Aniket Gupta, Data Scientist Intern, Rivian
Aniket Gupta (MIMS ’24) spent the summer as a Data Scientist Intern at Rivian.
Describe a typical day at your internship.
I begin my day at 8:30 AM at Rivian’s Palo Alto office. On my way, I quickly check my emails, Slack messages, and calendar. Once at the office, I settle by a window with a stunning view, enjoy coffee and a snack.
Each day, I have a scheduled meeting with my mentor, during which we delve into any challenges and map out our next steps. Additionally, I hold weekly discussions with my manager and have 1:1 sessions with cross-functional teams — all of which are closely involved in the project I am contributing to.
Midway through the day, I often take a break to explore the impressive R1T/R1S vehicles, which never fail to captivate my attention. The internship program also feature a variety of events, including speaker series and fun activities, which I carefully plan to attend.
Around noon, I join other Rivian interns for lunch in the main building. Occasionally, I dine with my team members, as they operate in a hybrid mode. After lunch, I return to my desk, track my daily tasks, and wrap up my day around 5 PM, heading back to the bus stop.
What was the most valuable thing you learned at your internship?
Receiving feedback and incorporating fresh perspectives into your work is crucial. Don’t hesitate to ask for it and make use of valuable advice. People are often friendlier than you might expect – they’re happy to engage in conversations. I regularly arrange meetings with experts from ML, Data platform, and GTM strategy teams, and I stay connected with them on LinkedIn. To keep the connection going, I kept them updated on my work and even invited them to my final presentation.
What was the biggest challenge?
- My most significant challenge involved grasping the EV industry and the broader business landscape. Rivian had experienced substantial growth, resulting in notable shifts in their business dynamics over the years. Navigating this complexity was a challenging task, as I needed to incorporate all these nuances into building a reliable and robust ML model.
- My audience mainly consisted of business people and as a Data Scientist, an important task was to tell them how my work can help their business grow instead of telling what modeling technique I was using.
How did your work at the I School prepare you for this role?
- I School’s flexible curriculum allowed me to take electives from different departments and build a holistic profile. Courses like Data 200 (Principles & Techniques of Data Science), MBA 263 (Marketing Analytics), and INFO 251 (Applied ML) really paved the path for this internship.
- I found the I School's career services and events like ‘Resume Review Night’ extremely beneficial. They provided valuable insights on tailoring a resume for a data science job and offered excellent networking opportunities.
- I School also pairs each MIMS student with an industry mentor. I had mentors in roles such as MLE at Apple and Director of Data Science at Salesforce. We had monthly meetings, and these interactions were incredibly beneficial. In fact, I’ve established a strong connection with one of them!
Any advice for next years MIMS students as they prepare for their internships?
- Ask seniors for coffee chats and seek advice. They will be your go-to person and always give you the real picture.
- Submit your applications as early as possible, and don't fear rejection. And, parallely prepare for interviews. You’ll come to appreciate the importance of this later on.
- Learn how to manage your time well. Make sure you don’t miss out on any fun but also don’t end up compromising your studies and job applications. Maintain a good balance!
- Practice mock interviews, and finalize your resume with the help of career service. Eva and Rebecca are awesome and very approachable.
- Opt for a GSI role in a subject you’re familiar with or ensure it has a manageable workload. Berkeley offers abundant opportunities; don’t invest your time in something you might regret later. If possible, try a GSR. Remember, your primary focus is your studies!
- Make good friends. Have at least one person whom you can blindly trust in any scenario. And remember friendship is a 2-way street. Be a good friend in return! This advice is particularly precious for international students.
- Never doubt yourself and be confident!
Did your internship influence your career plans after graduation?
Indeed, I am now more certain than ever that I want to pursue a career as a Data Scientist after I graduate!