By Motaz El Saban, Researcher
Motaz El SabanWhen I sit back and remember my experience hosting summer interns at Advanced Technology Labs (ATL) Cairo, I cannot help but feel very proud of being part of that program. The experience was so rewarding that I am eagerly looking forward to next summer.
The success of the first ATL Cairo summer internship was not limited to the type of work produced by the interns; I would say this was the least important factor. It was well beyond the technical work done to the extent of affecting the interns view of research and what it means to work for a world-class company.
The idea of bringing senior undergraduate students, exposing them to a research environment and seeing the amazing impact that this had on them, just surpassed any of my expectations. Students, who had little exposure to the professional environment and mostly never to serious research work, came out of this experience passionate about the place, the type of work and the talent they have seen, both from a technical as well as from a personal side.
What is more rewarding than seeing a fresh mind eager to come every day to work, some from out of town, thriving to learn new things, spending weekends and nights, in some cases, to get the job done with excellence? The students leave ATL Cairo with the full confidence that if they want to do something, they can accomplish it provided they put right amount of effort; a spirit sadly lacking in many working environments in the region.
On the technical side, it is extremely beneficial for a researcher to interact with young brains with fresh ideas that are not biased by literature. This is what good research is all about: break the common ways and go boldly where no one has wandered before with full conviction that you will succeed at the end. To have such audacity you need people who can think independently and are willing to take risk. Unfortunately, being a researcher for a long time in a particular field can sometimes leave you boxed inside classical ideas. Interns offer the researcher fresh perspectives on the topic at hand.
If it is all good news about interns, why doesn’t every company benefit as much from this kind of program? The answer is that you need a very strict selection process to get the best students; this is why we have, such a comprehensive interview process. The good news is that if you are selected, you will have an experience that has the potential to shape your future career.