We are thrilled to announce that two new interns have joined Essensium!

Theophile Coche is doing his internship in the team of Jan Olbrechts for 2 months. He is studying civil engineering IT at UCLouvain, with a specialization in networking and security. During his internship he will be working on the further development of our customer portal (also called ‘digital twin’ of our SafeTrack solution). 

Jenny Gurung is our digital marketing intern. She joins the team of Benny Van Calster for 4 months. She is studying Digital Marketing & Communication at UCLL. She already has a bachelor’s degree in Logistics Management from Thomas More. 

Read the interview about their internship experience at Essensium.

  • How did you hear about Mind / Essensium?

Théophile: I heard about Essensium, through Filip Buerms, CEO of Essensium. He knew that I am studying civil engineering IT. He suggested applying for an internship in the SafeTrack™ R&D team of Jan Olbrechts.

Jenny: I wasn’t familiar with Essensium before starting my Junior Consulting Project. A Junior Consulting Project is not the same as a normal internship. It’s not an usual internship where you follow daily tasks but have to work on delivering a research/consulting project at the end that’s valuable for the organization. To be able to deliver this, I’ll be implementing my knowledge I gathered during the courses. I’ll be researching the problem presented by the company and trying to solve and propose a solution. 

We had the option to search for companies on our own or we could use the database provided by our university college (UCLL). The companies listed in the database had already worked with UCLL and delivered successful internships. That was an important factor for me, as I want to make sure that my project will go as smoothly as possible with the right mentorship and guidance. It was during this process that I discovered Essensium. During my interview I was also introduced to Essensium’s business division, Mind. 

  • What is your internship about?

Théophile: Currently, I’m collecting data that the forklifts send to the server for SafeTrack™ (RTLS positioning solution for forklift safety). These forklifts execute specific actions at designated times and different positions. My role involves collecting this data and integrating it into the portal of Essensium. This portal is designed to present clients with the necessary information regarding their forklift operations, and my focus is exclusively on its development. I’m still working on my master’s thesis at the same time. It’s not the same subject. But after that I’ll look further into what I would like to do.

Jenny: During my internship I will be doing a brand survey of Mind, how the organization is seen by others on the market, what (potential) clients think about them and their experience with Mind. If it was a good or bad experience and what could be done to improve the brand. 

I will be also working on content marketing to make recommendations regarding the content of Mind, I will analyze the channels on which they post, the content formats they use, etc.. For example, I’ll research what types of posts perform better than others. I’m going to test it by creating my own content, both text, photo or video postings. By posting different formats of content, I can also compare which format performs best.

  • What do you do on a typical working day?

Théophile: At the start of my internship I received tasks I should achieve from my head of internship, Jan. He asked me to work on the Essensium Portal for the client and add functionalities onto it. Because of these tasks and the way I’m working on them, my day can vary a lot. From the outside it looks like I’m just in front of my computer, but in fact there are a lot of different things I work on.

Some days I will have to create a database reader or writer to process the data I receive from the SafeTracks, and other days I need to plot the data to be able to visualize the data received through the streams. I also need to test every feature I implement and that can take some time, it goes from simulating forklifts in localhost to finding limit cases that could make the functionality crash. When everything works fine, it’s not done yet. Because of everything being real-time, I need to have everything as optimized as possible.

Jenny: During my first weeks, I usually go to my mentors and ask them what tasks I have to be working on. I also have a to-do list with tasks submitted by my mentors so I consult the list as well. So far, my tasks are general tasks because I am still in the induction period of my internship to get acquainted with the firm. Moreover, I am developing specific content for social media and working on editing a video.  

  • So far, what’s the best thing about your internship?

Théophile: I like the flexibility in my work setup. Occasionally, if I have other commitments, I communicate with Jan, my internship mentor, and he often suggests that I work from home for the day. This arrangement allows me the freedom to work from any location at any time that suits me.

Jenny: The colleagues are very welcoming. During my first week I had a lot of stress and nerves, which is typical when starting at a new place. But the colleagues are really open and kind which helped me a lot during the first days.

  • What do you struggle with during your internship?

Théophile: In the beginning, diving into the code was quite challenging. The project is not new, there is already a lot of code, a unique way of thinking and a methodology across numerous files. When I first got into it, it was pretty challenging, requiring frequent searches for relevant information. For example there are around 50 different types of code in a single file and if you need to find one line that is interesting to you it is really challenging. Moreover, vue.js was a new coding language for me as well.

Jenny: Something I struggle with is finding my footing, especially during the first weeks. Starting an internship means stepping into a new environment with unfamiliar faces. All this was overwhelming in the beginning.  Finding the right balance between asking questions to my mentors and avoiding not being a burden has been difficult. I obviously know now that I can ask them as many questions as I want but during the first weeks this feels difficult. But I’m sure this will change overtime and I’ll start to feel more comfortable. 

  • What do you like to do during your spare time?

Théophile: I’m preparing for a semi ironman. So that takes a lot of my free time. I am working on my master’s thesis and my internship, so not much time left for hobbies. I also have a student job in the evening after my working hours. So at the moment when I have time, I cycle, swim, or run. I am unable to commit to much more given my busy schedule.

Jenny: I don’t have a lot of hobbies but when I’m free I like to get out of the house. I love socializing, I like going out for drinks with my friends in Leuven. Other than that, spending time with family or just going for a walk helps me relax as well. 

  • Do you have anything on your bucketlist?

Théophile: In the short term I really want to finish my semi iron man. And in the long term I want to finish my studies and do what I like to do.

Jenny: One thing I absolutely would like to do, especially before I start working, is to go on a trip across different countries or continents. I feel it’s the perfect timing to go on such an adventure and definitely something I want to experience once in my life. I still have many countries on my bucket list that I would like to visit.