Abha Kumari Summer Blog 2019

“When the awareness of what is achievable brushes your life, your journey has begun.” – Lorri Myers

I took a big leap forward in my life through the S.N. Bose Scholars Program 2019. I could not think of doing a foreign internship without the support of this program. Getting selected into it was in itself a dream come true but successfully completing it does justice to the efforts invested on me. Post selection, I wished to work on a completely different area compared to my past experience which made me choose Prof. Partha P. Mukherjee, Professor, Purdue University.
His warm welcome to the Energy and Transport Sciences Laboratory group made me extremely excited. But at the same time, the thought of stepping into a different country made me anxious. However, the people there were so friendly that it hardly took me a couple of days to get rid of my anxiety. Being able to quickly adjust to a new environment, far away from my home country boosted my confidence.

From adapting to the new life-style of managing both food and work to exploring new places, United States shaped my personality to make me a more independent person. The orientation program at the University of Chicago was an opportunity to admire the beautiful infrastructure of the city. From visiting the Millennium Park(The Bean) to exploring the well- planned city with Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower , my love and admiration for the place grew exponentially. I also visited the twin cities- Minneapolis and St Paul towards the end of my internship. I was amazed to see the busy and trendy Mall of America, the biggest mall in United States. There the Flyover America was the best experience. I flew over the entire country in just 15 mins! Well, it seemed virtually true. I was super-excited to try jet-skiing in Lake Minnetonka and it was there that I realized the importance of swimming. Capturing the perfect moments of fun became an everyday task.

I had a number of new experiences and explorations in just a few months. I worked on eliminating the cause of safety issues in batteries which can have a major positive impact in the world. The project taught me new approaches of solving any problem. It gave me an insight into the areas the researchers are focusing on and towards the end, I had developed a deep admiration for research. Meeting people from a different country and understanding their culture made me admire the diversity existing in this world. At the same time, feeling homely far away from home made me realize that humanity exists globally irrespective of the coordinates you are in. You will love the place and wish you could stay there longer, a lady in the airport said before I had landed to the United States and now I realize, she was right. I thank the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum for giving me this chance. This internship in the land of opportunities is a huge milestone in my life.

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