INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: SAMSUNG RESEARCH INSTITUTE

INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: SAMSUNG RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Notes:

  1. The blog does not contain any information confidential to Samsung Electronics or SRI Bangalore.
  2. Yet if you are a Samsung employee and find anything against the company interests, please feel free to comment or drop a mail at vishalkhopkar20@gmail.com.
  3. You may feel that this blog is addressed to third and final year students of VJTI; however, most of the information here is non-specific for VJTIans.
  4. SRIB’ here refers to Samsung R&D Institute, Bengaluru (Bangalore).
  5. As per the office policy, photography is prohibited inside its premises. Hence, this blog contains limited photos.
  6. As I said, it is against the company policy to post confidential information. Hence, please do not comment or ask questions regarding that.

samsung_vjti

This was the notice posted outside the VJTI TPO which prompted me to write this as early as possible. I’ll first describe the qualification round for the internship process.

Securing an internship:

Round 1:

The eligibility criteria were a CPI with 7.5+. There was an aptitude test with questions on English, IQ and maths. It is quite easy if you have appeared for the Olympiads and scholarship exams at your school. If you need to practice this, you can refer to http://www.indiabix.com/. After this, there was a coding test with three questions to be solved in one hour. They were quite simple: –

  1. Find the sum of all prime numbers from a to b.
  2. Find all triplets (of three numbers) in an array which yield a given product.
  3. Find the kth largest number in a binary search tree.

This aptitude and coding test was held on https://www.cocubes.com/.

There was no elimination after the aptitude. However, only 35-40 students were selected for round 2 (group discussions).

Round 2:

This was a group discussion. Students were made into groups of 10-12 and were called for a group discussion. They were judged by 2-3 technical people and one senior HR representative from SRIB. After this round, 23 students were selected for the internship. Their results were announced the following day during the pre-placement talk.

The journey for the internship:

We were provided air travel to and from our home city to Bengaluru. Tickets were booked by the General Affairs team at SRIB. The problem was that the airlines being Indigo, we had a baggage allowance of only 15 kgs in the check-in baggage and 7 kgs in the hand baggage. On our arrival at Bengaluru, we waited outside the airport for about 2 hours after which our buses dropped us to our hotel, the Chancery Pavilion [1], where we were supposed to stay for a week. While there are many appreciable things about the hotel, it does have a few drawbacks. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi; however, only two devices per room can be connected to it and you can’t change the devices later. Two of us stayed in one room and as there were 350 interns in our batch, the hotel was almost full of interns!

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The Chancery Pavilion, Bengaluru

The food at Chancery Pavilion was excellent. We were offered with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day which was a grand buffet. The first two days were an orientation in the hotel’s ballroom.

The orientation:

The orientation was conducted in the ballroom of the hotel with all interns seated together. It was so packed that some of the interns didn’t get places to sit (we were the unlucky ones) and were made to adjust with others. We were made to fill a form with our details, submit our mark sheets, documents, etc. We were briefed about the company policy, rules and regulations and were also guided about the mandatory Software Competency Test (SWC) for getting a pre-placement offer. Representatives from ICICI Bank were also called for opening bank accounts in ICICI Bank for those who didn’t have them. We were also provided with our offer letter here.

Apart from this, we were divided into different teams with one or two colleges in a single team and had an informal competition on different themes such as making a war cry, truth and dare, treasure hunt, etc. These were just for fun and for increasing our interaction with the interns of other colleges.

In the meanwhile, we had to search for a PG for the rest of our stay near our office. We stayed at Innovative Petal [2] at Doddanekundi. I’m willing to share the contact of the manager if anyone needs it. For the first two days of the office, there were buses to drop us from our hotel.

About SRIB:

SRIB consists of two buildings – Phoenix and Orion within the premises of Bagmane Tech Park [3][4]. Phoenix is entirely Samsung while only a few floors of Orion belong to Samsung. It is Samsung’s largest R&D unit outside Korea!

 

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SRIB Phoenix building

 

 

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SRIB Orion building

 

Phoenix building has 12 floors. There are eight elevators altogether; of which the elevators on the left side halt only at floors 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. Similarly, the elevators on the right-side halt at floors 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. 2nd floor is the cafeteria and 3rd floor is where the Managing Director, HR, General Affairs and IT team sits. Hence, all elevators halt on these two floors. 1st floor contains a parking lot and gym and hence, no elevator halts here. The theoretical capacity of every elevator is 20 people; however, I’ve never seen more than 16 people inside it anytime because there is simply no space for more to get in. Post lunch, every elevator gets crowded just like a typical Mumbai local and in order to go upwards from the 2nd floor, people usually board a downward bound lift to the ground floor and comfortably go upwards then. This is analogous to what people living in Kandivali and Malad do in the morning time (going ‘return’ from Borivali)!

All interns and employees are provided with a meal card (which is the same as the ID card) which contains NFC by which payments at food joints at the cafeteria can be made. We are provided with an amount of INR 118.75*(no. of working days in the month) at the start of every month with a break-up of INR 30 for breakfast and 88.75 for lunch. Dinner is offered free of cost and if you wish to have evening snacks, you need to pay from your own pocket. There are various options for breakfast – South Indian delicacies like dosas, idlis, medu vadas, upma, etc. as well as sandwiches, burgers, subs, pasta, etc. For lunch, you also have an option of Korean food which is considerably expensive starting at INR 150! Apart from food, you can also use the meal card for buying chips, chocolates, etc. or relishing ice-cream at Baskin Robbins. All in all, the 2nd floor is like a typical food court in a mall!

If you think this wasn’t enough, every floor has a pantry which offers you with 24×7 free tea, coffee and cold drinks. There are refrigerators and microwaves too, to cool/warm food you bring along.

The working days are Monday to Friday. Saturday, Sunday and all public festivals are holidays. It is compulsory to work 45 hours a week, an average of 9 hours per day and a minimum of 4 hours per day. Office attire is informal. Formal clothes are not required. However, do carry a set of formals for the interview.

Load shedding is a major problem at SRIB. As Karnataka is facing an electricity crisis, the lights get switched off anytime, even during the working hours. Everything else, such as the computers and coffee machines run on generators.

The actual internship:

The interns were made to sit in different board rooms or training rooms. They were segregated into different departments: –

  1. Android
  2. Multimedia
  3. Intelligent Services
  4. Tizen
  5. Networking
  6. Communication Protocols
  7. IoT
  8. Knox and pay
  9. Web
  10. CTO

The work and kind of project allotted differed from department to department. Some projects were single-handedly done by an intern whereas for some of them, there were 2-3 interns in a group. Every project had a mentor and the project was more or less the mentor’s own idea. I worked in the Android team and my work was with the Linux kernel.

We had to submit weekly reports for the project in the form of PPTs to our mentor every Friday/Monday. We also had a mid-term review and end review with the Vice President of our department. I also used to have a talk with my mentor’s manager after 3-4 weeks for the status of the ongoing project. All mentors and managers are highly experienced people in the field. These mentors also give reviews which is an important contributor for getting a PPO.

My mentor was one of the most knowledgeable people I had ever met, given the knowledge possessed by our faculty members. He was so kind that he had also taken me for a treat twice! Moreover, all the interns of Android platform once had a lunch at Barbeque Nation!

 

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Me along with Gaurav Singh from IIT Madras (behind me), his mentor Anish (red) and my mentor Sarbojit (black) at Bagmane Food Court

 

 

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Android Platform Interns at Barbeque Nation, Soulspace Arena Mall

 

Hackathon:

A hackathon (a coding test) was conducted a week prior to the Software Competency Test which also had cash prizes.

The process for the PPO:

Round 1: Software Competency Test (SWC):

In order to get a PPO, it is mandatory to pass this test though it does not guarantee that you will get a PPO if you pass the test. It was conducted twice (with two attempts), with a gap of one week. It has one coding question for three hours with 50 test cases. Passing all test cases is mandatory to clear this test. It is relatively simple as compared to the coding tests of other companies such as Morgan Stanley. Dynamic programming is usually not asked here. The emphasis is only on DFS, BFS, backtracking, binary search, brute force approach, etc. There is an internal coding platform at Samsung – SW Expert Academy on which you can practice such questions. Submitting codes on other coding websites such as hackerrank, codechef, etc. is considered as a violation of the company policy. The test is held on Samsung’s own software which disables everything apart from IDEs, Notepad and Calculator.

Round 2: Interviews:

Post the SWC, selected students were called for two interviews – technical and HR. The questions asked in the technical interview were diverse, ranging from different subjects like DBMS, networking, operating systems, compiler design, etc. Prepare well for this interview! The HR interview was comparatively easy. Nobody is eliminated directly after the technical interview.

The results of the PPO were conveyed to our TPO after 2-3 weeks. 16 out of 23 students from VJTI got it and I am one of them. The package offered to us is a CTC of INR 16 lakhs p. a.

Interns’ day:

At the end of the internship, an Interns’ day was organized by Samsung at Hotel Zuri, Whitefield [5]. There were dance and singing performances by interns followed by high tea and DJ.

 

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The Zuri, Whitefield

 

Roaming in and around Bangalore:

Although Bangalore/Bengaluru was not an entirely new city for me (I had visited it in May 2016 [6]), we all did visit a few places in and around the city. I will talk about this in a separate post coming soon!

This is one of the longest posts that I’ve ever written and it deserves its length. After this internship, I found a new myself. It has given me immense knowledge on different subjects as well as sharpened my creativity. I got an opportunity to interact with experts in different subjects. Most importantly, I loved the office ambiance, the environment and the kind of work. Trust me, I left SRIB with a heavy heart and I’m truly missing it now; looking forward to being back soon!

All the best! Looking forward to see you at SRIB!

References:

  1. https://www.makemytrip.com/hotels/the_chancery_pavilion-details-bangalore.html
  2. https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Innovative+Petal,+Chinappa+Layout,+Mahadevapura,+Bengaluru,+Karnataka+560037/@12.977625,77.6917559,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x56441e49fc9874a!8m2!3d12.977625!4d77.6917559
  3. https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Samsung+R%26D+Institute+-+Bangalore+Orion+Building/@12.9803456,77.6963705,576m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x3c2a92ebeb3ac085!8m2!3d12.9798748!4d77.6957899
  4. https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Phoenix+Building,+Bagmane+Constellation+business+park/@12.9804011,77.6958499,343m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x3bae1178f8d62773:0x8ca0b82320ab9a4e!8m2!3d12.9803985!4d77.696945
  5. https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/The+Zuri+Whitefield/@12.990044,77.7209007,685m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x3bae11eca67a4595:0x8df549946d852668!8m2!3d12.9900388!4d77.7230894
  6. https://vishalkhopkar.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/the-growing-city-with-a-long-timeline/