Josh Katofsky, McGill University
Software Engineer, Summer ‘19
What was the most fun part of your summer at Onboard?
“The most fun aspects of the summer were twofold. First, the office environment was very positive and I enjoyed spending time with Ryan and Brian, sharing our perspectives on current events outside of tech and sharing many hilarious videos and memes. Secondly, the ability for me to communicate with researchers on the cutting edge of the building science field and contribute to their open source work was very rewarding for me.”
Describe a typical day?
“I arrive at the office after 9:30A - a big benefit as I'm not a big morning person. The team trusted me to deliver results, and did not micromanage my hours. We do a team ‘stand-up’ at 11:00A for 5 minutes, to get a sense of everyone’s daily priorities and then work until usually 12:30P or 1:00P for lunch. Lunch was usually long and leisurely, brought from home or at one of the many great restaurants nearby, and we always ate together and rarely talked business. Ryan and Brian were always interested in hearing my perspectives on current news and trends. I would usually work well past 6. However, if it suited me best, I would work from home on any given day. I spent my whole summer generally contributing to R&D, but depending on the day I could be programming, contributing to machine learning projects, analyzing research papers, or performing market research.”
What was the most challenging part of your summer internship?
“The team threw me into the deep end and pushed me to contribute to machine learning projects early on. Navigating machine learning concepts was challenging, as I had to spend a lot of my time debugging programs. Despite not having some of the formal statistics, probability, and machine learning coursework, I still made a significant impact at Onboard.”
How did Onboard prepare you for your career?
“Onboard prepared me greatly for my next job and career. It gave me a first-hand look at the inner workings of an early-stage company. It helped me understand how to ask better questions and how to navigate ambiguity. I also picked up many machine learning concepts and Python techniques along the way. I'm now also very keen to try my hand at a start-up at some point in the future!”
What advice would you give to prospective employees?
“My advice to new employees is: be prepared to take ownership of your work and make an impact on the company! It's a fast-evolving environment and every member of the team is contributing in multiple ways, which is what makes it very rewarding if you're up to it!”