My remote work placement in Germany


I am a Computer Application student at HAMK and I am currently employed as a part-time intern at the ad-tech company Cyreen, which is situated in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Who am I?

I am Satyam Arora, a 19-year-old student from India. I came to Finland for my Bachelors’ degree in Computer Applications at HAMK in August of 2019. I came here right after completing my high school diploma from Delhi Public School, one of the top schools in New Delhi. I got my diploma in physical sciences i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Economics.

I like to play basketball and the piano in my free time. I am not much of a party person; hence I would rather prefer to be curled up in my bed with a good book rather than waking up with a hangover in the morning. I love to cook, so the transition from getting home cooked food in India to cooking for myself here was pleasant.

About my Work Placement Company: Cyreen 

Cyreen provides intelligent, data-driven marketing solution for the physical point of sale (such as supermarkets) and as a Data Scientist I am responsible in supporting the team with analytical insights. I can work remote from Finland and am in close correspondence with the leader of the strategy and data science department.

Cyreen runs a b2b (business-to-business) business model, which means that our customers are not the in-store shoppers but the brands advertising their products. As a company Cyreen provides two solutions to our customers: 1) Intelligent screens and trolleys, which inspire shoppers with audio-visual advertising directly at the point of sale. The technology allows advertisers to display their ads at the right location and time. 2) The analytics of the data collected by these smart screens and trolleys, providing insights on the advertisement’s performance.

The story about how I found this internship

The story about me finding this work placement opportunity is quite unorthodox. I went to SLUSH 2019 in November. Slush is a tech-event focused towards entrepreneurship. In the event, there are speakers from different fields, big companies like AWS and Google, investors and of course people from startups from all around the world looking for opportunities. I wanted to attend Slush as soon as I got to know about it but since the ticket was too expensive, I decided to volunteer in the program. I got recruited into the cloakroom team.

There we after parties at the end of every day organized by Slush, in Helsinki. It was on the 20th, my birthday eve, that me and my best friend decided to go to the party. But when we reached there, it was not a “party” since it was full of people looking to form business connections and not to actually party.

So, my friend grabbed a beer and me, a coke and we sat down at a table. After about ten minutes or so, three people came and sat with us. They were from three different companies. They started explaining what their companies did. Two of them were honestly, not that great, but there was one which I really liked. The next day, I had my shift in the afternoon and then I went to the Slush after party with another friend .We were walking around when I saw the same guy I had met yesterday. I wouldn’t usually go and talk with someone I don’t know, but that day I did. We were talking about random things and then I told him that I really liked what they were doing and was genuinely interested. In the end, I got a business card and I was really looking forward to it. I contacted them a week later, had some interviews, and luckily landed the position.

So, this was the story of me getting my work-placement on my birthday, at a party.

My work-placement experience 

Since this is my first work-placement, I had no idea going in about how the experience was going to be. But to be honest, it has been quite a pleasant experience for me. Since I was in Finland and the company, in Germany, I started my internship working remotely from here.

In the beginning, I had minor introductory tasks like managing and updating the database or the documentation of the database. These tasks really helped me get on board with the working of the company’s algorithm. The tasks sloped upward gradually like doing some research work for making an ongoing task more efficient, then KPI generation which was to generate KPIs based on market data and the most recent one being fetching weather data from AccuWeather’s API using Python programming language.

I have been comfortable working with these tasks as  whenever I would get stuck on a task, I could find support online or I could ask the leader of the department as we had bi-weekly calls to discuss about the progress and about if I had any problems regarding the tasks.

Coming to the current situation i.e. the corona virus situation, honestly, it has not had much impact on my working as I have been working remotely since the beginning hence there hasn’t been any major problem in my workflow. However,  it has affected me in other aspects as I have been planning to go to Germany for a long time but due to the virus situation, there have been problems with flights, getting appointments for the visa, the accommodation and basically every part of the travel. But even after all this, I remain positive and hope that I’ll get to go soon.

Coming to the best part about my internship, I would have to say that it would be the flexibility and the relevance to my studies. It’s flexible as I am working remotely, I can do the tasks at any time of the day, so if I have to stay late at the university for some project, I do not lose on anything as I can always go back and do the work at any time, compared to working in an office where I would have a fixed schedule for the day. The second thing is the relevance to my studies. I feel great when I am able to apply something that I have learnt at the university to my tasks as it gives me a boost as well as deepens my knowledge about that topic.

This brief overview of my experience so far but I hope I can add to this some fun stories or experiences and much more when I come back from Germany.

My future goals

Talking about the near future, I aim to complete my university i.e. to get 210 ECTS as early as possible and graduate with a good GPA. Concerning about the years after that, I hope to be working with the same organization as I really believe in what we are doing as a company and the solutions we provide to our customers. I aspire to become a data-scientist in the future. Using my skillset to the fullest and constantly updating it as it is highly required in the IT-industry. Having a broad skillset, I would want to create and give back something meaningful and valuable to the world.

Satyam Arora is a second year student in Computer Applications.

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