Ideally, I’d like to stay with ABN AMRO

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Finding the right internship isn’t always easy. During my search, I frequently came in contact with companies that left it up to me to think of an appropriate assignment. But what I really wanted was a project that was already waiting to be tackled. My previous employer thought ABN AMRO might be a promising match for me. He knew someone in their HR department and put in a good word for me (“This will be a great intern for you!”).

During my search, I frequently came in contact with companies that left it up to me to think of an appropriate assignment. But what I really wanted was a project that was already waiting to be tackled. Bauke Brenninkmeijer Data Science intern at ABN AMRO

Synthetic data

As a Data Science intern in the DIA (Data Innovation & Analytics) team, my job is to generate synthetic data. In other words, put together ‘fake’ data which can be used in various ways, such as to fill a data gap. More specifically, I concentrate on applying synthetic data to guarantee privacy. This includes thinking of ways to generate data that can be used to replace personal data. In the event of a system breach, there would then be no privacy leak because the information isn't genuine.

Making synthetic data usable

So how do you make synthetic data authentic enough to work with? First, it's absolutely vital that it can't be distinguished from real data. It can then be used by data scientists or analysts, some of whom even refer to data as ‘the new oil’. This shows you how valuable it is. Best of all, filling a system with synthetic data doesn't need to be a dream for the future anymore. It’s up to organisations themselves to decide whether they think it works well enough.

Ambitious

I’ve gained a lot from this internship. For instance, I think it's very important to be able to work independently. At the same time, I’m keen to learn a lot from others. I’ve been lucky enough to find the right combination in ABN AMRO. I work mainly on my own projects, but can always go to one of the DIA team for help or advice. What’s really struck me during my time here is how ambitious the financial sector is. That drive and focus is something you don't see very often. My internship is almost over, so I’m now busy applying for jobs. I’m very attracted by the idea of working for large tech-driven companies like Google, Facebook and Uber. Ideally, though, I’d like to stay with ABN AMRO.

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