Ashwin Mohandas is a fourth year student in the Department of Naval Architecture.
Transocean comes for intern selections around the end of September. The selection process is pretty traditional and straight-forward. Out of the bunch of people who apply, first, there is a resume shortlist. The shortlisted candidates then participate in a Group Discussion (GD). Finally, about 10-12 candidates make it to the interviews. The interview has a lot of open-ended HR questions. Eventually, two of us were selected as Transocean interns.
It is a very common misconception that Transocean is a core Naval Architecture internship and hence, only those can apply. That is not the case at all. We were a group of 8 interns from all the IITs together, and the others came from departments as diverse as Civil, Metallurgy, Aerospace and Electrical; so anyone can apply.
For Transocean, CGPA really doesn’t matter. They look to hire all-rounders and especially look for students who have held significant Positions of Responsibility. They are impressed by the clichéd skill sets of leadership, willingness to take initiatives and people management abilities. Along with all this, if you’re a good listener, then you surely will be a very strong candidate for selection – just make sure you don’t talk too much. That is something they are not quite enchanted by. Basically, Transocean looks for well-rounded individuals rather than just 9-pointers.
My work profile was mainly techno-managerial. I had opportunities to apply my technical knowledge and at the same time, there were tasks which required efficient management skills. Broadly speaking, I worked on two major projects. The first one was the Hull-Management System wherein my primary project task was to reduce the amount of steel replacement on the Transocean oil rigs. My second project was the Documentation System which entailed a decent amount of managerial abilities. My role in this project was to compile all the official data on each of the oil rigs and come up with a library-management system where all the information could be properly organized and stored for future reference. After some amount of work, I could successfully implement my system. The job required me to co-ordinate between different companies and was a steep learning curve. Apart from these projects, I was also expected to help the managers as much as I could in their day-to-day tasks.
The best part about Transocean is that they give real-life projects to interns. You are not just a college rookie working in a local department which has negligible impact on the global organization; you become a significant part in the working chain of the organization and almost every rational idea put forth by you is seriously considered and if feasible, implemented. The projects offer a galore of hands-on experience and the quality of on-the-job training, according to me, is the most exciting avenue of this internship. The learning experience is enriching and provides a very good peek into the drilling industry and into the life of a regular oil-rig worker. The projects offered are high-profile and make you familiar with every nut and bolt involved in the working of the big machine.
Apart from the fun and learning at work, obviously there were the crazy weekends when we used to roam around Mumbai like kings. The out-of-office culture of Transocean is equally charming. The people are really nice and helpful and they give you a lot of freedom as well as respect. Moreover, the bosses are really approachable. It is an open-door organization where you can just walk into the MD’s office and ask him any question absolutely any question, and it will be answered! Speaking of the MD, there was a weekend when he took all of us for dinner in a nice fancy restaurant. The Operations Manager also took us out one weekend and we had a lot of fun. After our options for roaming in Mumbai were exhausted, we visited places like Matheran, Lonavala and also a jack-up rig in Gujarat. You add to all this a modest stipend and a phonebook full of valuable and important contacts, and this becomes a corporate exposure worth experiencing!