Intern Spotlight: Meet Shi Yuan, Data Science Intern

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Can you imagine what kinds of insights people can find when the right tools are available to process a vast amount of data? In this blog, Tang Shi Yuan shares the most rewarding part of his internship at IBM. He is a graduating student with a Master of Technology in Knowledge Engineering from the National University of Singapore.

What was your role as an IBM intern?

The role of a data scientist is a combination of technical expertise and art – there are many tools at your disposal, and you need to find perfect combinations to turn data into gold.

During my internship, I developed a machine learning model and prediction system to provide risk alert to quality engineers based on the periodical feedback of IBM servers shipped to customers’ sites. This allows for predictive maintenance and customer service excellence.

What was the application process like?

I got my internship through an interview opportunity that was opened to master’s students at the NUS Institute of Systems Science (ISS).

We had to submit our interests to our program advisor before the on-campus interview. The trickiest part was the open-ended questions at the interview. There is no one single definite answer – just as a data scientist needs to be able to elaborate the intentions and logic behind decisions. Most importantly, you need to show your passion.


What are the highs and lows of your internship experience?

What I like most is that I get to plan our execution and decide the fine details on the whole data science workflow. For me, motivation comes from being able to look at the enormous scale and vast amount of data of a big company, and tap into the resources.

The most challenging aspect of the job is to request the necessary tools to be set up remotely on a US server, which causes delays from back and forth communications and time zone differences.


Can you tell us about your happiest moment at work?

I enjoy bringing the pieces together, developing and showing a working prototype system that can be applied in a real business scenario.


What type of support did you get in your internship?

We get support and have a mentor introducing us to the relevant stakeholders for the internship. There are also many internal resources online that demonstrate the data mining and machine learning framework developed by IBM.


How would you describe IBM’s culture and work environment?

We have typical office hours and there is flexibility for our working hours as long as work is done, taking into account our night classes at school. The culture is friendly and casual in my team.


Can you give future interns some advice for a successful internship experience?

Be passionate about data and coding, and stay persistent in whatever you do. It is a rewarding experience!


The IBM internship experience aims to provide students the opportunity to develop their skills in relevant and challenging roles with real-life job experience.

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