My SME Internship at a science start-up

Manan Vaswani describes the opportunity he received to apply his computing knowledge in the real world. The role was part of the SME Internship Scheme run by the Careers Service, you can find out more about the scheme and how to get involved here. This is what he had to say about his experience:

The word ‘internship’ used to conjure visions of long monotonous days, working for large companies on projects to which my only contribution would be slogging out the most mundane of tasks. This perception, however, was flipped upside-down after Spin Up Science arranged for me to carry out an internship with the science start-up, QLM Technology.

QLM Technology is currently in the process of developing a solution to the global problem of natural gas leaks from pipelines and well-heads. The solution comes in the form of a world-first, specialised natural-gas detector mounted onto an unmanned aerial drone – it’s as cool as it sounds.

The first few days were spent understanding the goals of the project and integrating into the workflow of the team. The fantastic thing about working within a start-up was the agency I was afforded in tackling problems. Having the freedom to decide how I would approach the task meant that I had to learn to gauge the project as accurately as possible from the start to prevent potential setbacks in the future. Of real benefit here was the mentorship and technical guidance from the QLM and Spin Up team. They guided me through the delivery of the work, assisted in the troubleshooting process, and ensured the continual development of my technical and professional skills.

The internship was an extremely interesting and highly rewarding experience. Working in a professional environment with a team consisting of people from a wide array of disciplinary backgrounds was a great learning experience that I did not expect to encounter while at university. As the company was still an early start up just taking on it’s first employees, I had the chance to learn about how start-ups work to transform their ideas into a reality. The internship gave me an opportunity to apply my knowledge about programming and software to real-world applications, with results that would potentially be used on a much larger scale. Consequently, my time with QLM was massively fulfilling and my affinity for entrepreneurship is now greater than ever. Thank you to both the QLM and Spin Up teams for supporting me through a fantastically interesting summer!