Thursday, August 23, 2018

Schwan's Interns You Need to Know

“Schwan’s Interns You Need to Know” is a new series of stories featuring some of the interns who help make Schwan’s Company and its subsidiaries a great place to work.
John McDermott joined Schwan's Company
this summer as a data science intern.

McDermott gains valuable experience in data-science field

Aug. 23, 2018 — Excited about the opportunity to contribute to  Schwan’s Company’s data-science department, John McDermott joined the team this summer as an intern.

“I really enjoy the process of making something new, which is what I’ve spent most of the summer doing,” John said. “My support structure has helped me whenever I’ve needed it, but most days I’m fairly autonomous and have the freedom to make decisions about my projects. My boss encourages me to focus on my own learning and development on a regular basis, which is also a plus.”

John, who currently attends the University of Minnesota, joined Schwan’s as one of the several members of this year’s internship class. During his time here, he worked on several projects including the design of a custom application to make advanced data analysis tools, analyzing real-world datasets where the findings could have significant business value and setting up a centralized data-science workbench to enable data-driven decisions on a larger scale.

John recently took some time to tell us about himself and his work at Schwan’s:

Q: Tell us something about you that most people would not know.

A: I’ve captained an intramural ultimate Frisbee team every semester that I’ve been at the University of Minnesota.

Q: What have you learned so far this summer?

A: I’ve added some technical skills in some areas that I hadn’t been exposed to before. I’ve also gained experience navigating the structure of a larger corporation.

Q: What are your thoughts on our culture?

A: My team and all the people I work with are great. They’ve made a point of making themselves available in case I need to ask for help. The expectations of helping one another and working as one Schwan’s team are definitely beneficial in my everyday work.

Q: What would you tell a friend considering an internship at Schwan’s?

A: I’d say, “Go for it.” There’s a genuine focus on intern development that will likely help you have a good experience. There’s a wide variety of opportunities and experiences that you could have within the company as well since the business units are so different.

Q: What is your greatest take away from your internship?

A: For me, it is the importance of understanding what other people excel at and what their roles are. There have been plenty of instances where I’ve needed help in a specific technical area from a specialist on my team. Knowing who to talk to greatly increased the rate at which I could make progress. Eventually, I’ll hopefully be able to return the favor and help people that have questions relevant to my area of expertise.

Q: How do you think your internship will impact your future career?

A: This experience will certainly have a positive impact. I’ve learned a lot this summer and I have a better idea of what data science looks like in a business setting. I’ve had plenty of learning experiences so far this summer that I can speak to in the future.

Q: What do you hope to do after you graduate?

A: I am an industrial and system engineering major, so I have taken on coursework and internships in a manufacturing setting as well as this summer’s experience with data science in an office setting. Hopefully, I’ll be turning data into insights in one (or both) of those settings.

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