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An intern’s journey through SugarBox Networks

SugarBox Networks is the world’s first hyperlocal CDN. And this is the organization working to revolutionize the way we use the internet. I started my journey here, as an intern.

The first bit of learning began as SugarBox extended immense faith trust in me (as an intern) to manage critically important tasks that are relevant to the organization’s success. I am an MBA and B. Pharma graduate with zero experience in terms of understanding what entails in the “Internet” universe. And yet, with all my learning’s at SugarBox, I would like to bid farewell to the false notion that one needs to be an Engineer, to be a part of this company or the industry. All one needs is the drive and zeal to learn new things. And that’s how one can gain technical knowledge and be exposed to a lot of new experiences.

My internship was with the Growth and Strategy function; mentored under Ms. Swati Agarwal, a very capable leader. My projects were about secondary research on assisting the function and involved identifying new growth avenues across industries, where SugarBox Networks could add value in the future, which were mainly shortlisted as E-commerce and Mobile Gaming Industries.

My second mentor was Mr. Ishan Choudhury, Head of Strategy, and an integral team leader for all the interns. A driving force behind our morale and always pushing us to become a better version of ourselves. His anecdotes and distinct ways of identifying and strategizing solutions to problems, helped us generate insightful reports (and continue learning!).

Every day was a new revelation and the one that really surprised me was how the internet works.

Sometimes, we take the internet for granted. That’s because, most of us don’t know how the internet works. From casual remarks such as “This video is taking too long to buffer” to “This website is so slow”, we have heard it all. Sending those habitual morning greetings and messages on WhatsApp or browsing various E-commerce websites – there is a process that follows. Would you like to know how it all works?

The internet is not a single entity, but a huge network of interconnected devices, such as, computers, internet enabled electronic devices, etc. This is the simplest possible description of the internet. However, as you go deeper you realize that there are a lot of other elements responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the internet.

Now, you may safely assume that maybe the reason why Netflix / Amazon’s videos take a long time to buffer is because their origin servers are on the other side of the planet. The distance that your request has to travel, actually causes the delay!

Your request, also known as data, travels through fiber optic cables that have a fixed capacity and can handle a certain load at any given point in time.  Increase in this load would amount to overload and eventually a server crash, resulting in a delayed or no delivery of the requested service. Now imagine, the number of requests these origin servers receive from across the world every micro-second.

In order to solve this problem, organizations have started to strategically place servers or proxy servers, across the globe, where content like – movies, other static files – could easily be stored closer to the users. This has eliminated the need for your requests to travel longer distances. This distribution of these servers is known as a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN offloads traffic from origin servers and improves the internet experience, thus benefiting both the content provider through increased origin server uptime, and the end users through decreased latency and reduced buffering.

With all the knowledge and educational insights that I gathered with the help of my mentors; I was hired as a Sr. Associate within the same team!

This 6 month internship enabled me to understand the organization’s potential and my own capabilities.  In my new role at SugarBox Networks, I hope to contribute to the organization’s aim of achieving – faster, reliable and more scalable internet.

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