The road to learning any programming language is long and riddled with obstacles that can be difficult to knock down without practicing over and over again. The first step would be to study these languages, possibly in an academic context, and then later apply them to real projects. Two very different experiences that when put together can make this journey slightly easier.
For students that wish to pursue this path, the Paper Wings scholarship is the first to offer paid internships at startups, during the Summer of their degree. The initiative, created by Didimo - the world’s leading provider of automated solutions for the generation of digital humans - with the goal to promote equal access to education will also fund all of the years at the University.
For its third edition, the winner was selected from a pool of young and talented candidates. This year the scholarship was attributed to the promising Inês Pinheiro, who had the opportunity to do a summer internship at Sphere-photonics.
Curious? Let’s learn more about Inês and her experience.
Inês is a student at University do Porto where she is getting her degree in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Engineering. Her exposure to this course heavily contributed to her capabilities in mathematics and theoretical concepts. However, she felt like there was a practical element that she was still missing.
After hearing about Paper Wings through a University wide email she just needed a “push” from her uncle in order to send in her application. With nothing to lose, Inês immediately fell in love with the selection process that consisted of presenting ideas and projects. A passion that was heavily reflected on her final project, an effort that definitely paid off as she became the winner of the third edition!
“I knew that this was going to be an amazing learning experience and an incredible compliment to all the knowledge I had already acquired in my degree” says Inês about her expectations before starting the internship. Expectations that were certainly reached as she describes that all her knowledge about programming came from her exposure to it in Sphere-photonics. Her logical thinking and rationality became much better after her internship, as she now looks at the challenges given to her in University in a completely different light that allows her to be more productive and achieve better results.
Inês also has the incredible team at Sphere-photonics to thank to, as they helped her out whenever necessary. “It’s not like in school where you have constant support, here I had to be autonomous but I always knew that I had the team behind me to help out, should I need it” she states before highlighting that this was a great preparation for what awaits her in the professional world.
To end on a positive note, she leaves a message for students that are still unsure about applying to Paper Wings “there is nothing to lose, only to gain. I feel like my student life became so much easier when it comes to programming.” Inês doesn’t know what she wants to do in the future, but she’s sure that this experience gave her princeless skills that will contribute to her future decision.
Lastly, Paper Wings would like to thank Rosa Romero, CEO, and Co-founder of Sphere Photonics for joining Paper Wings' mission to bridge the gap between academia and industry by inspiring the leaders of the future.
At Paper Wings, we believe in a virtuous circle of learning, building, sharing and learning again.
Did this story inspire you as much as it inspired us? Maybe you’d like to be, just like Inês, the technological version of a polyglot.