“Aurai Taught Me a Lot of Great Technical Skills”

Jason (27) was one of Aurai’s first generation of Data Science trainees. “As an Aurai trainee, I could do all sorts of projects at the Chamber of Commerce and the Consumers Association with other companies. The traineeship taught me so much – I developed data and programming skills and learned how to arrive at customer-focused solutions.”

Could you tell us something about yourself and your background?

Sure! My name is Jason and I was one of the first to finish the Aurai’s Data Science Traineeship. My background is in Biology, specifically Animal Biology, Disease Models and Science-Based Business. During my studies I did a lot of research, worked in laboratories, focused on innovation, finance and business development. After working on some great projects as a trainee, I started working for Samskip: an international transport company focused on cost-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly solutions.

Now, a couple years later, I am a fulltime Samskip employee and focused on optimizing processes and investigating ways to effectively deal with shipping and container transport. I stay busy automating all kinds of operations, while also developing computer programs provide advice to colleagues and clients and relieve them of many time-consuming tasks.

Why did you choose to do the Aurai traineeship?

At the time, I chose Aurai because working with data; sorting out and resolving problems is my second nature. For me, the interactions with Lars were the deciding factor – he made me feel comfortable and I figured working at a startup would be a great way to both learn a lot and make an actual difference. I had missed that feeling when interviewing with other companies. And, certainly not unimportant: Aurai offers a pleasant, inclusive work atmosphere where everyone knows each other well.

How did you experience the guidance during your traineeship?

What I personally really liked were the follow-up meetings with Frank and Lars after the full-time training period. I started my traineeship when Aurai had just been founded, so I have had the pleasure to see their quality of supervision grow substantially over time. From a small startup, Aurai has transformed into an established company innovating through experienced employees and trainers.

Could you tell something about the training program?

I learned so much during my traineeship. The training sessions were always highly informative, and it was great to receive a variety of trainings from professionals from many different backgrounds. Also, the monthly training sessions were an ideal way to catch up and spar with the other trainees. 

My Data Science Traineeship at Aurai immersed me in data, programming and various techniques for both. I found machine learning particularly interesting. Moreover, I learned to identify and solve problems as a trainee within a variety of companies.

What was your last assignment as an Aurai trainee?

My final assignment in 2018 was for the international transport company, Samskip. During this project I developed a forecast that calculated how many containers Samskip moved from one location to another on a monthly basis. My assignment led me to build a machine learning model, which predicted the quantity and type of containers the company would ship in a six-months-period. It was a large undertaking, but Samskip still uses my model in their weekly estimates.

Additionally, my assignment had a special focus on optimizing and automating processes, providing insights into the data and drawing up schedules. The assignment flew by and allowed me to establish myself within the company.

How were you able to use your newly acquired knowledge after your traineeship?

All the great technical skills I gained at Aurai have proven very useful in my work for Samskip. And not just the technical skills – Aurai also taught me how to ‘sell’ Data Science, which is just as important as building and automating the data. Learning how to bring people into the process from start to finish has been enormously valuable. And finally, I learned a lot from the teamwork, sharing information and sparring with the other Junior Data Scientists, with whom I have become good friends. 

What was it like to begin working as a Data Scientist at Samskip?

It was great! I started by giving many presentations in which I explained basic Data Science to the employees and clients. Gradually, I learned to involve people in the data process instead of just building codes and programs. It was great to see over time how these efforts helped people understand Data Science’s many advantages. Lately, the company has been focusing more and more attention towards data automation. In 2019 I switched to a team that deals with Samskip’s Digital Solutions, which has led me to really flourish within the company.

What would you say makes a successful Data Scientist?

First of all, have to think analytically and always keep the end goal in sight. Second, you need to explain clearly what you are doing. An eagerness to learn is essential: Data Scientists must be open to and incorporate feedback and changes. Lastly, they need to be able to work well independently and with others.