Interview: Ramadevi Jawahar (2016 – 2020)
Please give us a brief description of your internship profile.
I did my internship at Larsen and Toubro Limited, a construction company in the Transportation Infrastructure IC. I worked at the L&T Metro Rail – Hyderabad (LTMRH), Track and Traction work. As a trainee, I was allotted different departments like design, planning, quality, survey, site work, etc. for a span of 1-2 weeks in each department.
How was your internship experience? How was the company’s work culture?
My internship went smoothly, I was allowed to learn and work with all the departments. It gave me an exposure to both the technical aspects of the project and managing skills that one would require to work in a construction company. In the site where I did my internship, the work atmosphere was pretty good except for the long work hours. They gave importance to knowledge and quality in the work done.
How was the process of getting the internship?
L&T offers internships to B.Tech pre-final year and M.Tech students through their “INSPIRE Programme”. They go to various colleges in India for conducting the interviews. It’s a two-stage process:
- Online Test: It contains MCQs on aptitude (moderate level), English passages and some logical reasoning questions.
- Personal Interview: It includes both technical and HR rounds.
Personal interviews happen when the company comes to the college for placements.
Practising for a basic level of aptitude and English (grammar and passages) would help you clear the OT. Time management is very important, just like concentrating on accuracy is.
There will mostly be one PI round where a basic knowledge of Civil Engineering would be tested. I was asked basic technical questions from construction material and concrete technology. I was also asked to draw the elevation diagram for a given building. Further, we were given a proverb and asked to talk about it for 1-2 minutes. Some questions were related to the internships and the PORs that we had mentioned in our resume. Apart from this, the HR round included questions about describing myself, my strengths and weaknesses, etc.
For the INSPIRE internship programme, the results would be announced late, around March. L&T has different ICs like Buildings & Factories, Transportation Infrastructure, etc. They would allot you to one of the ICs depending on your profile and internship opportunities available.
What do they look for in your resume?
In L&T most of the profiles require technical as well as managerial skills. So they would expect you to have both. They would prefer students with relevant core internships/in-plant training in some industry and who has good positions of responsibility. A brief description of each POR would be an advantage.
Can you tell us how you prepared for the interview process?
As a first step, I prepared my resume, which included proper descriptions for the projects relevant to the company. It’s most likely that the interviewer would test what you have learnt from the previous experiences mentioned in the resume. I prepared on basic civil topics like construction materials, BMD and SFD diagrams, etc. I would suggest one refer to sites like IndiaBIX or gradeup for questions. Apart from the basics of civil engineering, I prepared for Concrete Technology in detail. Take up one of your favourite subjects or a topic related to your previous internship to prepare in detail. There is a good chance that they would want to question you on the topic of your interest.
What skillset helped you carry out the tasks assigned successfully? Did you learn any new skills during the internship duration? What were the key takeaways from the summer internship?
Motivation to learn new skills and eagerness to expand your knowledge is sufficient to carry out the tasks assigned. I was given documents and materials to learn about the technical aspects of the project. I was assigned a mentor in each department who explained to me about the work in detail. Most of the work assigned to me involved preparation of technical documents, planning the schedule, etc. So my work was mostly with MS Excel, AutoCAD and sometimes with Primavera. They don’t expect you to have prior experience in using these, a will to learn is more than sufficient.
The internship gave me a better understanding of the practical situations faced in construction sites, and I learned how to manage people while working in a structured manner. The staff was open to suggestions. It changed my perception of the company. Though the work was strenuous, it gave me a good learning experience.
As someone who accepted placement opportunity from Aurigo, a company that merges software and civil engineering, what are your views regarding the same?
After my internship, I started developing an inclination towards the techno-management sector. I felt there was more scope in civil where digitalization could be brought in to make the work easier. An opportunity in Aurigo was something which would add up to my long term goals to do a startup related to this.
In your opinion, how should one go about securing a PPO at L&T constructions?
Getting a PPO isn’t that difficult in L&T. Being sincere and regular in the work allotted is important. They would ask you to prepare an intern report and the chief project manager of the site would have small discussions during the internship as well as at the end of it when you submit the report to evaluate what you have learnt from the internship and in what way you can contribute to the company.
Does the current curriculum satisfy the skill set needed by the industry? What up and coming skills does the industry require its employees to learn?
The current curriculum has some basic core topics which are standard and are very relevant to the industry. Our curriculum stands behind when it comes to using modern software to solve problems and in giving exposure to the practical problems faced in construction. As far as L&T is concerned they have skill training centers and they host workshops frequently to enhance the skills required.
Do you have any advice for the current third-year students looking forward to internships?
There are a lot of internship opportunities. Apply to all of them, but decide on what you want to learn from the internship, and accordingly do one. If you are confused between going for highers or placements I would suggest you apply for both types of internships. In my case, the company intern helped me decide that I want to go for placements, and it gave me a better idea about the work.
If you want to go for core placement or internship, be focused on the knowledge you gain from it, the pay would probably be less, and the work would be tiring but the work experience matters a lot.
The inputs you get by working hard will help you establish a good base for your career. After a few years, your technical expertise in the field would give you an edge.