Meet our summer student interns from the University of Waikato

Meet our summer student interns from the University of Waikato

This summer will see the Cambridge Rocketspark office just about double in size when four new interns start their summer internship. These internships will cover three areas, computer science & web development, HR & health and safety, and marketing & communications respectively.

All four students are currently completing their undergraduate studies at the University of Waikato. Let’s introduce them to you!

The first is Hongyu Wang. Originally from China, Hongyu is studying software engineering at the University of Waikato. He has a strong interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning and is pretty talented when it comes to mathematics and algorithms. We know through a reputable source that Hongyu has a rather sweet tooth, with him already getting snapped out for eating ice cream for breakfast!

“During my time here, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of machine learning techniques and develop some machine learning prototypes with the Rocketspark team in an industrial setting,” says Hongyu.

The second is Rhys Compton, a third-year software engineering student at the University of Waikato. Growing up in Morrinsville, he is a local guy. Rhys says the thing that drew him to a software engineering degree is the problem-solving aspect and the logic skills it helps build. “Every day feels like a new challenge which is really rewarding and keeps me engaged in my work.”

Rhys is a pretty busy student. In his free time he plays the guitar which he has done since primary school, and he had a band during high school. He also likes to play volleyball and soccer. “The internship at Rocketspark is a great opportunity for me to improve both my project scoping ability as well as develop technical skills within machine learning. We've been given a lot of freedom to take the project where we feel is best. It's a scary amount of responsibility but I'm excited to see what we can come up with,” says Rhys.

The third intern is Leanne Lawson, she is in her last year of a BMS (Bachelor of Management studies) majoring in Human Resources Management and Electronic Business, at the University of Waikato. Leanne has lived in Hamilton most of her life, but with recent life changes took a move to Tirau.

Leanne says the thing she enjoys most about her area of study is the variety of subjects and components that are compulsory. This meant that she could take a while to settle on her major and got to experience a range of different subjects including accounting, economics, marketing, communication, strategy, HR and E-business.“ I hope, with this internship, to increase my skills around Health and Safety implementation in a work environment that is fast growing and is always striving to meet the needs of Health & Safety policy in a modern and dynamic workplace.

I am enjoying the autonomy that I have been given to complete the project,” says Leanne.

The fourth and final intern is Todd Harper. He is studying a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Marketing at the University of Waikato. Hamilton-born and bred, Todd appreciates everything that Hamilton and the wider Waikato region has to offer.

Todd says there isn’t just one single point that he enjoys most about his degree. “Waikato is a dynamic and modern education facilitator that promotes the very best and the highest industry standard.”

“I actually came across Rocketspark when I was completing a Digital Marketing paper where we used Rocketspark to build a modern website.”

“From there I was hooked, a few weeks later I signed up to become a design partner and I now have my own website clients. I would never have dreamed that would be possible before I finished uni,” says Todd. After talking with Todd, we quickly discovered he doesn’t have much spare time. But what time he does have he loves playing music, Scottish music to be specific. He plays in the local Pipe Band in Hamilton. He is also involved with a national organisation called ICONZ and TEDx Ruakura as their Communications Manager.

Roy Larke, a Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Undergraduate/Graduate Convenor at the University of Waikato says, internships are about real-world application of conceptual knowledge.

“University is about the concept understanding. Finding the balance between critical vs. practical application, that’s where internships compliment university study,” says Roy.

“They are an essential part of university education. There’s only so many readings you can do or classes you can go to - but it’s not the same as that real-world experience. Internships allow students to gain real-world understanding and to gain experience that will be relevant to their CVs. Motivated students also make excellent assistants in many jobs."

It’s safe to say that the office will not be quiet over the summer. We have already seen the benefit of taking on student interns. Does it sound like you could benefit from it? Get in touch and we can help point you in the right direction to get your own.