Meet our Interns and Alumni
Varun ― Applications of Lightning Data on Power Distribution Systems
Varun Thirani is a graduate student at North Carolina State University, pursuing his Master’s degree in Electric Power Systems Engineering. He joined Vaisala in 2016 as a Giant Leap intern in our Boulder office.
"The project that I had applied for was something that was based on what I have always wanted to work on. Getting an opportunity to help correlate my theoretical knowledge to the practical aspect of the field was one of the driving forces that made me interested in this program. Also, Vaisala being a global giant in so many varied products and innovative research escalated my interest.
My project here at Vaisala was based on Applications of Lightning Data on Power Distribution Systems. The project involved developing and conducting a market survey to understand the current use of lightning data in the industry and provide a feedback to enhance our product the FALLS Client and improve other services too. I’m currently pursuing my Master of Science in Electric Power Systems Engineering at NC State University. My coursework purely covers the varied topics to understand the dynamics of Power Systems. Yes, I could apply my skills and knowledge and in fact I would say that, this project helped me enhance my skills, expand my knowledge and acquire new skills too.
The internship has exposed me to various facets of a corporate world. Working at Vaisala, gave me an opportunity to improve my interpersonal skills, communication skills etc. The internship has also given me a motivation to enjoy tasks that urge you to work out of your comfort zone. It has made me realize that when a person does that, not only is he able to achieve the goals but also learns how to overcome failure.
I would surely recommend my friends and other students to apply to Vaisala because the company carries out research and development in not just one field but many. Also, the exposure I have received as an intern was tremendously wonderful. Getting the opportunity to interact with clients and the other employees was great too. Moreover, the company considers the results of the intern’s project for future development of their products and other services. This shows that our work is truly of great value to the company and I would surely urge students to apply for the Giant Leap internship program!"
Thu Nha ― Global Master Data Governance Model Creation
“Vaisala Giant Leap internship program is highly valued inside the company as it gives the interns challenging opportunities to work on real-life challenges that the company is dealing with and wants to develop.”
Thu Nha Nguyen holds a master’s degree Information and Service Management from Aalto University School of Business. She joined Vaisala in summer 2015 as a Giant Leap intern and currently works as a Sourcing Analyst at Vaisala.
“I worked as a Giant Leap intern for a project called Master Data Governance Model. My main responsibility was to visualize the current state of master data for product information and create a responsibility matrix tool for item’s data parameters so that it would support daily business and offer a solid platform for continuous improvements.
There are thousands of spare parts and sellable products. Their information is recorded into the system for business transactions and operations. In the high advanced technology industry, there are many perspectives need taking care of, which makes the operational system much more complex. During the internship, I was able to study more the data architecture and data management. I also learned a lot about product information flow from the product’s idea conceptualization to the ramp-up process. I got full support from my team and had a chance to interview different people working in different functions. All of them were really open for discussion. Talking with Vaisala experts helped me to understand difficulties in daily processes from their real experience. I was highly motivated by the project I worked on. I have found the information management greatly influential for the business but also really challenging for any company.
Working at Vaisala has been really interesting, not only from the product point of view but also from the business management side. The business has several market segments and provides a variety of products for different industries, ranging from aviation and road authorities to renewable energy markets. I appreciate the high advanced technology feature. There are always exciting things to learn every day. On the other hand, the organization comprises many different teams and is aligned as a cross-functional matrix, which requires well cooperation from employees. I think that the working environment is quite flexible and friendly. I have felt stimulated by the colleagues I’ve worked with. They are experts in their own fields yet, they listen and cooperate.
Truly, Vaisala Giant Leap internship program is highly valued inside the company as it gives the interns challenging opportunities to work on real-life challenges that the company is dealing with and wants to develop. The interns have full responsibilities and independence so you need to be initiative in self-management and finding a way to work on your own project."
Jesse ― Geographical Information System Development
"Vaisala has great company values, which are easy to agree with. Vaisala also takes good care of their employees. I would suggest Vaisala as an employer for everyone who is curious enough and interested in challenging and important work!”
Jesse Hietanen, who has graduated from University of Helsinki with a major in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), joined Vaisala in 2015 as a Giant Leap intern. Jesse is now working as Software Engineer at Vaisala.
"I was looking for an internship and Giant Leap program got my attention. Vaisala has great reputation and I felt that Vaisala is doing important work and making our lives better. Stories and descriptions from previous year’s Giant Leapers gave also very good impression of the program. Projects felt also challenging enough, not forgetting the fun activities.
During my internship I worked in the Software Development unit of Vaisala. My project was about planning and developing an application for reading and modification of geographical data, using open source tools and industry standards. If I ever got stuck with my project or needed help with something, I could easily ask help from anyone, which was really important! I had also chance to visit our Birmingham office, which was useful and fun.
I hold a a master's degree from University of Helsinki, majoring in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). As minors, I have studied for example computer science and different environmental studies. I feel that skills and knowledge learned in the university was really useful for my project. I could apply the knowledge I had and actually give new ideas to the company.
I personally feel that I learned a lot from the internship. I learned new things regarding my studies and also a lot of about project and time management. Also working with international team, consisting of brilliant people, was really unique and instructive opportunity. I was really surprised how well people welcomed me and how interested they were in my project. In general, my time as a Giant Leap intern was really instructive and fun.
Vaisala has great company values, which are easy to agree with. Vaisala also takes good care of their employees. I would suggest Vaisala as an employer for everyone who is curious enough and interested in challenging and important work!”
Minttu ― Runway Surface Conditions
“Meeting with diverse Vaisala employees, talking with customers and using my analytical skills was a great learning experience”
Minttu Tuononen who has graduated from University of Helsinki with a major in Meteorology joined Vaisala in 2014 as a Giant Leap intern. After her internship, Minttu has continued her Vaisala career as an application specialist. She is now working with measurement solutions for wind energy and solar energy fields.
“What made me interested in working at Vaisala? I heard about Vaisala and their Giant Leap Internship program during my meteorology studies. I had heard good feedback about Giant Leap and Vaisala in general so I decided to apply. I wanted to have a different kind of working experience on my own field and Giant Leap Internship felt suitable for that.
During my Giant Leap I worked in the Airport segment and my research topic was runway surface conditions. My goal was to find out new ways how to improve reporting system of runway surface conditions in winter. I met several people inside Vaisala, talked with customers, analyzed runway weather information and programmed an algorithm which tries to give more information about current status of the runway. I continued my work in Vaisala after my Giant Leap Internship. Currently I am working in Vaisala’s Energy segment. My work is related to renewable energy and I am focusing on measurement solutions for wind energy and solar energy fields.
I started my studies in the University of Eastern Finland where I studied mathematics as my major and physics and statistics as my minors. After four years I decided to change my major and I came to the University of Helsinki to study meteorology and I graduated soon after my Giant Leap Internship. During the internship I definitely used my meteorological knowledge and programming skills.
I learned new things about airports and runways in general and I also had a chance to improve my programming and presenting skills. I became familiar with Vaisala as a company which was a whole new working environment for me as a meteorology student. I met other students and co-workers from different fields and it was a good opportunity to learn plenty of new things from each other.
Vaisala’s Giant Leap Internship program is well-organized and good opportunity to student who want s challenging summer work. Giant Leap projects are meaningful for the company and they are taken seriously inside Vaisala. There is a good team spirit and people are very kind and helpful!”.
Juuso ― Life-cycle Cost Analysis
“Being part of the Giant Leap interns’ group made my internship experience even more memorable”
Juuso Neuvonen, Master of Science (Economics) from Lappeenranta University of Technology, joined Vaisala in 2014 as a Giant Leap intern working with a life-cycle cost analysis project. Juuso is now working as a Financial Analyst at Vaisala.
“How did I found out about Vaisala? I was browsing the university’s job board when I came across the Giant Leap job ad. At that time, I was looking for both thesis opportunities and summer jobs as I just had finished all the courses for my Master’s degree. I wasn’t familiar with the Giant Leap internship program even though I already had a very positive view of Vaisala as a responsible and innovative technology company. After reading about the program and noticing this project topic that was of great interest to me, I decided to apply.
My project was about conducting a life-cycle cost analysis of Vaisala automatic weather stations (AWS). I researched the topic from the customer’s point of view calculating the total cost of ownership in three different maintenance scenarios. As part of the project, I created an Excel based calculation model and concluded the project with a life-cycle document that could be used for tendering purposes.
I have studied industrial engineering and management majoring in cost management at Lappeenranta University of Technology. The Giant Leap project was perfectly in line with my cost management studies and I was able to apply my theoretical knowledge in practice. The project was challenging yet rewarding, and it provided me with a number of tasks from Excel modeling to exploring of sensor specific maintenance details. The internship truly fulfilled all my expectations and I really enjoyed my time at Vaisala.
During the summer, I learned a lot about Vaisala’s weather station products and their maintenance procedures. In addition to cost calculations, I had an opportunity to explore various weather instruments, analyze their technical features and get to know Vaisala’s service offering. Having a project of my own was a great opportunity to take responsibility and learn more about project management in a real-life corporate environment.
The Giant Leap program was really an amazing experience! Vaisala people were very helpful and friendly, and the overall atmosphere was full of good spirit. The internship program itself was well-designed and organized in a professional manner. It was pleasant to see how smoothly everything worked out. One of the greatest things during the summer was being part of the group of other Giant Leapers that made the experience even more memorable.”