Nidhi Malhotra SN Bose Scholar 2019

It was mid-January when I received the mail that I was shortlisted for the prestigious S.N. Bose Scholarship Program. It was initially hard to believe the fact as I actually got selected through this program. I had always wanted the same but never expected that I would really get it. I was happy and excited but at the same time I knew I was required to find a host lab for my internship. In about two weeks I got an acceptance from Professor Yogesh Gianchandani at MEMS Lab, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

I arrived the United States of America on 17 th May, 2019 at Chicago, for the Khorana-Bose Orientation. It was the first time travelling all alone to a completely new place. Due to the delay of the first flight, I missed my connecting flight to Chicago. I was quite stressed but there I met a few Khorana Scholars and my journey became a lot easier. The next two days we attended the Orientation an visited a few places in Chicago- the Willis Tower – the 110-story, 1,450-foot skyscraper. The orientation was a great experience wherein I met many fellow scholars and it was great interacting with them. I was interested in working on a project based on application of electronics to biomedical engineering and was given one based on Biomedical Microsystems. I was working on a bio-electronic capsule that would go inside the body to collect gastric and intestinal fluids from specific locations which could then be used for Pharmaceutical Analysis. I majorly worked on the electronic design for the capsule and on the adding features to the user interface of the device. My work was very well structured with specified goals to be met out by every week. Also, I had to give in weekly reports of the tasks I had completed and my plans for the next week. This altogether helped me keeping track of my work and completing a specified part of the project in my short stay. People in my lab were really very friendly. My lab had an ex-Bose scholar and some Indian PhD students too who helped me a lot getting acquainted with the place. My research group also organised a Barbeque farewell for me a week before I left. Apart from the people in my lab there were other Indian students interning at the University of Michigan. After I was done with my lab work, I would usually hang around with them.

I was usually free during the weekends which I used to go around to different places. Ann Arbor it a beautiful and quite place. It is a place far away from distractions and close to nature. The city has many natural areas with scenic trails to explore. Moreover, the city is a culinary hotspot. There are many good places to get food and try different cuisines. During summer time there are a lot of activities happening around the campus. I attended the Food Festival, Summer Festival and an Art fest to which around half a million people visit every year. I visited some nearby places – the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit- It’s a great learning experience about everything during the Industrial Revolution, Cars, Steam Engines, Trains, Machines, planes and a lot many things one should definitely know. I went and visited my aunt and cousins in Austin and Philadelphia. I also visited New York with my relatives and it was the best trip I had during my stay.

My experience helped me understand how research work takes place in the USA. I had planned to do my higher studies from the USA and this internship experience helped me know how things would be ahead. I got to meet different people and saw how passionate they were with the research work they carried out. The experience helped me grow not only academically but in many other ways too. I was staying all alone for the first time. Initially it would be tough adjusting to the new lifestyle, cooking food everyday but in a few days, everything seemed quite easy. I believe this is the fastest I have grown as a person in such a short period of time. I became a more independent person, adjusted to a new environment, got to learn from the new experiences and different people I met. The experience was definitely worth the effort it took to get it.

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