Participant: Jakub Dostal
SICSA Institution: University of St Andrews
Interned at: Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK
The SICSA postgraduate internship programme seemed like a unique opportunity to conduct world-class research at a well-known research facility with a leading team of HCI researchers. It really is unique opportunity and I have yet to come across such a generous programme elsewhere. It gives you leverage when looking for an internship and opens doors to unusual internships that may otherwise not be possible. This internship programme was one of the most beneficial activities I participated in during my PhD studies. To arrange the internship I found a suitable team within Microsoft Research, then I asked my supervisor to make an introduction as my supervisor had co-organised an event with them previously, then I negotiated with the team leader myself.
“This internship programme was one of the most beneficial activities I participated in during my PhD studies.”
The work and personal dynamic within the team I was a part of as well as the differences between my home department and Microsoft Research were quite different, which allowed me to very quickly develop my own research and communication style based on the best I saw in both locations. The internship has put me into a very different position both as a researcher and in my personal life. Learning how to deal with this situation in a very short amount of time was quite demanding at the time but it has proven very valuable since then. The situations I had to adapt to quickly are too numerous to list but I feel the internships has allowed me to develop in a number of areas at a breath-taking pace.
1. Best thing you have worked on whilst on the internship so far: An incredibly simple, yet very powerful way of detecting distance and other characteristics of objects with just two cameras.
2. One way that the internship has helped your research: The internship helped me create a lot of connections with more senior academics and industry partners.
3. Two skills you have gained from the experience: Better time management; improved ability to deal with high-pressure environment
4. Sum up your internship experience in three words: Intense, enlightening, unique.