21 June 2022
My experience as an R&D intern at Cambridge Cognition
Vic joined Cambridge Cognition in late 2021 as an intern in our R&D team. As her internship comes to a close, we caught up with her to find out more about her experience.
If you're interested in joining us as our next R&D intern, you can view the details here.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I graduated from National Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv, Ukraine, with a degree in Biology. I had a deep interest in neuroscience, and my bachelor thesis explored mechanisms of empathy.
My passion for biology and neuroscience has never left me, even with my involvement in the family business and focus on raising a young child. Considering my evolved interests, my next step was getting an MSc in Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics from the University of Birmingham. There, I had the opportunity to deepen my programming skills and get some knowledge of computational modelling. I enjoyed the course, especially the data science part and robot vision course. However, it still didn’t feel enough to gain an industrial position.
What motivated you to apply for the R&D internship?
Considering that I am an older student (mature as the guys in the UK say), I had doubts if I needed a PhD and if it was worth an extra four years of my time to pursue my dream of working in R&D. I have friends who work in pharmacological development and I spoke to them, however, I couldn’t find any advice regarding whether a PhD was needed for the modelling side of work.
How long were you doing your internship with Cambridge Cognition?
I stayed with the company for 4.5 months.
What project(s) did you work on during your internship?
During my internship, I did two fascinating projects.
The basis of one was to automate some data processing tasks that would be helpful for the operational science team and save them some time with analysing data. The second was the exploratory analysis of free speech data using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques and some help in the development of the analysis pipeline. To do this, I needed skills in coding, an understanding of machine learning and knowledge of neuroscience.
What was your favourite part of the internship?
The best part of the internship was working with an R&D department, gaining experience solving arising issues and working with my supervisors. It was a brilliant team to work in, I feel very lucky to have got this experience.
What are the key things you learned during your internship?
That you don’t need to be scared of creating a bug. You can always find a way to fix it!
But joking aside, there are way too many things that I learned during these four months to describe it all here.
The main thing for me is that I got an answer to whether I want to continue with my journey of becoming an R&D specialist (within the neuroscience field) and if I want to dive into getting a PhD for this. The answer is yes, I will need a PhD to work as an R&D specialist and so I am now pursing PhD options.
And for me, this experience and the answer are invaluable.
What would you say to anyone considering doing an internship with Cambridge Cognition?
Please do it! You will have a great time learning from exceptional people in a supportive environment. There are only pros to the internship with Cambridge Cognition.
Victoria Titova, R&D intern at Cambridge Cognition