Cervus: the perspective of an intern

When our Site Manager at Porton Science Park asked whether we might have any intern opportunities over the summer holidays for a Computer Science student, we jumped at the chance.

It was seen as an opportunity to get some extra resource power over a busy period (despite COVID related challenges), bring some young talent into the company with new ideas and skills, build company awareness via word of mouth and of course offer (we hoped) some valuable work experience that would help future career opportunities!

Cassandra McCormack has completed her second year at the University of Bristol studying Computer Science and will be starting her third year in the Autumn focusing on AI, ML, Computer Vision and Cryptography as well as doing a gaming and 3-D modelling project by the end of the year; a perfect skills fit for the young talent that we want to attract and develop as part of our Cervus culture.

During Cassandra’s placement, we asked her about her placement and this is what she had to say:

“I wanted to do a placement over the summer so I could get a better understanding of what people do in the real world rather than just the theoretical practices I’ve been learning at University. I was made aware of you through my mum initially and having looked at the website thought that it looked like an interesting area to work. 

My first piece of work was a research project about the opportunities for data analytics within the defence sector; I found this quite difficult because there isn’t much information available, but big data is growing and there are lots of opportunities for the future and different projects that we’re working on. I’ve really enjoyed practically interacting with the projects and it’s been really cool to use things that I’ve learnt by putting them into practical applications for people. For example, when I’ve been using the VR Headsets that have the eye tracking software, I’ve been taking the data and putting it into a presentable format by coding and data formatting that I’ve learnt at uni. 

This placement has helped me consider what direction I want to go in the future. Data engineering and data science is something I’m keen to go into, especially since there’s a shortage of people in these areas. With the amount of data being generated daily, there needs to be people who can implement ways to process this data more efficiently and allow it to be available for analysis. If there was an opportunity to apply for a graduate role, I’d apply for it and I’d recommend the company to a friend. The culture is very relaxed and more relaxed than I expected for an office environment, not that I have anything to compare it to but it’s calm and relaxed and everyone’s nice.”

We’re really pleased to have been able to have Cassandra as part of the team this summer – we hope to stay in touch and look forward to seeing where her degree and career takes her in the future.