How has your internship differed from your beginning expectations? How has it been similar? Has anything surprised you about your internship?
Although I did know that task priorities change constantly in any workplace, I had never experienced the fast pace of working in a start up. One day, I might be starting a predictive analytics report to the customer support head and that same day I might have to switch my focus to a “cash-back” campaign measurement analysis. Simpl is in a very competitive industry and employees work long hours to make sure that the whole team is heading in the right direction. In addition to managing changing priorities, I have learned the importance of planning to complete tasks quickly. Any procedure that can help make tasks more efficient, such as optimizing queries and automating reports does a great deal of help in the long run.
When I came into my internship I was expecting a challenging learning curve. It has in fact been a steep learning curve, but the other members of the data science team have been very helpful answering my questions and have even walked me through some of the codes they have written for data analysis in the past. I have continued to strengthen my SQL knowledge and have learned some of the basics of using python packages such as Pandas and Numpy to manipulate data frames. One of the reasons I was excited for this internship was that I knew I was going to learn a lot. Last week, the head of the data team gave us a lesson on the applications of data science techniques, specifically machine learning models and the differences between supervised and unsupervised learning models. I am looking forward to participating in the development of models in the upcoming weeks.
Additionally, I was not expecting to do much networking outside of getting to know my coworkers at Simpl. This past Friday I attended a UM alumni event at Bangalore’s Arbor Brewing Company. I was able to meet some of the other Michigan interns staying in Bangalore and network with alumni who call Bangalore home. Events like this one show how far the alumni network reaches and it always makes me proud to be a part of the Michigan family. At the event, I was also able to catch up with a friend of mine who lives in Delhi and we were able to plan on him hosting me in a few weeks.
On the other hand, networking within the office has been very beneficial. Through conversations that have ranged from very informative to extremely funny, I have learned about the diversity within India and some of the banter that exists between people who live in different states. Finally, Lu, a Michigan Computer Science major who is also interning at Simpl, and I have received great recommendations for things to do in Bangalore and places to travel to around India that have shaped our weekend plans.