Raghav Vaidyanathan is a student of IIT Madras pursuing his B.Tech in electrical engineering. He is currently doing a research internship at UC San Diego. During a chat with him, we gathered valuable ‘fundaes’ which we concisely present here.
The University of California, San Diego is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, in the U.S.A.
How the Internship Happened
Raghav is doing his B.Tech in electrical engineering. His 2nd-year internship and subsequent research have been in the field of wireless communication. In the institute, he worked with Prof. Radhakrishna Ganti. He is now working on a project on the same topic at UC San Diego. Raghav met the professor he is working with, during the professor’s visit to the institute. They had been working in the same area.
Why Research
Freedom and flexibility in routines are easily attained in a research-oriented stream of work. Raghav feels he cherishes being the commander of his daily routine and finds that being in academia and a research atmosphere helps. His association with CFI made him realize that he enjoyed building things and looking for innovative solutions to problems. Working on projects with professors only furthered his inclinations toward a research-oriented career.
Advice For Research “Enthu” Juniors
“Before jumping in with both feet into research, one must try it out on a small scale and analyze his/her compatibility with it. It can be a field of uncertainties and one can have a flexible work routine. Speaking to seniors and professors can be very helpful. I and a few of my friends were sure about research. While most others were preparing internship resumes, we were building a research profile. If you find a professor or lab doing work that interests you, write to the prof. Rejection is a part of the game. It is important not to get bogged down by them. Make a list of prospective institutes and contacts there.”
Life Overseas
On asking Raghav about life in the U.S.A., he says that one thing that really stands out is the ease with which processes are carried out. Be it getting an ID card or getting groceries, he feels that the system is efficient and well-documented. He met a lot of insti alumni in the campus and didn’t feel alienated.
Another thing he felt was that people (strangers) seemed to be very helpful. On enquiring about the food, he says, “One has to cook because eating out every day would drill a hole through the pockets! Since vegetarianism is a “thing” now, it’s not too very hard to maintain a vegetarian diet. The Indian spices store, though, is a bit far from the campus.”

Raghav wants to get back home and implement some of the organizational skills and techniques he has learned there, in places like CFI. Raghav expresses his immense gratitude to his family, friends, and professors at IITM without whose support he wouldn’t have come this far.

Author: Rohith(BT-ME ’21)

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