Internship Experience at Alpaca

Source: Deep Learning on Medium

Internship Experience at Alpaca

An experience which made me commit myself to deeper research

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Intern: Hana Hoshino

University: Tokyo Institute of Technology

School of Computing, Department of Computer Science

Q. How did you get involved in the internship?

Mr. Yotsumoto, CEO of Alpaca Japan (“Alpaca”), and my father have been business acquaintances for many years and therefore I had known about Alpaca. In fact, I even had an internship experience during my sophomore year of university at AlpacaDB, Inc. which is the predecessor company of Alpaca (*currently a separate company) based in Silicon Valley. I knew that Alpaca was doing very interesting research and development in the field of deep learning and decided to participate in the internship program.

Q. What did you actually do during the internship? What were the highlights of the program?

I was involved in the development of market forecasting models which Alpaca is very strong in. Throughout the internship, I was assigned very difficult tasks, but there’s such a friendly atmosphere running in the team that anyone would kindly answer any questions that I had, and therefore I was able to have a fun work experience. What impressed me was that it was the kind of environment where I could feel that everyone really loves what they do. The team at Alpaca is constantly challenging things that the industry cannot easily do unless they are fully devoted. Being able to work in such an environment naturally brings out great motivation.

Q. What did you gain from the internship?

Thanks to this experience, I was able to do deeper research while taking advantage of what I have been learning at university. Doing research as a student at university could often times allow me to leave some parts of my research ambiguous, however, it’s a whole new experience when it comes to being involved in something that’s actually going to go out to the world. Being part of this is such a valuable experience, I found myself naturally becoming fully committed during the internship. The skills and knowledge level of the team at Alpaca is impressively high!!

Q. Lastly, do you have a message to Alpaca?

You usually wouldn’t expect a company of the size of Alpaca (*46 people as of Oct 2019) to be this diverse. I think this also is one aspect of what makes Alpaca an attractive company. Half of my friends that I study with at university are actually foreigners. There should be a lot of students who would be interested in a company like Alpaca. Above all, the theme that Alpaca is pursuing is absolutely amazing and interesting!!