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Access To Technologies That Change The World – A Talk With An Intel Poland Intern

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Intel offers various opportunities to new graduates and interns, thanks to which building a career in tech is more straightforward. Olha Babicheva, an Intern at Intel Poland, explained how applying to the company’s scholarship and mentorship programs fast-tracked her career. Find out more about Intel’s new grad and internship programs, and how finding possibilities for professional growth or to develop your career doesn’t have to be difficult.

 

Olha, tell us a few words about yourself. How did you end up at Intel?

One could say that I was already programming at the age of 12. While playing RPG, I was so fascinated by the gameplay that I decided to create something similar. I ended up making a simple environment; a script to control the main character and add the ability to kill a few monsters. I was extremely proud of the result. Currently, I’m studying mathematical modeling and data analysis at the University of Gdańsk. I came to Intel after joining the 7th edition of the ‘New Technologies for Girls’ scholarship mentoring program. When applying, I justified the choice of my field of studies, described my achievements and what motivates me. In the second stage of the program’s recruitment process, I answered more technical questions.

 

Did anything surprise you about the interview for the mentoring program?

The most surprising question concerned what sources I use at work. If I'm having trouble with a code, I always check Stack Overflow first. However, if I want to get acquainted with new scientific papers and see what the trends are in deep learning, I check arXiv and Kaggle. Thanks to Intel, I also have access to the O'Reilly library, the LinkedIn Learning platform and Udemy Business. This gives me the possibility of developing quickly and effectively. We even have time specifically dedicated for additional training and learning new things.

 

What was it like working with a mentor during the scholarship program?

My mentor, Tomasz Poniecki, and I agreed that my main goal would be to acquire hard skills, which I would need for an internship in deep learning. Thanks to all the preparation, the recruitment interview went so well that instead of a summer internship, I was immediately offered a regular internship. I am really grateful and very pleased with that.

 

What did the scholarship give you? Did you manage to meet your goals?

Yes, apart from getting the internship, I also gained knowledge about neural networks, which I would not receive until during my master's degree. Besides that, thanks to the scholarship, I was able to buy myself a new laptop, on which I worked on my portfolio. The project I am most proud of concerned predicting cryptocurrency prices. It has a precision of 97% on the dataset. This experience pulled me out of my comfort zone, which is computer vision, to work with time series. After the scholarship program, I entered a summer internship and was immediately offered a regular internship. Currently, I work in the Pytorch Geometric (PyG) team, which deals with graph neural networks.

 

What do you do on a daily basis as an Intel intern?

My team's priority is to speed up the training and inference of PyG-based models. My job is to analyze code already written by experts. I try to find all possible improvements and eventually make changes in C++ or Python. It’s a great challenge that allows me personal development; in order to be able to improve the operation of models that are ‘state of the art’, I must understand their operation perfectly, as well as be familiar with the latest trends in programming languages and hardware.

 

What was the internship like in the first few weeks?

As my first task, I chose to take good notes for my team, because I know that if I can explain something to someone, I will understand it myself. Therefore, in the first weeks, I read all the necessary scientific papers related to graph neural networks and did my best to make comprehensible notes. Thanks to this experience, I can now quickly analyze the latest scientific papers and extract the most important elements.

 

Recently, Intel launched the first edition of the ‘New Technologies for Girls’ (NTDD) Ukraine scholarship. How can this program support the development of young Ukrainian women?

For me, participating in the NTDD program and being mentored by an experienced Intel employee was really valuable. That’s why I’m so supportive of this program and am promoting it at my university. I believe that thanks to it, young women from Ukraine will not only receive all the necessary skills to start their career in IT, but also build good networks in Poland, which will allow them to quickly get used to living in a new country and a new reality.

 

Why should young engineers be interested in working at Intel?

In my opinion, the most important thing is the possibility of constant development. Each day brings a new challenge. If you want to avoid stagnation, then Intel is the place for you. Moreover, I can say from my own experience that there are really high-class experts at Intel, who gladly share their expertise. If you have doubts or questions, don't be afraid to ask. The last thing that is also worth mentioning is that you have access to the latest hardware not yet known to the public – that can be quite the treat. If you want to work on technologies that will change the world, join Intel!

 

How has your opinion of Intel evolved over the years?

When I was a child, I recognized those ‘cool stickers’ on laptops and that was where my knowledge about Intel ended. However, when I started using a computer, I quickly realized that working on i7 processors is much more convenient than working on i3 processors. That piqued my curiosity about the differences in processors. Of course, after that I wanted to know “What's next?”. Within a few Google searches, I landed on Intel's website and I was delighted. I didn’t know yet what I wanted to do in life, but it certainly made me realize that I want to change the world for the better with the help of technology.

 

What would you say to those who are still considering applying for an Intel scholarship or internship?

I would say “Do it!”. You will meet great people, who can help you start your career path in tech and motivate you to act. If you have any doubts about whether you are prepared for a program or internship at Intel, then applying is the best way to check. You will never know until you try!

 

Would you like to intern at Intel and develop your skills like Olha? View openings at Intel.