Program Operation Performance
KAIST Startup-ting is an opportunity for KAIST students interested in startups and startups that are recruiting to meet each other. Students not only learn about startups, but also learn the importance of hands-on experience. Startups, on the other hand, can have a more personal experience with students to express their companies’ strengths and merits and also to learn about students’ question and concerns.
MindLogic is one of the first startups to participate in KAIST Startup-ting, and recruited three summer interns. We met with MindLogic CEOs and the KAIST student interns.
Unlike interning at a large firm, there are advantages to gaining experience at a startup. We explore these advantages via interview with student interns at MindLogic.
First, we will hear from MindLogic CEOs.
What did you think of KAIST Startup-ting?
CEO Jinwook Kim: KAIST Startup-ting was a great opportunity. We were able to introduce our company MindLogic to students at KAIST Startup-ting, and we were able to meet KAIST students that would’ve been otherwise difficult. Through KAIST Startup-ting, over 10 students applied for internship positions, with a 3:1 competitive ratio. Thank you for the opportunity for us to meet great intern candidates.
CEO Yong-woo Kim: Students who attended KAIST Startup-ting are highly motivated to learn and to be excellent. Thanks to them, we were able to reach our R&D goals earlier than originally scheduled.
How would you describe KAIST Startup-ting in one phrase?
KAIST Startup-ting is an opportunity to meet highly talented students, and we recommend that you attend the event with an internship program prepared. Startups often use this as a way to promote their internship programs. MindLogic is always open to new opportunities through KAIST Startup-ting. I would like to recommend KAIST Startup-ting for startups that are having difficulties recruiting new talents.
Interning at a Startup
After speaking with the two CEOs, we met with the three KAIST students interning at MindLogic. In general, the students expressed that they enjoyed gaining experiences that differ from their classes and school work.
The three interns are Bio & Brain Engineering Class of 2019, Industrial & Systems Engineering Class of 2018, and Electrical Engineering Class of 2021.
Could you introduce yourself and your role at MindLogic?
Intern 1: Hello, my name is HyungGyu Song, and I am Bio and Brain Engineering student, class of 2019. I applied to the internship at MindLogic through KAIST Startup-ting, and my current task is to develop a deep learning model that converts human-derived text to voice-speech. It is my goal to develop this model quickly to apply to Google Assistant. I’m also focusing on making sound quality and speed.
Intern 2: Hi, my name is Yoonsuk Lee, and I am Industrial & Systems Engineering student, Class of 2018. I am working on the same project as HyungGyu.
Intern 3: I am Jaemin Kim, and I am Electrical Engineering student, Class of 2021. I joined 2 weeks later than the other interns, and I am working as a back-end developer. I am working on web/app solution to assist employees with important training modules. I am enrolled in a long-term internship program, and I am yet to decide the next course of direction.
What was your motivation for interning at MindLogic?
Intern 1: I learned about MindLogic through KAIST Startup-ting, and I decided to apply to their internship program because I had been interested in deep learning and voice-speech processing.
Intern 2,3: We learned about MindLogic through the KE Network, and after looking into MindLogic for some time, we applied to their internship program through KAIST Startup-ting.
How would you describe your experience as an intern working at a startup?
The three students mentioned that one of the outstanding part of their internship experience was the systematic working environment. The two CEOs are former consultants, and this may have had an impact on the operations system in place. There was a to-do-list created and ready on the first day, and every task was well-distribute and segmented towards a specific goal.
Intern 1: I had been learning about and had been familiar with the startup working environment since I always had an interest in startups. I have interned at medium-sized firms, but this internship experience at MindLogic was definitely different. My internship experience last winter involved tasks that were irrelevant to the actual service development, and my work did not seem to have important impact. However, in a startup environment, I was assigned to a short-term project and the I felt that my work had clear contribution towards a goal. It was also exciting to see myself grow, and unforeseen long days did not feel like a burden.
Intern 2: Working at MindLogic was not just different from experiences gained at medium and large-size firms. MindLogic had a very systematic structure in place, and every meeting felt like a mentor-mentee meeting where the employees could learn from the CEOs.
Intern 3: Working at MindLogic was very different from my working experiences in a lab. Generally, the operational tasks could be similar but the web/app development is directly correlated with the company’s service. It could be said that MindLogic adapts a timeline like that used in consulting firms, and also embodies features of a startup like flexibility.
The interns unanimously described MindLogic to be flexible and systematic. It is our wish that the students’ internship experience gained at startups will be valuable in their future endeavors.
Could you describe something positive that you gained by the time the internship came to an end?
One of the most prominent positive feedback was related to the hands-on experience. Most internship experiences are probably described to be an important experience, but interning at a startup was exceptionally so based on the fact that the students were able to see how their coursework involving deep learning models are applied in a real-world service setting. One intern described that he became interested in working at a startup upon graduation although he had his mind set on graduate school before working at MindLogic.
Students could freely decide their internship duration at startups. Two students worked as summer interns, and one student is working as a long-term intern. One of the greatest perk is that since their contract period is not absolute, the interns could negotiate their internship duration. Also they could explore their potentials freely within the flexible startup environment. Startups offer an experience working side-by-side with teams developing services for the “real world”, and students can gain hands-on experiences that cannot be gained solely through their college classes. Interns expressed gratitude for their internship opportunities that they gained through KAIST Startup-ting, and expressed their wishes for more students to participate in the program in the future.
Lastly, what are some of the improvements that could be made to KAIST Startup-ting?
KAIST Startup-ting was very meaningful in that students could learn about startups they had not had exposure to before. KAIST Startup-ting was advertised through posters, web portal, emails, etc. so that students could easily access information about the program. It was mentioned that if KAIST Startup-ting could be coupled with school credits, more students may express interests and participate in the program.
After speaking to the student interns, it was clear that the perception of startups and their affinity to them have changed. We wish the best to MindLogic and the student interns.