Aniket Singh is an alumnus of IIT Madras. Having studied in India, England, Italy and Switzerland and travelled across the world, he has settled in California, United States. He currently works for Apple in Cupertino, California. To share valuable insights for landing foreign paid internships deriving from his own internship experiences, he has come out with the book “Intern abroad this summer: Intern abroad, Expand possibilities”, which details how to go about an internship and globetrotting together. In a candid conversation with Chirdeep Malhotra, he discusses about his debut book, the reader’s response to it, the many ways in which authors try to connect with their readership audiences nowadays and his author website www.aniketsingh.com and book website www.internabroadthissummer.com, and also about his favourite authors and books.
Tell us more about Aniket Singh as a person. From landing two paid foreign internships and working in one of the best companies in the world, to writing a book about it is no small feat and very inspiriting. Can you tell us more about your inspiring professional and literary journey?
I work at Apple in California, United States. I hold a BTech degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras, Chennai and a Master’s degree in Wireless Systems from Politecnico Di Torino in Torino, Italy. During my studies, I interned at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and Ecole Polytechnic Federale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland and these gave me a chance to travel the world.
I love to speak to college students both in India and in the United States. There is this one recurring question that students always ask me which is how I found an internship in England & Switzerland. It is pretty much unheard of Indian students travelling to Europe for summer internships. It may be a common practice in United States for students to travel to Europe but not for Indian students.
This curiosity from students was my inspiration for writing the book. I wanted students from India to use the book as their blueprint when looking for internships abroad. Instead of settling for mediocre internships and careers, I wanted students to dream high and soar.
Can you give a brief overview of your book “Intern Abroad this Summer”?
Most students today are unaware of the fact that they can find a paid internship in a foreign university. Even if they do somehow know, they do not bother applying, assuming the field to be too crowded. By simply focusing on a student’s coursework, spending all of their efforts on working to get good grades is just seeing half the picture. Internships, volunteering and practical experiences are what set you apart from the crowd. Employers today value real-world working experience over someone who can produce good grades. “Intern Abroad This Summer” will show the engineering and management students how to hustle their way into a great foreign internship and use the experience as a springboard to find that dream job, make those personal connections that last a lifetime, all while traveling the world as a student.
How has the student community’s response, especially those who are looking for foreign internships, been like to your book?
Frankly I am overwhelmed by the responses; not just from students, but also from very prominent individuals who have read my book. Many company VPs, CEOs and start-up founders have called the book “a must read”. Some have even recommended that “the book be made a part of high school curriculum”. They have also lamented that “they didn’t get to read such a book when they were in school”.
Students, on the other hand, have reached out to me on LinkedIn and Facebook; they have genuinely inquired about various options to explore. Many parents have told me that they have always known that real-world experience is crucial to getting ahead while you’re still young. Many parents I have spoken to are now focusing on developing their children’s work experience in whatever capacity they can. My book is a guide to help parents and students alike in achieving their future goals and aspirations.
In addition to valuable tips and guidelines for landing foreign internships, you have also shared your experiences and interesting anecdotes in the book. Apart from making the subject matter more interesting and bringing into perspective the cultural context of foreign lands, what other benefits do you think these provide for go-getters looking to travel the world as a student?
I love telling stories because stories paint pictures and each picture is worth a thousand words. When people read books, as much as they appreciate the words, they remember the stories and pictures more. Stories activate the parts of our brain that enables readers to not only learn faster, but also to remember the information for an extensive period of time.
We all know about the left-brain right-brain paradox. The left brain is for details while the right brain is for the big picture. When giving driving directions, do we say “First drive 2.5 kilometers, and then take a right. Then drive 1.8 kilometers and take a left?” No. We offer landmarks and images. We instead say “First drive to McDonalds and then take a right. Then drive to the mall and take a left.” Images stick more and offer better values. This is the reason that I have added so many stories and anecdotes in the book.
Authors nowadays want to connect to their audiences and readers through different portals and author websites are an excellent way to do that. You also have two websites www.internabroadthissummer.com and www.aniketsingh.com. Can you tell us more about these?
The portal www.internabroadthissummer.com is the website for my book. This is where all of the recent updates about my books, promotions and blogs are posted. On the other hand, www.aniketsingh.com is my personal website which focuses on me. Information about my upcoming seminars, college visits and books are posted here. Readers can connect with me on these two websites and can gain valuable insights and other material about foreign internships.
What are your favourite books? Can you share with our esteemed readers about the genres that you like and your favourite authors?
I love Crime Thrillers. John Grisham’s “The Firm”, Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” and Gregory David Robert’s “Shantaram” are some of my favourites.
What are your other interests apart from writing?
I love sports. I am an active swimmer and love putting laps on the weekends. I love to snorkel when on vacation in the Caribbean and Hawaii. I also play hockey, soccer and basketball. I am a huge fan of European Soccer and have attended many of the Italian and English games live in their stadiums. These days I generally follow them from the comfort of my house. In addition, I am a Toastmaster and love public speaking.
Are there any other literary projects that you’re currently working on?
I am working on my next book “Memoirs of an International Student”. It is slated to come out in 2019. This book will focus on all of the crazy stories that I experienced along the way. Make sure to keep a lookout!
Can you share with our readers a motivational quote that keeps you going?
“I am like a motorcycle. Kick me to get me started”. I believe that this quote is very true for me as well as for most people on the planet in general. Inertia has its own way of keeping people within their comfort zones; it takes a kick or a catalyst to get them moving.
By Chirdeep Malhotra