An interview with two students who are working as interns at HACARUS while attending university in Canada.
We currently have two university students living in Canada who are working as data science interns for HACARUS. During the Coronavirus outbreak, we proactively embraced diverse ways of working, allowing people to work remotely. We made it possible to work from anywhere, regardless of where someone was and, surprisingly, two students studying abroad at a local Canadian university were hired as interns. HACARUS interviewed the two interns about how they joined the company.
Furuya-kun is a third year undergraduate student in the Department of Economics at the University of Manitoba and has been with the company for a month.
Tanaka-kun is a second year undergraduate student specializing in computer science at the University of Alberta and has been with the company for a month.
(HACARUS) Thank you for joining HACARUS. First of all, please tell us why you decided to attend a university abroad?
(Furuya) The reason why I decided to go to my current university is very simple…the tuition was cheap, lol. I also wanted to be able to speak English in the future. I was looking for a place to study abroad in an English-speaking country, and I found this university and have been attending since this spring.
(Tanaka) I’m attending the University of Alberta’s School of Computer Science and have been studying programming and web analysis since early spring.
(HACARUS) How did you find out about HACARUS while you were studying abroad?
(Furuya) I found out about it through Wantedly. I had started machine learning in the spring of this year, and I wanted to use it in a real-world application, so I was searching for a place where I could do an internship in the summer, and I found the HACARUS page on Wantedly. Up until then, I had only heard of deep learning technology, but when I learned about sparse modeling based AI, which is one of HACARUS’ main strengths, I decided I wanted to learn about a technology that allows us to use machine learning with small datasets. I feel that this technology will definitely be necessary for small and medium-sized businesses in Japan that don’t have a lot of data.
(Tanaka) I applied through Wantedly as well. The reason I joined the company was partly because of sparse modeling, but I was also interested in the fact that the company provides AI solutions for medical and industrial systems. I think a big part of this was that I wanted to know how machine learning is used in the real world. I was also drawn to HACARUS’ mission: “We will take everyone on earth to 120 years old.” I thought it was kind of exciting to be pushing the limits of human life expectancy.
(HACARUS) I’m glad to hear that you sympathize with the mission of HACARUS. By the way, you’re an intern now, but are you considering machine learning companies as potential employers?
(Furuya) Yes, I’m hoping for it. But I’m having a hard time deciding where to work. I’m going to graduate from a university in Canada, so I’m thinking that maybe I should stay in Canada and go straight to work.
(Tanaka) Yes, I would like to do the same. I think it depends on the company itself rather than the physical location or country. I don’t really have a preference to stay in Canada or go back to Japan. If there’s a company I want to work for, I’ll go to any country! or something like that, lol. But if I want to get a job as a data scientist in Canada or the U.S., I need a master’s degree, so I’m wondering if I should go for that.
(HACARUS) I see. Incidentally, there are currently 37 student interns working at HACARUS. The number of people working remotely is increasing due to the influence of the Coronavirus, and we are creating an environment in which people from overseas can also work. Canada is more advanced in the field of research and development, and we would like to open a subsidiary or a branch in Canada sooner or later. We will be in touch once that happens, lol.
By the way, how is it working for HACARUS?
(Furuya) I’ve always taught myself or worked alone so I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know how to share my work with others. I even forgot to upload my work to GitHub, which caused some trouble for my seniors…But my mentor, Ryan, was very thorough in teaching me, so I was able to gradually get used to it!
(Tanaka) Yes, I think my work is going smoother than I expected. It may sound arrogant, but I think my work met the expectations that I had for myself. My mentor, Mr. Inoue, has helped me a lot with the detailed management of the program.
(HACARUS) What do you hope to learn or take away from your internship?
(Furuya) If I could, I want to learn everything! Everything from business to engineering. I want to experience the process of planning, assigning team members, project management, and the making & selling of things. My goal is to start my own business or work on a freelance basis, so I want to learn a lot. What I want to do is to change the entire infrastructure of Japan. Including the abolition of the hanko system, which is now the focus of attention. I think it would be interesting to change “Japan’s troublesome procedures”.
(Tanaka) I want to gain experience in team development. I’ve only worked on my own so far, and now I’ve started working with a team. As a result, I’ve noticed many things, so I want to be more involved in a team and learn what I can’t do by myself. I would also like to experience team management. I believe that a company produces results as a team. In other words, I want to learn about teamwork, which is something you can only achieve if you are part of a company.
(HACARUS) Finally, could you give a message to the interns who will be joining HACARUS in the future?
(Furuya) I want to tell them to take advantage of your failures by understanding the importance of reporting, communicating, and consulting (Japanese mantra Ho-Ren-So). If you don’t know something, ask. Get confirmation to prevent mistakes. By doing so, I realized that I can reduce the burden on the people around me and I can work more comfortably.
(Tanaka) Start using GitHub! I’d like to say that this is a great tool. If you use it even when you are working alone, you can get a rough idea of what it is, so please use it. I think it will completely change your work progress after you join the company.
(HACARUS) Thank you, Mr. Furuya and Mr. Tanaka!
If you’re interested in interning while you’re still in school overseas, we’d love to hear from you!
As of October 2020, we have received a large number of applications and have closed the internship application process for the time being. We plan to reopen the application process around the end of the year and the beginning of the new year, so if you are interested in joining us, please follow the HACARUS Wantedly site and we hope to keep you posted.