Intern Diaries with Rahul Agrawal: A Geologist Who Codes

Just when you thought we only introduce our full-time team members to the world, we decided to break away from the norm and introduce our overachiever intern: Rahul Agrawal. A self-taught coder, Rahul truly exhibits that one can achieve anything with hard work and determination. Read on to uncover his motivation triggers, remote-work experience, future plans, and more.

You have been an intern at Skuad for 2 months now. How do you find the company culture here?

I'll answer this question with a backstory. Last year, I was an intern at this "famous company," The fascinating image I had of "corporate culture" was shattered. I had to work a strict shift and could not explore anything apart from the assigned tasks. I felt like a robot! Quite honestly, the opportunity at Skuad is the mirror opposite. In these two months, there was not one moment when I did not enjoy my work. The team here is accommodating. My reporting manager, Pranav, is an inspiration. Watching him work so hard even at this high position is extremely motivating. All in all, I admire the working style here. From everyday scrum calls to selecting our projects and schedule for delivery, it is a flexible and collaborative environment.

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What is your favorite part about working at Skuad?

I am in awe of the remote-working model. For a night owl like me, it's a dream come true to have flexible working hours. The other thing is the exposure I have got so far. I am just an intern, yet I have gained 6 months' worth of knowledge in just 2 months. Truly, Skuad is like a catalyst for my career. The hands-on experience and the autonomy of work that I got to experience at the start of my career are in themselves so amazing.

Looking at your enthusiasm towards remote culture, how have you set up your workspace at home currently?

Recently, my family and I moved to a new apartment, so my room is under construction (just like my career, pun intended!). But I do wish to continue remote working after my graduation. For that, I am thinking of setting up a home office. My plan is to install more giant screens and speakers. That way, it will also work as a gaming setup for my non-work hours.

What do you do to motivate yourself and give your hundred percent at work?

For starters, the absence of work pressure keeps me calm and positive. But it can get tricky as I have to manage between studies and work. The flexibility of hours helps me make a schedule according to my productive slots. On hectic days, music helps me cope. I listen to songs by Sia and Halsey to get going. Or, I watch sci-fi movies to take a break. I also make it a point to step out of the house on weekends to freshen up my mind. So, yes, one should take timely breaks and engage in things outside work to perform better at work. Right now, I am waiting for the COVID situation to settle down so that I get to travel. I miss my friends, and I am eager to trip to Thailand or Shillong.

Whom do you look up to? And, how do you want the world to remember you as?

My source of inspiration is Mr. Sundar Pichai. He was the reason behind my dream of taking admission to IIT Kharagpur. Starting from the unconventional and unpopular branch of metallurgy, today he stands as the CEO of not just Google but Alphabet Inc. This is why I did not hesitate to take up geology as my graduate degree. I practice coding because of my passion for it. Reaching out to professors, self-learning, and taking up side gigs is how I paved my way into this field. Now I proudly boast that I’m a geologist who codes!

But honestly, it's all hard work. Till a few months back, my life was going haywire. Neither was I able to perform well in academics nor was I able to bag DevOps projects. But I took Sundar Pichai’s example and worked day and night towards my goal. From my experience, I can vouch that one cannot change their past, but they can control their future. Nothing is impossible. Success may not come immediately to you, but it will definitely come if you keep working hard.

From my long answer, you might have guessed that I want to have my own company in the future. I want the world to remember me as an exceptional entrepreneur. This life goal keeps me motivated.

Speaking of hustling, what is the most challenging decision you had to make in the last 6 months?

The toughest decision, which later turned out to be a life-changer, was applying for the Google Summer of Code program. I was amongst the 1200 people to ultimately bag that opportunity this year. The learning was immense, and I enjoyed the experience through and through. I wrote about this project along with my past achievements on my LinkedIn, and Skuad noticed me. And here I am today giving you this interview!

Wow! Okay, on a more philosophical endnote, what is something you value in your life?

Something I deeply value and, in fact, need is my liberty. I loved my pre-pandemic hostel life because of the freedom it brought along. And now, I love this remote working culture because of the same freedom. I like making my decisions, and I want to be my own boss. Probably that is why I dream of becoming a CEO so that I can enjoy the same privilege in my professional life.

Let's hope your dreams and goals come true!

We hope your time at Skuad is full of learning and memorable experiences, Rahul. Keep coding, keep hustling, and run on to occupy that CEO seat.

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