My summer in Canada: Ksenia’s Mitacs experience

Following on from Lily’s blog last week on her Mitacs Globalink Research Internship, we’re delighted to share Ksenia Knyspel’s internship experience with Mitacs in Canada. Ksenia is a Computer Science and Mathematics undergraduate student and took some time out of their internship to tell us about their Mitacs experience so far.

What prompted you to apply for the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship?

Summer is an amazing time for travel, so seeing a chance to gain some research experience and explore a potential career path in Canada, I was excited about the opportunity. At best, I could find the perfect type of job for me, and at worst, I would just visit a beautiful country and make new friends. I was excited to apply for the Mitacs programme at the beginning of the previous academic year.

What did the application process involve?

The application process was straightforward. I chose seven projects across Canada with topics varying from virtual reality and computer vision to astrophysics. Everything I’m truly interested in; things I’m always thrilled to talk about. After filling out all the forms and a few interviews, I was lucky enough to be matched with my first-choice project.

Tell us a bit about your Mitacs experience.

My project focuses on exploring ways to improve the reading experience through virtual reality and I am due to finish my internship in August.

The downsides to travelling across the globe for an internship include a long flight and the time difference makes it difficult to chat with friends and family back home. But, there are so many perks!

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is the ability to pursue my passion for computer science outside of university classes. During my internship, I’m able to explore the topics I find most interesting within my research topic but, I’ve also discovered other exciting areas of computer science through talking with my coworkers about their research. As I have just finished my 3rd year, I’m also using this internship as a possibility to prepare for my final year project, which I chose to do on a similar topic to expand my knowledge in that area. I’m currently learning how to read academic papers, use software related to virtual reality and present my ideas in a clear, fun way. I really like the fact that I’m seeing this project from start to finish. I started by choosing a sub-topic that interested me the most, and I’m hoping to finish the project by conducting a survey and writing up my findings as an academic paper.

What’s your advice for potential applicants?

For anyone who’s considering applying, it’s definitely worth it! The programme offers many projects so everyone can find something they enjoy. My top tips for applying are to apply for the maximum number of projects and not to be afraid of applying for projects for which you don’t have all the specified skills. My personal rule of thumb was to have a minimum of 60% of the required skills. You can always learn the rest during the internship. Also, remember to consider the time difference when setting up interview times!

Parting thoughts…

Did I find my perfect job? I’m not sure yet and I still have a few months to decide what to do after I finish my degree. But, I’m enjoying my time in Canada, and I’ll certainly miss this place when I go back to the UK.

Does the Mitacs Globalink Research Internships Programme interest you?

  • If you are eligible to take part in the programme, the Internships and Work Experience Team will be in touch with you, sharing a form to register your interest.
  • Applications for Mitacs 2024 close on 31st July 2023.


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