GII Feature: Bryan Bramaskara
Friday Oct 15,2021
Bryan Bramaskara was a Data Science and AI Intern at Unionbank in Philippines. Read on to find out about his GII experience!
Hi everyone, I am Bryan. I am currently in my final year as a SCIS student majoring in Information Systems with a double track in Cybersecurity and Business Analytics. My journey at SMU has been comparable to that of most students, with ups and downs, but I am grateful for the various mediums and channels that SMU provides to prepare students for real-life situations, whether academic or non-academic. For me, it started with the GII programme.
Why did I choose to join the GII Programme?
My journey with GII began in 2019 when I first noticed the GII posters around the campus and newsletter that I received via email. I applied for GII because of the opportunity to learn new things while interning abroad, be it through various cultures and different landscapes. You may be wondering why did I choose GII over a local internship?
For me, I always have a motto that “if you have an opportunity, take it” and interning in other countries would do no harm to us if you were ready for the new adventures and experiences.
The Matching Process
In 2019 for SEA, there were placements in the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand. Since I am an Indonesian, Indonesia will be out of my list. The Philippines has a great opening opportunity at the Unionbank (UB) innovation center that they are currently focusing on developing AI which was in line with my background. I applied to UB, went through 2 rounds of interviews (one with HR and the other one with the VP of Data Science and AI Dept), and got selected.
I was hoping to get the real experience of working abroad in The Philippines back in early 2020. However, due to the pandemic outbreak, we had to do a remote internship instead of a physical one. In December 2020, students who got the offer from the Unionbank earlier were given an opportunity to start an early internship that will continuously extend till the summer of 2021.
Life at Unionbank
Since Unionbank was having a new batch of interns they had this orientation program called Unionbank Accelerator Programme where we were equipped with different non-work activities and being grouped with other interns to solve challenges that were created for this orientation programme. The programme was fun, the people were very friendly even though we were not physically interacting with each other but we strive our best to complete the activities and challenges. My orientation groupmates, and I were having calls till 11 pm each night to complete our proposal, slide decks and practice for the presentations. It was similar to the SMU group project, except that it was with other intern buddies located in the Philippines and in the context of an internship attachment.
For the duration of 9 months, I was involved in 4 projects. My first project was about Endpoint Traffic Detection system which created and trained a machine learning model to automatically identify benign or malicious traffic that was coming into the server. This project was a collaboration between Data Science and Cyber Security departments. When talking about traffic here it is referring to internet traffic (request/response). So usually there are certain characteristics that can distinguish safe and non-safe traffic from their packet lengths, header, etc. For this project, I got an opportunity to be invited to present this during the monthly town hall meeting in front of the Data Science Department CEO. Next was Customer Feedback Monitoring through Net Promoter Score using Natural Language Processing (NLP) model (preparation for publication), Net Promoter Score, and lastly Automatic Speech Recognition for bank’s chatbot.
For anyone of you who will be going to The Philippines for an internship, just sharing some tips of calling your supervisor or anyone with a higher rank from you with Mr., Mrs. or Ms. It seems to be a common practice in The Philippines unless your supervisor tells you not to.
Takeaways from the GII Programme
Throughout the internship, I have obtained many new experiences for sure. In terms of soft skills, I get to manage my time better, prioritize different tasks, and many more. One thing for sure is I am able to find my interest in pursuing further in the data science path. I get to find out this during the internship which I feel a different kind of enjoyment when dealing with the data science project. Who knows you might get to know your true passion when joining GII too!
And for those who are really enthusiastic about starting your own business, interning at an overseas startup might be a good way to start, especially since GII provides specific mentors from different countries. Thus, you would be able to ask your burning questions specific to the countries that you are interning at and the potential market to expand or build your business there.
With that, I wish you all the very best of luck with your GII applications and indeed you have set your foot in the right step!
Application for GII Summer 2022 is open now. Apply by 15 November 2022.
Apply for GII and indicate your preference for location as SEA in the GII application form if you are looking for a challenging internship role in which you can immerse yourself to gain as much experience as possible.