Name: Jiangxue Han
Class Year: 2022
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Internship Organization: ShopRunner Inc.
Job Title: Data Science Internship
Endowed Internship Funding Award: Betsy Zubrow Cohen 1963 Presidential Innovation Fund
Location: Remote (headquarters in Chicago)
What’s happening at your internship?
I’m doing a project with the goal of classifying model posed photos into different angles and display types. For instance, a product photo can be with or without a model, and can be a detail shot or capture the entire product. It can also be in different angles like front, back, top, side or bottom. The purpose of this project is to help the company better understand product catalog pictures so that they can display better product pictures to users. It also helps to offer better outfitting options to users. It has been a comprehensive process where I had to train another model to get familiar with the tools used. I also got to experience the entire process of collecting data, cleaning data, and model building and deployment.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I’m a computer science major and I’m interested in exploring different fields within the tech industry. Data science is one of the fields I’m interested in, and I wanted to get a feeling of how everyday work of a data science job would be like, and see if I want to further pursue this path. I also heard about their excellent mentorship and guidance during the project (which later proved to be true). It has been a valuable experience both in terms of technical skills learned and being in this particular team and environment itself.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My favorite part of this internship is the team experience and mentorship I had. The internship was very well structured with clear project goals and well-organized schedules. The team has several daily/weekly meetings to talk about specific tasks, and also organized social times to relax. My mentor dedicated a significant amount of time and energy into guiding me throughout the project and conversed with me about career advice. There were also organized conversations with CTO/CEO to gain some more insights into this company and advice in the industry. The best part was the nice and supportive team atmosphere. People in the team were always willing to help out when I ran into issues. Apart from working on the project, two of the team members also organized technical workshops to help us get familiar with the tools we would use throughout the internship.
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
Working remotely has been very different in many aspects, but in general it worked fine. One of the difficulties I experienced was being able to be aware of all events/meetings I should be in all the time. If I were physically in an office, I would be able to see other people going into meeting rooms, etc. But now I have to be careful about everything to make sure I don’t skip important events.
I thought communication would be harder working remotely, but it turned out to be okay. People on the team respond to Slack quickly, and people are willing to hop on Zoom for quick chats and debugging sessions.
Another point to mention is that it was harder to stay focused without other co-workers on the side. It has less of a work atmosphere so that I felt the need to urge myself to stay focused. In general, I felt like I was able to proceed with my project normally, just as much as it would be in person.
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.