Meet our Interns and Alumni
Giant Leap in the US: Cosima ― Working Prototype at the End of the Summer
Cosima Jackson studies Computer Science int he University of Colorado, Boulder and joined Vaisala for the summer 2017 in our Boulder office. Her Giant Leap project was about developing camera imagery for a existing Vaisala product used to detect road weather conditions.
"When I started my Giant Leap summer in Vaisala in summer 2017, I was an undergraduate at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I major in Computer Science. I love a good challenge and working in a good team that always help everybody out, which is why Vaisala was a great choice for me.
In my Giant Leap project, I used camera imagery for road state estimation, which means that the images are used to determine whether the road is dry, wet, slushy, moist, snowy and so forth. The most rewarding thing about the project was that it led to complete product that’s being used within the whole company, not just software. So the project was really successful: the prototype works in real time, running every 15 minutes, updating the image and informing about the road state probability.
What is unique about Vaisala, from my point of view, is that Vaisala is based in Finland, so there are a lot of diverse people from all parts of the world. Another aspect is that Vaisala is focused on weather instrumentations and number one lightning detection: I never would have expected to be working for a company that does weather instruments, which made it an extremely unique experience for me.
Vaisala’s working culture is pretty traditional and laid-back at the same time. For instance, we had yoga every Tuesday. So you also get the chance to take break. It’s also very rewarding to work with projects that are going to be products. You have something to look forward to and are able see the end goal and meaning of your work.
My advice for future Giant Leapers or anyone wishing to work for Vaisala is: be confident in yourself. Be open with your ideas and don’t be afraid to say them out loud."
Giant Leap in the US: Manh ― Working with Cutting Edge Lightning Detection Technology
Manh Tran studies Electrical and Computer Engineering in the University of Florida. Manh joined Vaisala for the summer 2017 as a Giant Leap intern in our Boulder office and his project was about machine learning and its potential applications in classifying lightning.
"Vaisala is the leader in its field, making it an attractive employer for me. It has been the leader of cutting-edge technology in lightning detection for a long time, and I feel very lucky to have been able to work on those technologies. I’m doing my thesis about lightning physics at the University of Florida. As such, it made sense for me to apply to Vaisala for the summer 2017.
In practical terms, there are many technologies in lightning detection, and Vaisala currently operates some lightning location networks, one of which is located in the US, for example. Any event of lightning discharge is detected by these networks, and each event is assigned to one label: either ground-to-cloud lightning or intra-cloud lightning. A ground-to-cloud lightning makes a connection to the ground and could destroy or damage objects. That’s why it’s important that the labeling algorithm is accurate, and that’s where I came in.
My job at Vaisala was to apply advanced machine learning and deep learning technology to increase the algorithm accuracy further. I also had the chance to work with top scientists in the field of lightning, for which I feel very lucky. The model that I developed showed great performance, and I’m happy that with the help of others I could contribute to the whole company.
Vaisala is also a flexible employer, which makes it possible to achieve a nice work-life balance. You’re able to take breaks and relax, which was fundamental in my work that required a lot of thinking. I’m proud to say that I was learning throughout the whole summer. It was very rewarding to be able to exchange ideas both with managers and other interns.
My advice for the future Giant Leapers is: be proactive, hard-working and open-minded."
Giant Leap Alumni Thu Nha ― Great Leap into the Sourcing World
“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."
Giant Leap Alumni Jesse ― Geography and Software a Great Combo
"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!”
Giant Leao Alumni Juuso ― Cost Management Studies Put into Practice
“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.”