Placement experience: Research & Development Intern at Gillette - Krit Singhania
BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects student, Krit Singhania, is working as a Research and Development (R&D) intern in the visualisation department at Gillette (Procter & Gamble) in Reading. He's been working on a range of programming and virtual reality projects, including working with Unreal Engine to develop plugins and VR experiences.
How did you find your placement role?
I came across the role on the Creative Careers vacancy database. I made nine applications and got interviews with Procter & Gamble (P&G), Epic Games, Unity and Electronic Arts (EA).
Who do you work for?
Procter & Gamble is a fortune 500 FMCG company, which was founded in 1837. The company specialises in several sectors of consumer health, personal care and hygiene products. In 2021 the company had a revenue of $76.12 Billion Dollars.
You might have heard of companies such as Ariel, Gillette, Tide, Head & Shoulders, Old Spice, Vicks and Oral-B, but may not know that all these companies come under the parent company of Procter & Gamble. There are 65 brands in total.
Tell us about your role
I work in the grooming sector of Procter & Gamble, which is the Gillette brand. My role is of a R&D Intern in the visualisation department.
One of the incredible things working at P&G is that I was given new projects based on my interests and abilities. I was given complete ownership of the projects and there has not been a single day when I felt I was an intern.
After discussing with my manager that my prominent interests lie within programming and virtual reality, my main projects for the year revolve around this area.
- One of my projects is to develop the back end of a software using my C++ skills and combining it with the Unreal Engine.
- My second project focuses on fostering an augmented simulation experience for one of the Gillette razors. I had the opportunity to combine both my C++ and animation skills within Unreal Engine and 3DS Max.
- I've also been involved in several different departments of P&G, where I'm getting to collaborate with other interns on projects, volunteer in community teams and acquire new abilities.
- Throughout my internship, I have prepared and presented several presentations, which improved my presentations skills as well as develop my communication and business skills further.
- I even had the opportunity to provide training in Adobe Premiere Pro to some of the employees at P&G.
P&G Reading Plant
How is your placement related to your university degree?
Doing an Animation & VFX degree, I joined the visualisation department which focuses on developing scientific communications via digital methods. I have been utilizing the skills I learned in my first and second year such as 3D modelling and animation. Simultaneously, Unreal Engine has been rising within the creative industry, and I have been working with this software to develop plugins and VR experiences.
What are the best things about your placement so far?
I have been here for four months now, and it has been an extraordinary experience so far. From working in labs to associating with people from diverse industrial backgrounds, I have the incredible opportunity to learn new skills and enjoy the experience of working at such a major organisation.
The best thing was connecting with the other interns at P&G. Due to Covid, my second year of university was confined to my accommodation and I lost the university experience. During my placement, I made friends with the other interns from different parts of UK and who are studying different degree subjects. The social life outside of work with my new friends makes me feel like I have got my second year back.
I generally see myself working in a fast-paced business environment as opposed to working at a studio, and the placement has assisted me to achieve that. The interns here are treated as employees and we enjoy all the benefits of a full-time employee.
Any advice for students wanting to do a placement?
When I first joined the university in 2019, I had this motivation to learn more and more ahead of time. So, I started to attend the CT Support Sessions. During one of these sessions, the third-year student who was helping me, told me that only a handful of students managed to secure a placement. This was in 2019 before the pandemic. Realising how hard it is to get one, I started to work harder on my skills as it was my goal to get a sandwich placement.
My advice is don’t leave it until the second year. You need to start planning your career right now. I told myself that I must take the initiative myself, as no one is going to just come and hand me a job even if I have a degree.
Start building your portfolio and most importantly work on personal projects as it shows you really have a passion for your chosen subject. I took the initiative to get my portfolio reviewed by people working in Disney, Pixar and Netflix by connecting with them through LinkedIn. This helped me gain insights into the hiring process and the chance to improve my portfolio.
Connect with me
If anyone in the first, second or even third year needs any advice or help, I am always happy to connect on LinkedIn.