I want to tell you about myself and my background because despite of what you think about yourself now, the opportunities through Lab-x is for you if you have the right Passion! Born in a very middle class family in Kerala, Southern India. As someone said, most Indian kids have Survival Stories rather than Childhood stories, my parallel survival story is yet to complete. Lets talk about my passion - Somewhere in the middle of school days my passion towards science/technology started. As usual, having fun by making stuffs like small electromagnets, small boats and other sorts very small science experiments were my hobby. I have started participating in Science Exhibitions from 7TH standard onwards but never succeeded in getting any prizes! 5 years gone like that but never missed to participate in any of them. I could have applied to at least 50 competitions by 12th grade and then that happened. Malayala Manorama a leading newspaper in Kerala funded my project for Rs. 7,000 – First Milestone. Later I joined for Mechanical Engineering in a Private College in Kerala.
|Myself on the right with a model of boar working with CPU cooling fan. (Mother & Sister on the left)|
It was in the middle of 4th Semester (2nd Year) engineering, 2013, I applied for Internship through Lab-X. Apart from few interesting projects there was no big achievements in my profile. There were couple of rounds for the selection and the initial ones were based on the profile. Next round was to submit theoretical solution for a real life situation for any one from the Mechanical, Electronic & Programming Categories. It was not easy as expected and solution which I submitted was not totally correct, but later came to know that, only few students attempted to solve it. Further I had Skype interviews with LabX Team and later with a Scientist at Fermilab and finally I made it! A fully funded internship at the top particle physics research facility in USA for 3 months, Wah!
Before that I never had any experience of travelling abroad and neither my family too. But Lab-X team, especially Ketan & Sampreeti guided me in each and every step of getting VISA, convincing college management for skipping classes; their support was exceptional.
In June 2013, I went to Chicago, USA for the internship. I was so excited to meet with Dr. Aseet Mukherjee at Fermilab , who interviewed me. FERMILAB or Fermi National Accelerator is a particle research facility owned by DOE (US Department of Energy). There were a number of ongoing experiments there and Aseet was part of Mu2e Project. The experiment studies about the conversion of Muon (a sub atomic particle) to electrons. Job assigned to me was a to develop a Mechatronic setup to tension a staw (Small Tubes) to a pre-set value using resonance feedback mechanics. I learned a lot of new concepts in Mechanics, Electronics & programming under the guidance of Aseet.
|With Team Lab-X in front of MIT, Massachusetts|
Stephanie, Chris Garry, Alfred John, Rahul R, Sampreeti
You can find more about my experience at fermilab in the following links :
Looking back to 2013 , from 2017
After the Internship at Fermilab, I never looked back. The international experience under experts boosted my passion towards science and technology. I came back with a different level of confidence from US and developed many products since then. Exposure to the professional culture , interactions with people from different countries , understanding how bigger projects are managed given me a whole new concept about life and career.
Soon after coming back I co-founded a StartUp company named 'Bisko Labs' for the product named 'Intelligent Gear Transmission' which developed in 2012. It is because of the International Experience I had, I was a to quickly pitch and raise Investment in my company. Unlike other formal pitching events, there were no slides, no cash flow projections, no commitments! only passion! With few skype calls and mails we were able to gain trust from our investors. We went ahead with further product development , marketing and a number of other task while managing all these with a small team. We filed patent for the product IGT and got published the same in 2016 June. IGT is a kind of automatic gear system for two wheelers which can be retrofitted to two wheelers in road as well as factory fitted. Many top automobile companies shown interest in our product and discussions are still going on. Though it was only for 3 months at Fermilab, because of the exposure and experience I was able to have a professional approach to every challenging task in the startup life. StartUp life is full of Ups and Downs. For me it was going parallel to my Engineering Studies and managing time being was challenging.
|Meself working on aproject at my Home|
Another interesting change before and after internship when I look back from this point of time is about the competitions. I started participating in Project Exhibitions since 7th Grade but never won any prizes. But after coming back from US rarely I came back from any events without grabbing the first prize. In a short span of two years at least 20 cash prizes were received in college days. This is because of the change in approach and confidence level.
Most people think good talent can only be found in IITs but the truth is that there are lot of potential students in local institutions who don't have access to opportunities.
Over the time I was able to retain good contact with friends I met in US and also to create a good network friends in India. The key learning from internship is 'Passion Matters' and find a lot of friends who have such passion. I love people who have that feeling of Passion to Make Changes. We were in touch with a lot of people during the college day for discussions on products. Understanding my passion once a senior friend invited to join his business trip to China & Singapore, that was wonderful experience.
I had plans to do Masters to specialize in product development after college days, but as of now I am working as a Procurement Engineer!
Recently a friend David Rivera who was with me during the internship in US came to Pune, India and extended the trip to Chennai along with his sister to meet me. It was an overwhelming meeting.
In short the opportunity through Lab-X had set fire to a series of good opportunities/experiences in my life over the last 4 years.
More Pictures :
FERMILAB & Trip to Boston: https://www.facebook.com/johnalfre/media_set?set=a.600525059981560.1073741826.100000722157678
Bisko Labs : https://www.facebook.com/johnalfre/media_set?set=a.788025064564891.1073741838.100000722157678