As much as I enjoyed their work culture and coffee, my one-week training at Motorola was as much a much-needed sabbatical as an refreshing and rejuvenating experience. Initially though I was a little bit worried not knowing what to expect from a ‘international student exchange program‘ which would ‘give you an exposure to the culture of Motorola in product development and technology innovation‘, I ended up loving every bit of the program .
The participants from our college i was me from our department (ECE) and Parameshwaran from the Comp Sci Dept. I was expecting around 30-50 students with lots of international students. So, after the initial hustle and bustle for finding our room – which was really luxurious ( Though, later I got to know that hadn’t it been for the recession it would have been a Taj ).
The Campus was what I expected – Hi-tech, glossy efficient and corporate. We were ushered into a conference/training room where I was rather relatively surprised to see only around 3 malaysians and 10 more people. So, surprise No.1 was that the group would be only around 15 – with the 3 malaysians alone making the international part.
Sammy Sana, Country President of Motorola presided an informal inaugral. Now, the point was this man was probably the person in the highest corporate rung and he was being addresed – I mean unaddressed without any sir/title/prefix/suffix. He was just Sammy Now, that really shocked me. It was a cultural shock to see a superior being addressed without any addages. In all the institutions I have been involved so far … it would have probably been ” Our honourable, learned, distinguished, inspiring and motivational < some more blah…blah > president Mr. “. Here it was just “Sammy” . Not only does it save a lot of time ( Imagine a 60-second welcome address ) it also radiates a feeling of fraternity/collegiality.
This was soon followed by sessions which were handled by various technical people from their 3 main divisions. I don’t want to go into the technical stuff – but it was about their Enterprise Mobility Solutions , Home appliances and their Mobile Devices. The mobile devices was fun – we got a chance to play with their Android-based Cliq/Dext with their in-house developed Motoblur – application to blur the lines between different networks like Gmail, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut , Twitter and more.
The presentations were great . I mean the content wasn’t super-duper rich or inspiring compared to everything else there. You could get almost all of the content in the net aka wiki and the moto website. But what a way to deliver
- We could ask any question – I really mean any question and we asked
- We could ask our any question any time during the presentation. Suppose I had a doubt regarding how they could name a topic with a particular name, I could ask it right at the intro before the speaker had even finished his intro. Man … It was almost like I was back at 7th standard quizzing and arguing with my teachers on gravity, planets, biology … Hell … I even was smiling in a class after nearly 7 years
- everything here was focussed on getting the work done. Any mail gets replied pronto. It’s ‘a no excuses instead tell me what you can do’ approach.
- The insights on the intricacies of how a business runs were really illuminating.
The cut throat corporate world that all of us were threatened with at college was right before us with an almost boyish grin showing off itself.
- The most coolest thing was – Coffee . Yup, we had free coffee – and I could choose from Light/strong/south/cappucino and once I even tried Black. Now, not only was the coffee free but you could also drink it during the meetings . Imagine sipping hot coffee during boring DSP classes
We were also let into some of their projects. But never went past the first one, as we bombarded them with questions on the first one itself. Also, got to see some demos. There was one RFID application, an enterprise networking labs one and IP-TV cum set-top box.
Their Cafeteria had a range of dishes, but that is what we’ll expect from a corporation as big as Motorola. They also had a library, a gym and other areas. But that’s standard these days, with what Google is doing at their HQ. No big deal Meeting with my seniors was also an interesting experience. Both of us couldn’t be sure that the other person was who we thought It ended though with them chatting with me for nearly an hour with other alumnus ( Feels really strange to use that word to ‘seniors’ ).
By one week, every one of the 13 had really bonded together. After all you don’t go through quizzing leading experts in their own fields for one weeks with question ranging from ‘implementing a cache in IP-TV’ to ‘why motorola won’t come for recruitment this year’ without making friends
On the sad side, the program was a wake up call for me regarding realities of projects, papers and internships … in fact everything concerned with surviving after college. I realise that I have loads to do and very little time One thing I wish they had changed was – I never got around to see neither the famed malls nor gals of Bangalore. Well, you can’t get everything for free in the world
Overall, the experience was fun, real and corporate. After a long time ( around 7 years ) I felt I was listening to something meaningful in a class-room’esque atmosphere. And a job at Motorola would really be a grand way to live life ( but anything other than testing )
I have spoken
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