They are making use of talented students – ”There’s a lot of great competence”
This article is written by Elin Sunnanängs, freelance journalist.
The wind is blowing ferociously outside the window and you can feel the rain in the air as undeniable proof that the summer is coming to an end and that the fall is approaching. Inside the doors of the start-up business iMatrics powerful winds are blowing as well but in a different way. Here the winds are full of talent, strength, determination, and hope. During the summer, iMatrics has chosen to employ driven students as reinforcement. It’s been a summer filled with new knowledge and a lot of impressions. It has been transitioning between panic and the feeling of knowing it all, says Måns Aronsson, one of the student-coworkers, and smirks.
iMatrics is a start-up business with expertise in advanced textual analysis and auto-tagging of metadata. Through the research of applied mathematics and with methods of AI and Machine learning, they develop customized solutions fitted for the media industry. This year, three university students have been given the opportunity to work with them. Måns Aronsson, Marianne Mattila, and Anton Kåhre Zäll are all students from different fields at Linköping University, but they all come together in their common will to develop and improve a start-up business.
– I, myself, dream of being part of starting up my own business someday. This summer job has been my first real look into it, how it all works inside a small, newly started business, and it has really been super exciting, says Måns and receives backing from both Marianne and Anton. — Indeed. It’s been really cool!
They have all been assigned different jobs over the summer. Måns, who otherwise is studying M.Sc in Media Technology and Engineering, has been a part of the AI-crew trying to create good recommendations between news articles. At iMatrics, this work is being done through AI-solutions that Måns has been a part of the building.
– Obviously, this is a complex job, and as a student, I have not been the one in charge of this artificial intelligence-solution, but I have been helping to build the sort of foundation of creating algorithms.
Marianne, who otherwise studies Cognitive Science at LiU, has been working with the auto tagging-service during the summer. The very core of iMatrics’ business idea.
– I have been comparing the work of the auto tagging-service with the manual tagging system and examined it. Analyzed the differences and explored what and how we can improve the service.
The third student, Anton, who otherwise studies Industrial Economics, has been working in a whole different sphere of the business world; the market sphere. He has been doing market research and surveys, ranked lists of possible customers abroad, participated in workshops and meetings regarding business development.
– To listen to these people talk about their business is really fascinating. The type of words and language they use to make everything sound so interesting. That’s what I think has made the most impact on me this summer. I even noticed it has rubbed off on me. I’ve found myself talking the same way about iMatrics now. I’ve become really proud of this company. I’ve never felt like this for any other company I’ve worked at before.
That there is a very friendly and intimate atmosphere at iMatrics is something they all agree on. It has been a lot of self-responsibility during the summer for the students, but not without solid support and continual feedback from the more experienced coworkers and founders of the company.
– When you work at a small startup business like this, so close to the founders, it is not hard to capture and retain this intimate feeling and atmosphere that many bigger companies are searching for. In this business, it’s clear that the company wishes you the best, and vice versa, Måns says.
– If I may add something here, it’s the value of your opinion, it really means something to them. iMatrics really listens to you. If you have an idea or suggestion, they really take it seriously, encourage you, and value it. People here are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
– I have also appreciated the flexibility that exists here. They really live by the concept of freedom under responsibility. The hours are flexible, they’re aiming towards everybody being here approximately during the same hours every day, but it’s not set in stone. This way of working gives you more possibilities, I think, Marianne adds.
Companies employing student workers over the summer is nothing new. At iMatrics it seems that it is their unique way of working that is the main factor that attracts the students. To involve and challenge the student’s own competence is of the utmost importance, according to Christoffer Nilsson, Chief Technology Officer at iMatrics.
– The student coworkers have been introduced to some of our ongoing projects this summer. Parts of their work has been directly linked to services that our customers use. Their work has also brought indirect results in ways of supporting some test processes. So having the students here working has been very helpful for quality assurance etc.
From iMatrics’ point of view, the student workers have been of importance for the future of the company as well. Tech- and development students are popular on the job market, and it is, therefore, a good idea to woo them early.
– University students are often very competent early on in their educations. That’s why we find it very positive to be able to make use of them as soon as possible. I also think many companies could make use of students, as part-time- or summer workers. There’s a lot of great competence to be found! Especially the Tech- and development students, who companies usually start plucking very early, Christoffer Nilsson says.
Overall, the students seem very happy and content with their time at iMatrics. They have all appreciated the opportunity to use and develop their competence. On my question, if they’d like to come back here one day, I receive a unanimous ”Yes!”.
– It has truly been a dream being here this summer, Måns concludes.