Sara Srivastav

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Who are you?

Sara Srivastav, Sophomore, Computer Engineering 

Who is your employer?

NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone)
Yokosuka-shi, Japan

How did you learn about your internship?

Careerbuzz posting. Then I went to the international adviser who helped me decide if I should accept it.

What was the application process like?

One phone interview. After acceptance a decent amount of paperwork was done. But lots of time was given to fill out all the papers and the company processed everything. The only work I did during the processing period was submit my paper work and go to the embassy. Other than that it was really easy process.
​Advice: Be energetic and connect with the interviewer. Be interested in the interview. 

What were your major tasks or projects at this internship?

I worked on an image processing and machine learning project. The employees at NTT were very helpful. I had to learn most things myself but that was easily accomplished by reading lots of papers and googling information. I started out knowing nothing by ended up learning alot.

Do you have any recommendations for Georgia Tech students looking to intern in the same company or country?

NTT is a great place to work. Majority of the employees know English and if they don't then they will try to help you in any way they can. They were even helpful outside of work. Some even went on trips with us.
Each of their offices had a different culture. Since I worked far away from the city, my work place was more causal and free going. However, the work place in Tokyo is more strict.
There would usually be a company party every couple of months. Outside of work, the employees were free-going and loved having fun.
At work respect was given to all elderly and upper level positions. Communication was supposed t be formal, however since I was a foreigner, they were more lenient. 

Where did you live? Did you find accomodations independently or with your company's help?

I lived in a hotel room far away from the city on a farm. This was because I was under-aged and because the female dorm ran out of rooms. This was very close to my working location but far away from most civilization (nearest restaurant was a 20 min walk, nearest grocery store was 30min walk, nearest train station was 35 min walk, infrequent buses at nigh and on weekends). However the people around me were really friendly and tried to communicate with me, even the elderly. They really liked me (probably due to me still looking like a high schooler). In my accommodation, I had an American style room. It was bigger than the ones at Tokyo. Independent bathroom, mini kitchen, washing machine, microwave, fridge, vacuum cleaner, TV, bed...

How has this internship influenced your career path?

After learning machine learning, I really enjoy doing more AI stuff.

If paid, did the company you worked for pay you enough to live off of your salary or stipend, or did you have to supplement your income with personal funds?

I had to live off my personal funds for 2 months before I got paid. I spent about $1,000, fairly less than my other friends. I would do everything they would do when getting paid. I didn't waste money these 2 months. After that I was paid enough to live and travel by saving. I was also provided transportation to and from work.