I interned at Boeing for 12 weeks as a data scientist in the summer of 2019. And it was great!
To start off with, the building I was in was the original headquarters for Boeing. Building 2-25. Right next to the cafeteria and fitness center. I knew it was going to be a great summer already.
Things moved slowly in the beginning and I attended various events. One of my favorite ones was an all day Data bricks event. Later we had this fun and casual math competition where we had to guess numbers according to a pattern, sort of like a neural network, but with little training data, so maybe it was like imitating Bayesian learning, but most likely just random guessing, which in fact led me to win. And probably my favorite event was the Boeing Tech Conference, where I got to hear a lot of cool talks about AI and data science at Boeing.
For the next couple of months, I concentrated on natural language processing applied to some of the text data that Boeing has. So I got to hit the classical stuff like cleaning the text data and algorithms like clustering, but also used new technologies such as Flair and Bert. I also learned more about graph databases to store the data to Docker containers to package everything up for simple deployment. Overall, I felt like I was able to go deep, but also expand my overall skill set.
So my team was amazing and I got to meet lots of cool people from various backgrounds. People studied aerospace engineering, math, computer science, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, data science. Quite the medley! Most people have a master’s on my team and some people have a phD. I really enjoyed getting food with them, going on walks, and the occasional excursion to get some coffee.
The work was great, the people were great, and also the morals were great. One of the things I highly respect of Boeing is their commitment to quality and safety. They really try to make sure their products are safe and highly reliable. Which means they may move more slowly than other companies, but this is a necessity given that we are dealing with primarily aerospace products. Of course, when something does go wrong, it can make the news, which is bound to happen. But there is camaraderie and a sense of purpose that our products and services really can make a positive impact on others.
My manager helped make my internship experience relaxed, while also focused, guiding me and answering any of my questions. I was given both a sense of freedom and responsibility right off the bat, that allowed me to flourish. The general environment was upbeat with no one seeming to really work over-hours often. So pretty much a great work-life balance.
All in all, I highly recommend giving data science at Boeing a try!