Jack joined SeeChange for a summer internship after his first year at the University of Manchester, so we quizzed him before he left on his time and experience in being part of the SeeChange team.
We also share thoughts from Craig McFarland, our Director of Platform on his experience of having Jack in his team.
I’m Jack Pay, I’m 19 and I’m currently going in to my second year of University. I study Computer Science Bachelors at the University of Manchester.
The main thing that drew me in to it at first was seeing this is a machine learning opportunity, it’s for first years. At SeeChange they don’t care about your experience really.
They do a bit, but they’re more interested in interviewing you and seeing you as a person and seeing if you’d fit with the team. So many other places want prior experience, or they want you to contribute something to their project and then they’ll let you on if it’s a good contribution.
The main thing that attracted me at first was it was an honest opportunity where someone was going to look at me, rather than what I’d done before.
One of the most important areas I think that it’s helped me develop in terms of my skills – something that my dad would probably smile a lot at, is just the soft skills side of it.
So, taking part in active sprints, building social skills and confidence, it’s helped me a lot with industry soft skills like joining active sprints, organisation, messaging people in professional ways – it’s really helped me develop that way.
But also in terms of the different languages and technologies that I’ve used here. This is my first experience of being part of a big project where I don’t know the scope of absolutely everything.
I’ve only ever done University projects before where it’s like I’m kind of the biggest contributor, I know everything. Instead now it’s I’m going to be working on a small little bit of it, a little piece that’s going to fit in. But even so, I’ve learnt so many new skills, so many new languages.
I’ve had experience with things like Azure, Ansible, my Python knowledge has expanded so, so much. I’ve honestly learnt so many skills, probably more than I’d learnt in my first year of Uni despite being here probably half the time.
I mentioned this a bit before, but it’s really helped me in deciding what I want to do in the future for my career and what specific part of the computer science industry I want to go in to.
It’s so expansive, there are so many different areas you can go in to and even in my first year, the number of different courses and how different they were, they are really diverse. It’s really helped me select what course units I want to do throughout university, to specialise my degree almost.
For example, I’ve gone through and picked almost all course units related to machine learning, AI and computer vision. Basically everything that SeeChange really likes and uses, just because I would love to work in this industry and possibly for this company again.
It’s really helped me to decide OK I love machine learning, I love computer vision, I just want to do this so much more and honestly I can’t wait to get in to my second year to start on that path even more going forwards.
Well just that honestly being part of the team, everyone, even from my first day everyone has been so, so friendly, joking around, being nice, when I’ve had possibly stupid or silly questions I’ve not ever felt bad asking them.
It’s just such a welcoming team, such a welcoming environment, I never feel nervous coming to the office, it’s just a pleasure to work here. So I’d say my favourite part of being part of the team is just how nice everyone is, how friendly and how connected we all are.
Three wishes, that’s very very tricky. My first wish would probably just be to get through uni really well, really fine, get the grades that I want, to propel me forwards into whatever industry I want and to make my parents proud.
My second wish would probably be to work in a place as nice and relaxing, and laid back as this. And my third wish, it’s really tempting to say more wishes.
It’s very difficult, I’m going to be a bit stereotypical, but something like to not particularly have a big need that I always look to and have – to just be able to slowly get what I want – whether it is to be really rich or just maybe to be satisfied, if that makes sense, with what I have.
So, I’d really like obviously to have a little break at first from all the studying and from all the exams.
Going forward in the future, I would love to work, to come back here to SeeChange if there is a position available or to work in somewhere similar to this.
I’d absolutely recommend for other people to work here or to partner with SeeChange in the future because it’s a lovely company, it’s really nice.
Jack stood out mostly because of his enthusiasm for the whole process to be honest. He came in, he was very engaged, he was very vocal with his answers to the questions and he’s one of the few candidates that showed an aptitude for both the AI side of things but also the more traditional software engineering side of things.
He was definitely interested in both. My side of the company is to do with the software engineering side of things, how we deploy things in the platform. He’s one of the few candidates that showed an interest at all in that kind of thing, obviously as well as the machine learning side of things that was a real stand out as well and he’s just such an enthusiastic, pleasant guy to be around, that really comes off in an interview really, really well.
A huge amount to be honest, a really surprising amount because he’s only just finished his first year at uni.
It’s often quite difficult for people with that amount of experience to find something they can engage with and actually add an output with, and pretty much anything we threw at him he performed beautifully and he was a real asset to us as well as us being an asset to him.
With interns you hope they will get something out of the process, it’s a bit 50/50 whether you’ll get anything back as a company. With Jack it was very much the case that anything he did he took on wholeheartedly, he was a real asset.
We could give him a task, he would own it, he would ask questions when he needs to ask questions but he didn’t need the kind of constant supervision that can sometimes be the case with these guys so a really fantastic output.
Absolutely, in fact we’ve already made him aware of that, yes he’ll be welcomed back with open arms next summer definitely!