During my second semester at RWTH Aachen University, I began contemplating where I should do my summer internship the following year. It all started when a friend of mine pointed to an ad on one of our university noticeboards, where my first glance fell on “Ericsson + 5G + Internship!”
Well, for a master’s degree student, this was a golden opportunity to learn about and work on some of the latest technologies in the industry. The fifth-generation mobile network (5G) is expected to be over 100 times faster than 4G and, coupled with lower latency, will enable autonomous vehicles, smarter and more connected devices, immersive education, enhanced healthcare, and the list goes on. Ericsson has been a leading player in making 5G a commercial reality, possibly allowing you to soon bid farewell to your “buffering, please wait” days!
Once I submitted my online application, I received an interview call within two weeks and was later invited for an in-person interview at Ericsson Eurolab in Herzogenrath. The whole process was quite smooth, and I felt at home right from the start. The atmosphere, the people, and even the workspace gives you the vibe of spending your day with some of the most experienced minds in the industry while being fun and interactive at the same time.
I began my internship in April 2019, which involved as my main project testing the MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) protocol that is being used in the development of Ericsson’s 5GCAR project at the R&D department in Eurolab. The MQTT protocol is based on a publish/subscribe model and is used to send and receive messages between a client and a server. In the context of 5GCAR, this protocol enables the implementation of the exchange of wireless messages between connected cars in a real-world scenario. Improving the wireless V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communication, reducing end-to-end latency, and ensuring reliability are some of the major goals of 5GCAR. Applications include lane merge coordination between connected vehicles, perceptive maneuvers on the road, and on-road user protection.
Being a student, it’s most likely that you won't have all the skills or knowledge required on your very first day; however, your supervisor, manager, and the teams at Ericsson are always available and approachable to answer any questions you may have and even provide insight on certain topics that may interest you. There were a few times I did feel unsure about how to solve a particular problem and make progress, but my supervisor always made time to help me out, encourage me, and give me points to think on so that I could come up with an answer on my own. This company culture, I feel, is quite welcoming and encouraging, and it enables you to take responsibility for your tasks while still having a supportive environment – something that always instills great motivation!
Everyone there makes you feel like an active member of the team, and they even invite you to join their team activities. One such activity we did in July 2019 was visit a barefoot park close to Aachen. We all had a wonderful time there together, climbing obstacles, jumping over wooden logs on a lake, and – here comes the best part – getting knee-deep in some relaxing wet mud! It really did boost our morale and helped us get to know each other better.
After all of this, it goes without saying that my internship experience at Ericsson was truly a stimulating and rewarding one.
Meet Elizabeth Abraham
I am a master’s degree student at RWTH Aachen University majoring in communications engineering. I currently live in the charming little town of Aachen and am in the third semester of my studies. I was born and raised in South India and, naturally, have a soft spot in my heart for spicy food. I enjoy spending my time outside work travelling to new places, hanging out with friends, cooking, and dancing. Swimming and learning martial arts on the weekends are also activities that I am quite fond of.