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New Faces And Fuzzy Algorithms: Meet Our Callaghan Interns

Callaghan Innovation have been funding high-tech New Zealand businesses working on innovative, technology-focused projects to give companies a boost for years. They were a key investor in Movio’s early success, and have since enabled us to further push that success with R&D grant funding—particularly in our Data Science team.

We spoke with Movio’s most recent intern, Sinéad Miller, about her experiences working here, and the project she’s been working on, along with her fellow Callaghan Innovation interns at Vista.

Describe working at Movio in three words.

Sinéad Miller: Fun, interesting, learning. 

What was the project you were working on during your time at Movio? What was the most exciting part about it?

SM: The project title was Intelligent Budgeting and Fuzzy Algorithms. In the project we were considering opportunities for incorporating predictive analytics into one of Movio’s newer products. The aim was to use artificial intelligence to develop strategies that aid users in making decisions that are far too complex to be optimised by manual work.

I know it sounds cliche to say, but I found every part of the projects exciting. I worked on such interesting stuff that whenever I implemented something that became the most exciting part. The Data Science team is constantly exploring new technologies—especially in machine learning and new developments in the field of predictive analytics with my project—and getting to learn from such knowledgeable coworkers was amazing.

What advice would you give someone looking at applying for an internship?

SM: Be yourself and be ready to learn. A lot.

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Sinéad wasn’t the only intern with some excellent experience and advice from Callaghan, though! We also spoke with some of the amazing interns at Vista about what memories would stick with them about their time here, and what advice they would give to those hoping to try an internship like theirs!

How would you describe working at Vista in three words?

Charlie Yang: Challenging, motivating, but most of all fun.
Jafar Maash: A good time.
Jaimee Mclaughlan: Inclusive, Challenging, supportive.

What was the most exciting part of the project you worked on during your time at Vista?

YO: The initial planning stage, when our team was defining exactly what we were going to build. This was when we had the most discussion, considered the most ideas, and made the most decisions. Realising our project could be a real thing used by real people was hugely motivating when working on it.

CY: It had to be engaging in the end-to-end development of a product. Learning about the practicalities of developing a piece of software was very interesting and taught me that it was much more than just hacking away at code. We were equipped with amazing mentors who were willing to drop everything and help us at a moment’s notice.

We were given great freedom; we were able to explore frameworks and languages that weren’t taught at University, which gave me the opportunity to learn what I would consider essential technologies in a modern software company, all whilst contributing to code that could potentially go into production.

JM: The best thing was being able to witness and be a part of all the stages of a project’s development—from the ideation to initial brainstorms, to demoing. While other internships may have projects surrounding things that the greater public will probably never directly see or interact with, that wasn’t the case for what we were working on. It was really cool to be able to work on something, and later be able to explain it to a friend and have them actually understand it, as opposed to some obscure technical/businessy stuff.

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Is there any advice you would give others looking at applying for an internship?

YO: Apply everywhere.

Even if you think you’re unqualified, not ready, or inexperienced. People will still hire you as long as you show a willingness to learn.
Think about why you want the internship. Realise the bigger picture of why you want that job specifically, and why you chose your line of work. Whether it’s to make a difference to people’s lives, or because you love to be creative, finding your source of motivation is going to make you want it more. (Plus it’s attractive to recruiters.)

JM: Remember to be confident in yourself. If you believe you are a good fit for the company and project confidence, the person hiring will believe it too.
Being able to work well in teams and communicate with others is extremely important and can carry you further than any amount of technical skills.
Don’t feel like you need to know all the answers to do well. A lot of the knowledge you need you will learn on the job.

Movio is a data company at its core, and we’ve invested heavily in data science over the years to maximize the value we can extract from this data for both our clients and ourselves. It has been extremely worthwhile to invest our time and resources into the data science community and give undergraduates the opportunity to put their theory to practice.

Callaghan Innovation internships are an incredible opportunity, make sure to keep an eye on our careers page for more opportunities and follow our life here at Movio on Instagram.

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