Anirudh Gangwal: My Internship Across Time and Space


Anirudh is the Flexible IT Spaces Intern with Learning Spaces Technology (LST) at University of Edinburgh. His job is to find, test and deploy a screen sharing & collaboration solution that will assist in lab-based interactive teaching.

 

 

 


 

I was reluctant to get on board to write a blog for my internship –

but, nonetheless, I agreed.

Afterall I didn’t have to write anything for at least a month and my procrastinating self was jolly and I thought it’d be good to get a chance to talk about how I’m more and more interested in the education sector and how this internship will complement my technical skills as a computer science student.

I planned to write a glorious blog with interesting philosophical opinions and deep introspection.

But here I am, just one day before it’s supposed to be ready, starting to write.

I don’t want to make an excuse, but there’s just so many exciting and important things happening that I had to keep pushing this blog back. But there’s some good news in this – I can talk about these things.

To keep things interesting and for brevity sake, I’ll mention no more than as many things as I have fingers in one hand.


Number one (*-*)-’ My Working Space

I have to show you my dope workspace. Keep in mind this is my software testing set up and even though I spend most of my time here, the kind folks at LST have provided me a separate desk and chair which are super comfy.

Tell me if your work space is even half as cool as this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could tell you about these warnings and setup, but I’ll rather not and let your imagination run wild.


Number two (*-*)-’’ Getting to know the different buildings and study spaces at University

Even after three years at Edinburgh University, I had only ever explored the Central Campus. I considered myself to be one of the lucky ones who never had to worry about a shuttle to some far away campus…

However since LST manages learning spaces throughout the university and because it helps with my internship tasks, I’ve been around and seen a bevy of spaces. Some of them I didn’t even know existed.

Have you been to JCMB?

The cafe there does pizzas and sandwiches far superior from those found in central campus. However, I’ve been told people mostly know about this? (Here’s something you might have not known: There is now a real nice Indian restaurant in the vicinity – Punjabi Junction)

So how about The Lister Learning and Teaching Centre?

I didn’t even know that it existed! This is a hidden marvel you wished you knew about during exam time. It’s just an 8-minute walk from George Square.

Apparently, The Tab wrote an article about it.

There’s so much I have learnt about what goes into designing these study spaces just by visiting them and observing. I will tell you this: there is a lot of effort that goes into making sure you have the best student experience and you should take a moment to appreciate that.


Number three (*-*)-’’’ International Calls

Just making a business call was a first for me during this internship and was in itself exciting. But things reach a different level when you have to deal with different time zones!

I’ve had to talk to companies who are based in the US and Australia. It’s 7PM in Australia when it’s 10 AM here – trust me, this takes some getting used to.

It was pretty cool and customary for me to make an awkward joke about ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ at the start of our conversation each time.


Number four (*-*)-’’’’ Meetings and Demo

How cool are meetings? – Now I don’t mean the ones where you are noting down the minutes or trying to understand just what’s happening. I mean meeting people.

I have had to approach people and arrange one-on-one meetings with them. These included IT manager, lecturers, head of schools and more. Some of these meetings lead me to do demos where I show how to use the available solutions to faculty and get their feedback. Both preparing for these and actually doing them was a great learning experience.

It’s not trivial to plan a demo which involves multiple devices (laptops, PCs, iPads), multiple solutions, a tight time constraint and some super busy lecturers…

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