Rehan Bhatia, ME1
Interned at: SURA, IITD
Selection Procedure for SURA-
First, identify what you want to do and why. I was interested in Data analytics and consulting. However, I wanted to do justice to my core as well, and hence to get a feel of it, I decided to do a SURA project. I looked into the areas of mechanical engineering in which research is currently happening in IITD and found biomechanics to be the most exciting field.
Lastly, I looked into the professors who were researching in this area, prepared my CV and cover letter, and started mailing them. I mailed the professors one by one and waited for their response. I wanted to avoid any embarrassment in case multiple professors responded affirmatively. I got rejected at first but asked the professor to recommend another professor under whom I could do the project. This helped me immensely.
The deadline is usually until semester-end, and I started mailing one month before, right after our 4th-semester minors.
I divided my cover letter into three sections. First, I introduced myself, next I explained my interests, and lastly, I talked about why I wished to work under that particular professor. For this, I took help from my seniors.
My CV mainly consisted of my scholastic achievements, course projects, and ECAs. I did not include any PORs. The main aim of the CV is to convince the professor of your academic diligence and ability to put in the effort to complete things. They want to see if you can put effort into research work.
Hardships in Online semester-
My project required the use of a certain software available in IITD labs only. We had a lot of trouble finding the software online, due to this the project ran into many delays. Though the major part has been completed, I am still working on my SURA project.
Foreign Internship V. SURA-
Had my semester been offline I would have gone for a foreign research internship. The whole point of doing a foreign internship is to get the exposure and learning that comes along with it. All of this was absent in online mode so I decided to go for SURA. Although, there is not much of a difference. The quality of research here is at par.
Experience and Takeaways-
My experience with SURA has been very insightful and enriching. I was exposed to the rigour of research and got a chance to interact with not only IITD profs but also profs from University of Utah etc. My advice will be to not take SURA lightly and be willing and serious to put in the effort. Introspect and find what you like and give it your best shot.
Interviewed by: Adhiraj Goel