Let’s meet our Product Management Intern, Axel (Oct 2019 – March 2020) all the way from Germany! To find out more about what Axel’s experience was like as an intern with Parcel Perform, keep on reading! You can also check out our other team members by clicking here.
Tell us more about you, who is Axel?
I studied electrical engineering and information technology at university and specialized in machine learning and robotics. I like reading non-fiction books, especially biographies and anything related to rationality. I also like reading books that challenge my views. While reading these books, I often encounter very good arguments which go against my original assumptions, and these arguments often make me revise my opinions. Two books that come to mind here are Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker.
What is your role in Parcel Perform? Tell us about your daily routine.
The vast majority of my time here is spent programming. This involves tasks such as finding and fixing bugs, adding ways to measure how well a machine learning model is performing, and improving the way the output of an ML model is used.
I often start my day analyzing results from code that was run overnight. The results and potential improvements are then usually discussed in a meeting. This is especially interesting because we also look at the results from a business perspective there. As someone with a technical background, this was a great way to learn how to see things from this perspective.
Tell us a bit more about Machine Learning. What sparked your interest in the field?
I took an online course about machine learning early in my studies because I was fascinated by the fact that learning can be formalized precisely enough to be implemented on a computer. I remember completing this particular assignment where I had to write code that learns how to recognize handwritten digits. It amazed me that mathematics and some code can do that. That’s when I got hooked.
What are your takeaways from your internship experience here in Singapore?
The degree of collaboration that is required for my work here is much higher in comparison to my previous internships. In this kind of environment, you have to communicate much more with your teammates and manage your own work more carefully to make sure it’s aligned with the entire team. I’m glad I had the opportunity here to learn how to do that well.
Something that surprised me here was how much the company culture and even the people you don’t directly work with can affect how much you enjoy your work. I think this is something that I underestimated before I started working here so that’s another big takeaway.
What is your favourite way to unwind after a work day?
One of my favourite parts of unwinding after a day of work is walking home from the subway station instead of taking the bus. I use this time to reflect on things, plan the rest of my day or just listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks.