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Meet the interns

September 06, 2017

Meet the interns

Labs was fortunate to work with some amazingly talented interns last month. After first arriving at Labs, each intern’s particular skillset was taken into account before pairing them with a Labs employee. They were given some general guidelines, then set free on individual projects. Despite their unobtrusiveness and gentle demeanour, this group has made a substantial impact. In recognition of the work they’ve done, we’d like to share a little about Labs’ latest flock of future fintechers.

Hannan Saleemi is of Pakistani descent, born in Kent, and raised in London. Hannan applied to Labs for summer Work Experience, while enrolled in the City and Islington Sixth Form College. “I have been to quite a few summer schools and company-hosted Work Experiences, but what made Labs different was how independent I was,” said Hannan.

Hannan’s first completed project at Labs was to develop a system to integrate Recognition Cheques – a digital system Octopus employees use to recognise when a co-worker has gone out of their way to be helpful – into Slack, the real time messaging app. “Before joining Labs as an intern, I used to worry if my programming skills were good enough to be relied upon. During the internship, I came to realise writing reliable code for an end product is not that scary.”

Nakai Jirira finished secondary school in Zimbabwe at age 12, before moving back to the UK with her parents. She went on to study Chemistry at Imperial College London, where she is currently completing her PhD. Nakai’s key function at Labs has been utilising research and data to create insightful app features. “I mainly work on strategy, roadmap, and feature definition. I then collaborate with the design team and developers to make sure the interface looks amazing, but is also intuitive.” Working at Labs, Nakai has been surprised at how such an intimate and friendly environment can produce such a large breadth and volume of work. Aside from Nakai’s passion for developing fintech products, she is fanatical about the Marvel Comics Universe. Feel free to pick her brain about everything Iron Man.

Fabio Di Leta moved to London from Italy seven years ago. Studying initially to be a chef, and working in restaurants and sales, he then returned to school to study International Business Management at London Metropolitan University. Labs immediately placed Fabio on projects allowing him to use his data and research skills in product and business case assessments. “Everyone is friendly and ready to help, demonstrating real interest in the projects I was working on. This pushed me to do my best,” said Fabio. “I don’t think there are many cool places like Octopus to work at.” In October, Fabio will return to school to complete his third year and hopes to continue his role as a “cat fosterer.”

Carolin Schwartz currently studies Computer Science Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin, where she is also enrolled as a teaching assistant and IT administrator. “I learned coding in High School, where I took all the computer science courses available,” stated Carolin. “After five years of intense learning, my future studies were pretty clear.” Carolin spent her internship analysing customer feedback to help create improvements to the Octopus Choice website and in customer service. When not applying her brain power to technology, Carolin enjoys weightlifting, bouldering and jogging.

After completing a degree in Physics at Imperial College London, Jason Yu contacted Octopus Labs to gain work experience and test his Python skills. Jason has been working with Octopus Energy to develop a tool to help clients visualise future electricity costs, based on past consumption and generation data. After absorbing a bit more work experience, Jason plans to experience the world at large. “I hope to be travelling around in different parts of the world sometime in the next year or the year after.”

Labs is always looking to provide work experience opportunities for students who are interested in a career in technology or computer science. If you’re interested, drop us a line and tell us why.