I am doing my masters in Digital Media. The intertwinement of Science and Arts with each other makes this program as an impulse to study human computer interaction and behaviour. Though my major is mainly media informatics, learning the history, art, human behaviour and culture plays a key role in comprising the knowledge of media theory.
By considering this perspective , I have chosen France for my internship due to my knowledge gathered from previous experience from visiting there in Paris. I decided for this place best fitted within my ability with a hope to enhance my technical skills as well as refine my theoretical knowledge in media theory.
The host organization where I have done my internship named WearHealth is working in the health sector focusing on health intelligence for the improvement of safety and health risks, especially for the industrial workers. They are applying IoT and Artificial Intelligence to build platform for improving the working conditions. This theme of using technology for the betterment in the area of health grew my interest to do my internship within this company. The right choice of place, the concept and technology the organization works with and most importantly the support received from the Erasmus Go Out program, all these factors motivated me to do this internship with a great effort.
Start of the Journey:
Though the internship was not compulsory part of my master study but I decided to do this to adapt myself with professional and multicultural environment and learning the present advancements of technology for my future career. I have prepared all the necessary documents as the requirements of the procedure. I feel lucky that my supervisor of the organization always helped and responded to me immediately while I was in the need of any assistance. Not only that, he addressed to find me the accommodation which is the key problem every person who go outside faces a lot.
As I have Schengen visa and France is in the list of Schengen countries I did not have to worry about visa issues as many people face this issue. For the medical support during my internship,as I was already registered with the health insurance and they are capable to provide me with medical support if any case I got sick there. After finishing all formalities of documentation and confirmation I headed towards France to start this valuable journey.
Living in Toulouse:
My organization is situated in Labège, a village like small commune in the metropolitan area of Toulouse. Toulouse is France’s fourth-largest metropolitan area and the inhabitants of the metro is nearly 1.3 million (source: Wikipedia). I opted to stay in Toulouse as it is not very far from my working place, a total half an hour distance by tram and walk.
I used to wake up early in the morning and always tried to do my breakfast in house. Sometimes I used to take meals to the office as there is a limited number of restaurants at my working place and also in order to avoid the expensive cost. Most of the time I cooked by myself. Sometimes I checked out French cuisine when we had the party in our office or while hanging out with colleagues outside on weekends. I liked French cuisine but not that much as I do to South Asian, from where I belong to.
The most spectacular thing I have done during my internship was I really enjoyed my weekends there. Garonne river, two Unesco heritage sites Canal du Midi and the Basilica of St.Sernin, the biggest Romanesque building in Europe made this city visually stunning. This city is known to locals as La Ville Rose (the Pink City) after the pink stone used in many of its buildings. I really fell in love with this city.
Host organization and Internship:
The company I worked with, basically develops platform to maintain and monitor health factors of industry workers in order to improve the health condition of the workers. Such platform not only improves the health condition of the workers but also minimize the production loss also. One of the main segments of the platform is to collect the sensor information related with body in different conditions form wearables device and process those information to maintain and access them. This is the similar what IoT does but the information we get is from the human instead of a machine. My task was to collect, store and making a system that the information can be accessed real-time. I had to work on wearables and also in developing REST api using javaprogramming language to make the information manageable. I had work also on sharing the information in cloud through a common gateway.
As I was new in that city and also new to those technology I was not in a comfortable manner. From the first day of my working I got friendly support from my supervisor and all other colleagues. After few days I became more comfortable with the environment and was enjoying working with them.
There we used to do scrum meeting bi-weekly and had to give an update of all the works done and plan for the next two weeks regularly. My task was both theoretical and practical. At first I had to do research on mainly wearable and cloud computing and make plans for implementation. For wearable we used smart shirt that contains tech unit and used Raspberry pi to work as server as pilot study. I was engaged with two big projects of their clients and implemented vital parts along with my colleagues.
An important thing I adapted from my internship is communication skills. In the beginning of my internship period I was not very crafted with communication skills. After getting feedback and enough scrutiny my communication skills grew better. My problem was not the language skills, I was too shy to expose any issues that might be important to be resolved. Later I improved this situation.
End of the journey:
The duration of the internship for me it was a journey of learning from study and experience. I feel glad that I am able to finish this journey with success and achievements. This achievements in my mind I can not measure because of the abstractness of the theoretical knowledge that I acquired. Not only this, I implemented the theory in a practical that gives me more confidence about the application of the theory and get professional experience.
The exciting thing I have done is, visited many museums in Paris as my entry was free as a student. I really like this attitude of French way of generosity. Another achievement is that I got some nice friends out of my colleagues. I enjoyed the solitude while doing my internship, that is really difficult to find in modern days world.
I feel lucky and glad that I was selected for Erasmus go-out program otherwise I would not be able to manage my living costs and do this internship.
The most important thing I gained from the program is having the experience of living in a different environment and keeping the professionalism and working attitude for one year. Although this journey was long and sometimes I had to face difficulties to accomplish some tasks, I tuned myself with the rhythm accordingly. I firmly believe I have learned many life lessons that will help me long run of my future career.