction with people over there was very convivial. The really cool part was that there was no pressure of working hours, and no emphasis on completing the project as well. We had freedom to choose our own time. The idea behind this is to give students a comfortable and pleasant research experience during their internship. I got exposure to various sophisticated instruments and got opportunities to use some of them on my own. Further, I interacted with many research scholars, post­docs as well as other interns from different countries and got a chance to know about  their culture, language, pattern of studies, future goals etc. I used my free time to explore Canada with friends, some of which were from Kharagpur itself. I went to Vancouver, Jasper and Banff. During weekends, I used to do a lot of local sight seeing in Edmonton. I tried different food items and cuisines, and also celebrated Canada day. I saw Aurora as well, which was very beautiful. About accommodation and food, we were a group of three people from IIT Kharagpur and had rented the same house near the University and used to cook food together by buying most of the ingredients from the local market.

Intern And Long Term Career Goals

Before going to Canada, I was not really sure if I want to pursue my future in research. But, after going there, I experienced their research environment and facilities, explored various methods and techniques in the field of drug delivery. I also found that scope of research is really very high and now I have decided to pursue my career in researching drug delivery systems.

Conclusion

 I want to conclude by saying that an international internship is really a good opportunity to explore your interests. Apart from having better facilities, being surrounded by a research focused environment, learning new techniques and handling sophisticated instruments, you will get a chance to know about different cultures, lifestyles, languages etc. You will meet really interesting people, get to visit new places and have a really good time and a valuable experience throughout the course of your stay.

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