Dispatch from India: IST students travel to Bangalore for internships

June 09, 2008

IST Student Dipatch from India series

Steve Garguilo, Joel Boucher, Matt Prindible and Larissa Andrejko are rising seniors in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology. They are spending this summer in Bangalore, India, interning for Honeywell International, diversified technology and manufacturing corporation. They are blogging about their experiences on the other side of the world. Included this first dispatch is a portion of Garguilo’s take on his first few days there.

Arriving in Bangalore

First, a little bit of background on getting to this point. After interning with PennDOT and then JPMorgan Chase my first two summers in college, I was looking forward to a new destination to get a new experience this summer. I was pondering opportunities with PriceWaterhouseCoopers or Deloitte Consulting that would have had me in a big city like Boston or Chicago doing IT consulting, until I got an e-mail advertising this position with Honeywell for IT strategy in Bangalore, India. I applied for it and, long story short, ended up getting it! So, I'll be working here for 10 weeks with Matt Prindible, systems analyst; Larissa Andrejko, systems analyst; and Joel Boucher, systems development; all from IST at Penn State.

We arrived just after midnight Bangalore time after about 24 hours of traveling. Bangalore has a very nice airport; it's only been open about a week! It took a while to get our bags, but we were just all happy to be here. At that time, we were supposed to then be met by representatives from Honeywell, but looked around and there was no one in sight. We checked every conceivable area that someone would meet arriving passengers -- no one. A little bit freaked out, we finally were able to get in touch with our main contact at Honeywell in the U.S. and got it sorted out to get a taxi back to our apartment/hotel. We made it back here around 6 a.m. Bangalore time.

It's a really nice place here at the hotel. We each have our own room complete with a nice bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. We each took showers for the first time in who knows how long, and then met downstairs to get what was actually now breakfast. At this point, the people from Honeywell showed up and apologized for not picking us up as there was some miscommunication. We ate "breakfast" in our groggy, confused, been-up-for-two-days state and then finally made it to bed.

First day on the job

We spent most of our first full day with Sandesh and Tanu, two of the HR people here in Bangalore, and they've really helped us to get accustomed to Honeywell and to the area. We went out with them yesterday to the mall -- the largest mall in Bangalore -- called The Forum. There, we got a chance to look around and see some bookstores, music stores and clothing stores. Everything is cheaper here overall than in the U.S. Also, we went to the food court and got some awesome food. I pretty much crashed after that and then woke up this morning in time for breakfast and work. I'm almost recovered from the jet lag, but I'll probably crash soon today as well even though it's only 8 p.m.

Probably the biggest observation of the day was the amazing wonder that is the morning commute. There really are no traffic lanes and there really are no stoplights. Most of the vehicles on the road are rickshaws and motorcycles, and they basically just weave in and out of everyone else. There is the constant beeping of horns and basically just constant chaos. It's quite fun.

The work day is 9:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., so we catch our shuttle at around 8:15 a.m. and make it home by 7 p.m. That does make for a pretty long day, and unfortunately it gets dark by 7 p.m., even in the summer, so we're really not going to be able to enjoy much sunlight except on the weekends. But alas, that's work, and I know it's going to be a great experience.

We also checked out the grocery store for the first time today. Fresh fruit and vegetables are very cheap, but stuff like spaghetti sauce is actually very expensive, around $4 a jar. We'll have to adjust to what we want to make for meals. Basically, though, we're going to be eating breakfast for free at the hotel and lunch at Honeywell for pretty cheap, so dinner may just end up being mangoes every night -- we'll see.

Visit Garguilo's blog to learn more about his experiences in Bangalore.

Last Updated March 19, 2009