Summer Internships

Summer holidays are about to start, it is fun time for most students. But there are always those few looking ahead, in school they spend holidays preparing for entrance exams and in college it is project work, summer training or internship.
The first question that arises is why?
Why at all should we go for internship/project etc? Well in some technical courses it is mandatory to go for such internships, such as in M.Sc/M.Tech one has to do a necessary six months project. Even if it is not mandatory, the work you do, the experience you gain adds up to your resume. Making you ready for the final step of education, i.e. job, the placements.
The next question that arises is when? In the first year, second year, third year or fourth year of graduation. Well ideally from first year, because it is never too early to start building a career. But from second year onwards one must go for internships.
Once you have decided to do internships, the next big question is where? A big firm, a small company, or an academic institute. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Working in a big firm means a big name attaching in your resume. A small company means you may get more responsibilities to deal with. And an institute means you most probably will gain research experience.
In my opinion, the criteria of choice should be based on what work will you be doing in that particular place. If what you learn is good, interests you academically, and gives you skills which make you employable then its good, otherwise you are wasting your time.
How to apply?
Normally all good companies have an internship form on their website, which you can fill and wait for response. Due to large number of engineering students there is lot of competition, and yes it helps if you know someone there.
Most Academic institutes put it up on their noticeboards alternatively you can go to the website of individual college and get information about the faculty and their research areas. And write to them individually. 
What to do in the duration of internship?
First be regular, whether you are asked to come everyday or not. And in case you need to take a break, inform your supervisor beforehand. Go with an attitude to learn, obey the protocol of the organization you are working in, as every institute have its own culture. Try to maintain team spirit.
How much money will it cost?
Well again depending on the place of your internship in good companies you get paid for the internship. Most companies like MTNL etc now charge for the internship and treat it more like a hands on course. And most academic institutes offer it for free.

Well good luck with your hunt for internship!!

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