Even before starting my studies as a Mathematical Statistics student, I had a clear goal in mind – to get an internship as early as possible. My aim was to become a Data Scientist, and my school program focused mainly on theoretical mathematics skills and statistical methods. Still, an internship would provide me with an excellent opportunity to improve my practical skills in coding, data analysis, and project management.
First year in university and internship
After my first year in university, I searched for an internship. I knew I would face rejection many times, as I had no experience in the field, and my studies had just begun. Another obstacle was that only a few Data Science internships were available in Estonia. However, I soon discovered STACC, and this internship program quickly became my dream. I was fascinated by its “agency”-like structure where I could work with different companies and projects.
Summer and work at STACC
During the summer, I worked as a data science intern at STACC and was treated as a full team member.
My main responsibilities included:
- assessing the quality of customer data;
- analysing data to answer research questions;
- creating and validating models with the team.
I also had to present my results to clients on a weekly basis and had the flexibility to work both in the office and remotely.
Getting to know Data Science
When I started my internship, my supervisors were starting a new project for a client named Fractory, which operates in the metal industry. The goal was to provide a more accurate model for their logistics. My first task was to assess the data quality and provide my team and the client with an overview of the entire dataset. This was my first time doing data analysis in Python, so I had a lot to learn. I was pleasantly surprised by how much responsibility I was given so early, even when I was just a beginner in the field. This pushed me to advance my skills as fast as possible.
I learned a lot at STACC, particularly regarding technical skills and client communication. I got to work with the Estonian supermarket chain COOP which included weekly meetings with the client where I had to show my findings to the COOP management. However, one of the most memorable projects was related to COOP product labelling. It was interesting to see some differences in purchases based on gender, age, region, and product categories, and I truly felt like my work had an impact when talking with the client.
Collaborative and flexible work environment
STACC’s work culture was collaborative and flexible, allowing for a good work-life balance. Although my other classmates were sunbathing and enjoying the holidays I never felt like I was missing out. The work and people at STACC made this possible. The experience was a great learning opportunity for me, and I was able to take away valuable lessons in technical skills and client communication. I am still working in STACC, now as a Data scientist. It is amazing that I get to work in the same building with my classes. Free coffee, snacks, and dog petting breaks are always close by!