Swapna Manohar is a Graduate Technical Intern with Intel’s Platform Engineering Group (PEG). She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in VLSI Design and Embedded Systems from PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore.
“If we spend enough time dreaming, then the dream might eventually become real.”
― Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life – Fennel’s Journal – No. 1
While this quote might not make sense to a strictly logical mind, my own experience has led me to understand it. You dream of something, and you want to do everything it takes to get there—and, sometimes, you actually do. That’s what happened to me when I entered the “Get a Job” contest sponsored by MTV and LinkedIn.
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, let me explain. This was the contest to help people across India get internships at their dream companies. There were twelve—one of which was my own dream company: the semiconductor giant that leaves no stone unturned when it comes to innovation—Intel.
As it turned out, I won the internship at Intel. And within a month of starting work there, I transformed—evolved, you might say—into a whole new person. My parents noticed it right away. So, how has Intel influenced me? I could write an entire book on this, if I had takers!
Well, being a college student, I felt quite lost when I arrived at Intel. As I was finding my way around—for example, to the help desk to book a conference room—I would run into people I’d address as “Sir” or “Ma’am.” Some reacted with a smile, some with a scowl. And others would simply respond, “Ha! I’m an intern, too!” After a while, I got over the habit of prefixing names with titles. Then one fine day, I sent a very casual “Hey” email to someone, asking for help on something. And guess what? He turned out to be someone in a senior position. Well, I learned it’s fine to do that—but I did feel a bit guilty for having been a little too casual. After I eventually learned the nuances of presenting myself well, I would stop and offer help to other interns who looked lost or struggled with the taps, vending machines, submitting tickets, and so on.
One thing that really took me by surprise is the work culture at Intel. It has officially been voted among the best in many surveys. Everyone is warm, friendly and ever willing to help. Sometimes, someone will read the evident cluelessness on my face and offer help! Everything is meticulous, organized and immaculate. There’s a place for everything, and everything is always in its place. ALWAYS! This is personally my biggest takeaway—organizing things paves the way for a smoother life.
Secondly, you don’t see people throwing their (hierarchical) weight around at Intel. The mentors and managers are so humble and friendly that you could pass them off as your new college friends. Should this make a big difference? Indeed, because it creates the most conducive environment for learning. You can always ask for help, and no one ever turns you down.
Intel has been the best learning experience ever. The work culture, people, technology—everything about this place is absolutely the best. And I love that there are so many events, activities, and missions you can be a part of here. It’s great fun—and very rewarding. I’d be the happiest and proudest person on earth if I got to work here after my internship and studies are completed.
Now that would be a dream come true!
-by Swapna Manohar