Plextek: An Intern’s View

Plextek: An Intern’s View

Ben Skinner - Summer Intern

By: Ben Skinner
Summer Intern

12th July 2017

Home » education

With the sun shining down over us, at least 20% of the time, means it must be summer! For many students, this season offers a time to relax, head home and retreat from the lecture halls and library rooms they’ve inhabited for the last ten months. However, for others the summer offers something much more, instead of a retreat, this time offers a chance to leap into the professional world and a chance to put into practice their skills gained at university.

Many of my colleagues at university believe there is only one reason anyone does an internship, money, however, this is far from the truth. For me, I see an internship as a way to gauge my abilities and apply my knowledge. In my opinion, the university system is very good at being able to teach someone the theory of electronics and how it can be implemented, but for the large part, you don’t see how this technological and theoretical knowledge is being used in the real world. In short, internships fill this gap and offer the chance to work on projects with real-world applications.

For three summers, I have been changing scene from Southampton’s campus to the office environment here in Cambridge. Moving from education to the workplace is more than just a location change – it’s an entire state of mind change. In education, any task a student is assigned to do has already been done and proven to work. A great example of this is a project I had to do in my first year, we had to construct a traffic light controller out of logic gates, something that has been done thousands of times before and will, no doubt, be done a thousand times more. Whereas here the projects have not been done before, we’re paving a new path and there’s no mark scheme to follow! It’s exciting stuff.

Now that I have you sold on the idea of internships, your next question is, no doubt, why Plextek? As a consulting firm, a huge range of different projects are worked on here, utilising all sorts of technology for clients in multiple market sectors. From highly accurate radars, capable of picking up a person walking two kilometres away, to sensors that detect if a car is present in a parking bay or not, the work here is hugely diverse and interesting. Over my three years, I’ve worked on all sorts of interesting projects, doing things such as developing a controller for a scanning device to developing a computer vision system; I even spent some time redecorating the office ceiling with QR codes!

I would be lying if I were to say that I only come here for the projects. This company has an amazingly friendly and welcoming atmosphere, everyone is more than happy to spare some time to talk about the projects they’re working on and to offer helpful advice on the projects you’re working on. It’s this supportive and friendly community I love and look forward to entering when my time at university ends.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

With the sun shining down over us, at least 20% of the time, means it must be summer! For many students, this season offers a time to relax, head home and retreat from the lecture halls and library rooms they’ve inhabited for the last ten months. However, for others the summer offers something much more, instead of a retreat, this time offers a chance to leap into the professional world and a chance to put into practice their skills gained at university.

Many of my colleagues at university believe there is only one reason anyone does an internship, money, however, this is far from the truth. For me, I see an internship as a way to gauge my abilities and apply my knowledge. In my opinion, the university system is very good at being able to teach someone the theory of electronics and how it can be implemented, but for the large part, you don’t see how this technological and theoretical knowledge is being used in the real world. In short, internships fill this gap and offer the chance to work on projects with real-world applications.

For three summers, I have been changing scene from Southampton’s campus to the office environment here in Cambridge. Moving from education to the workplace is more than just a location change – it’s an entire state of mind change. In education, any task a student is assigned to do has already been done and proven to work. A great example of this is a project I had to do in my first year, we had to construct a traffic light controller out of logic gates, something that has been done thousands of times before and will, no doubt, be done a thousand times more. Whereas here the projects have not been done before, we’re paving a new path and there’s no mark scheme to follow! It’s exciting stuff.

Now that I have you sold on the idea of internships, your next question is, no doubt, why Plextek? As a consulting firm, a huge range of different projects are worked on here, utilising all sorts of technology for clients in multiple market sectors. From highly accurate radars, capable of picking up a person walking two kilometres away, to sensors that detect if a car is present in a parking bay or not, the work here is hugely diverse and interesting. Over my three years, I’ve worked on all sorts of interesting projects, doing things such as developing a controller for a scanning device to developing a computer vision system; I even spent some time redecorating the office ceiling with QR codes!

I would be lying if I were to say that I only come here for the projects. This company has an amazingly friendly and welcoming atmosphere, everyone is more than happy to spare some time to talk about the projects they’re working on and to offer helpful advice on the projects you’re working on. It’s this supportive and friendly community I love and look forward to entering when my time at university ends.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save