From Studying Biology to the World of Data Science: Growing with My Team under Horizontal Management [An Employee Interview]

From Studying Biology To The World Of Data Science: Growing With My Team Under Horizontal Management [An Employee Interview]

Hello everyone, this is Tomomi Kikumoto from the HR department at HACARUS. In today’s article, I want to share an interview with a new employee, Mr. Imotani, from the data science team. While studying biology at university, Mr. Imotani also worked as an intern at HACARUS for one year and officially joined the team as a full-time employee this spring. In the following interview, we will discover how he came to HACARUS, his career in data science and medical projects, and his plans for the future. 

First, let’s start with a brief introduction from Mr. Imotani.

Hello, I am excited to share my experience with everyone. I originally joined HACARUS as an intern back in March of 2021. Back then, I mostly worked on medical projects. Joining the company is exciting because I am a new graduate, while most of the current employees were hired in the middle of their careers. Although I am lacking in a few areas, I have high expectations for my future at HACARUS. 

Majoring in Biology – Research Helped me Discover the Wonders of Data Science

When I was a student, I majored in biology. It was a unique experience for me, but I also ended up completely changing my focus when I studied for my master’s degree. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the biology of living things and I wanted to study diseases. If I was lucky, I thought I might be able to conduct cool research that would contribute to the medical science world. With this goal, I studied molecular biology and my research project was about nematodes, an animal that is only one millimeter long. 

The basis for this research was the study of genes that regulate the size of organs. This might sound a bit unrelated to the field of medicine, but it was actually quite practical. The gene I studied was identified to cause a rare disease called hereditary spastic paraplegia. Since human testing invites a lot of ethical concerns, my motivation was to uncover the gene’s function in nematode worms first. 

This research was a great experience for me and I enjoyed PCR tests, a hot topic these days, to slowly unravel the inner workings of genes. However, while conducting my research, I also noticed that data accuracy was a major issue within this field of study. For this reason, I felt that biologists also needed to learn about data science to improve their work. 

Moving forward, I applied to graduate school right after graduating from my biology program and dove right into the field of data science. While studying, I continued to conduct experiments. However, this time I was using image processing and machine learning instead of pipettes and microscopes. While analyzing various biological data, I was introduced to informatics and data science. At the time, I was energetic and took a lot of informatics classes. I remember staying up late at night a lot trying to understand my assignments. While these were good memories for me, I am still a beginner when it comes to programming and machine learning. 

The Depth of Data Science Means There is Always More to Learn

Right now, I am most interested in studying how mathematics and technology relate to data science. Since I am only two years into my studies, I’m motivated to quickly acquire the knowledge and skills in areas where I am lacking. Even though it might seem easy, I feel like there isn’t enough time to study every aspect of data science. I also have aspirations to dabble in the engineering side of data science in the future. 

Since I’ve been constantly conducting research related to living organisms in school, I’ve made a hobby of visiting zoos and aquariums. Whenever I travel, I always visit the local zoo or aquarium. Recently, I visited the Kyoto Municipal Zoo, where I found the red pandas to be extremely adorable. 

Outside of my research, I also have a wide range of hobbies that I enjoy in my free time. These include reading, anime, music, and art. I often visit art galleries and look at contemporary art. Unfortunately, I have had fewer opportunities to go lately because of the pandemic. 

My Experience at HACARUS After One Month

Now, it’s been over a month since I joined the company, and I think I am beginning to understand the culture of the company. HACARUS is a company with a horizontal management structure. Because of this, there is a deeply rooted culture of sharing not only good things but also problems and challenges within my team. My team members are always working on projects while trying to cover the team’s weaknesses and utilize everyone’s strengths.  

Another thing I like about working at HACARUS is the feeling that everyone is constantly working to improve themselves. It is really motivating to see each member constantly thinking about what issues need to be addressed in order for the team and the company to grow. They also try to figure out what specific knowledge and measures are needed to solve the problem and implement these solutions. This kind of attitude is contagious and makes me want to contribute to the team as well. Everyone is also very kind, which is one of the charms of HACARUS. 

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