Working in a distant country could be a daunting experience, but during my time with Crompton Greaves I was made feel exceptionally welcome and enjoyed the internship immensely. I was based in Mumbai, which is a very exciting, diverse city. The plant itself is in the suberbs of the city and incorporates a manufacturing facility, human resources offices and research and development facility, where I was working.
The project I was working on involved modelling the vibrations and noise emitted from an electrical transformer. By simplifying the geometry of an actual transformer I was able to determine how vibrations would affect a single steel plate, and later a number of plates connected together. Before I began the project I lacked extensive experience in the area but I succeeded in producing models which can be further built upon by those continuing the project. My supervisor was very easy to get on with and responsive to what I had to say. I also got to meet many other people at all levels in the company.
Crompton Greaves certainly treat their guests and those working for them very well. From the moment I got off the plane I was shown true Indian hospitality. I was collected from the airport by Akshay, who was always on hand during my time in Mumbai to help me in any way he could. My accommodation was in the company’s guesthouse which was a ten minute drive from the office. The guesthouse was a wonderful way to get to know lots of people from different parts of India. Many employees of the company who were visiting Mumbai would stay there so there were always new people to talk to over dinner.
During the weekends and holidays there was ample time to explore Mumbai. I frequently got the train to South Mumbai from a close by railway station. The trains themselves were an experience. They are very crowded at most times and definitely not for the claustrophobic. In south Mumbai there are lots of attractions to see from the Gateway of India to museums and art galleries. I especially liked Mani Bhavan which is where Gandhi stayed while he was in Mumbai. I also visited Dharavi which is a slum area and the most densely populated place on the planet. Wherever I went I found the people very friendly and welcoming.
Office life was quite similar to that in Ireland, though perhaps with better tea (or chai). The cafeteria provided very tasty food and was always a highlight of the day. There was also a festival called Gokul Ashtami celebrated while I was there and this was marked by festivities at Crompton Greaves. There were team competitions of various types like tug-of-war, improv acting and the main event, reaching a clay pot suspended above the ground by building a human pyramid. It was a really fun day a great insight into Indian culture.
I really enjoyed my time with Crompton Greaves and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wishes to work in a world-class company while also experiencing a culture very different from their own. They gave me a fantastic experience of Indian life and I also felt that the work I was doing was important and valued. I am only sorry that I was not able to stay longer.
Michael Cullinan is a Trinity graduate in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and a first year PhD student in the School of Engineering. He recently completed a summer internship in Mumbai with Crompton Greaves, a major multinational company, as part of Trinity’s Global Relations internship programme.