I am Riddhesh from Mumbai, Maharashtra, a final year student pursuing my BE in the field of Electronics and Communication at BITS Pilani-Goa. I have always been fascinated by the field of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Though it was not a part of my academic curriculum I always wanted to pursue it as a domain in my career and so I did different online courses and projects to get into this field. In these difficult situations, I wanted to utilize my time efficiently and was looking for some much-needed industry experience and working on live projects to gain knowledge and get to know how things actually work in a company and how ML/AI techniques are used to tackle different day-to-day problems.
2020 has been a tough year, especially for us final year students with all the uncertainty and to graduate into an industry where employees are being laid off and most companies have their hiring freeze. It was the same case for me as I had a summer internship offer which was revoked due to CoVid-19. And it had been difficult to find another internship given the situation. It was really important for me to find an internship as being from a different background I needed some industry experience in the field of ML also it would be giving me an upper hand in my placements, with everything going around we need to give our best to stay in the competition.
During the month of July, I found a contact through LinkedIn and applied for the internship titled “AI/ML Internship”. It was the contact of Sudip, CEO of Relatas. He connected me to Kempa (Data Engineer at Relatas). The next day itself I got a call from him explaining me the whole interview process and how things will go on further. I knew a bit about Relatas, but I didn’t know what all exact solutions do they provide nor did I know about the whole description of the internship. The Hiring process took place as follows:
1. An initial discussion with Kempa on a call, with a basic introduction of ourselves and my previous experiences and knowledge in ML. Then we had a long discussion on what Relatas does and what will I be doing if I join them. He asked me a few questions and my inputs as to how will I tackle a few problems that they will be working on. It went on for an hour. After this discussion I was fascinated by the project and motivated to join Relatas. This round got me motivated to perform well in further rounds.
2. Then there was a technical round wherein I had to solve a Machine Learning assignment. I had a deadline of 4 days. The assignment was good enough to test your knowledge and also apply your brains to consider all different possible cases. I applied different models and read a few articles and papers for help, plotted different graphs to give a visual insight. I had fun solving this assignment and wanted to perform well and get through this round.
3. Then there was a technical interview round with Robby (VP Technology), who is now my mentor. This round took place on google meet. In this round I had to explain as to how I approached the problem statement given in the assignment and how I implemented it. The different assumptions and cases that I had considered and the reasons behind them. Then he asked me a few questions where I had to apply my knowledge of AI and suggest a solution.
4. Then there was a final interaction with Sudip (CEO, Relatas) wherein he told me about my role and my responsibilities as a part of Relatas.
That was the whole recruitment process. I was excited right after the first interaction with Kempa to join Relatas as the project was really attractive and also a unique one where in they were trying to make sales easier and smarter. What I liked about the process was in all the rounds they didn’t expect perfect answer, but the way I approached the questions. All of them were really humble and didn’t try to be strict or scare me. In all the rounds I felt very comfortable as they created a friendly atmosphere.
At the end of the day I received an email saying that I have been selected for the internship. I was overjoyed after seeing the email and it was one of the few good things in 2020. The entire process took around a week.
Then I started off as a Relatas intern form the next day. The first week mostly involved getting to know about the products and the project. Then there was a whole on-boarding process where in where I had to set-up my system with the help of Kempa and Robby. It was different experience and new learnings as I hadn’t used the platforms before. But it was never a problem as both of them were really supportive and always helped me whenever needed.
I have learned how to use Docker containers, MongoDB, PySpark after joining Relatas and it has been very helpful. These are some of the important skills that come handy for future. The overall environment has been very friendly with a homely feeling. From day 1 I have been treated as one of them and not a new intern. The use cases we have been working on are challenging but we tackle it together, I have daily meetings with Robby and Kempa and my inputs are considered and given value too. The projects we are working on are real life industry solutions and will be a part of the Relatas product so it gives you a feeling of satisfaction as to you have been contributing to something that is going to be useful for the future. The CEO himself is just one mail away and always responds and helps with whatever I need. There is no “sir/ma’am” culture and everyone goes by their name. The projects and vision that Relatas has for its future and the problems it wants to tackle in the field of sales excites me and keeps me motivated to keep working.
It has been a great experience working at Relatas so far and I am looking forward to keep on working with them and getting some outcome for my internship here that will help the company. Journey has just started.