Interview Gail & Palm, 3rd year students of the Faculty of ICT, Mahidol University: Summer Internship Experience at NAIST, Japan

The Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Mahidol University, together with Software Engineering Research Group, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), have collaborated in many summer internships for years. This year, Miss Tasha Settwong (Gail) and Mr. Natanon Ritta (Palm), both 3rd year students of the Faculty of ICT (International Program), have completed their summer internship with the Software Engineering Research Group at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Dr. Raula Gaikovina Kula, Prof. Dr. Kenichi Matsumoto, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Takashi Ishio, and other NAIST graduate students. Additionally, professors from the ICT Mahidol, namely Asst. Prof. Dr. Thanwadee Sunetnanta, Dr. Morakot Choetkiertikul, and Dr. Chaiyong Ragkhtiwetsagul co-supervised the students.

This year’s summer internship was done online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, students have shown their efforts and determination, and completed their summer internship successfully. The two students worked on a research project that tackled cutting-edge problems in software engineering. Tasha worked on the topic of “Investigating ownership of self-admitted technical debt” while Natanon worked on the topic of “Code stylometry and code authorship”. Let’s see how they have reflected on their internship experience!

How did you find this internship program?

Miss Tasha Settwong (Gail): I heard of this internship program from the “Internship Information Session” held by the Faculty of ICT. I thought that it was very interesting and it would be a great opportunity for me to join this program to enrich my experience and improve my skills. Also, it was the first time that this program had accepted 2nd year students for internship so I applied for it.

Mr. Natanon Ritta (Palm): I saw the announcement of this program on Facebook. And, personally, I wanted to explore and experience more, so I decided to apply for it.

What project did you do during the internship program? What is It about?

Miss Tasha Settwong (Gail): I had an interest in Technical Debt so I did the internship in Software Engineering Lab. First, the supervisors asked me to study related research about the topic then present it to them. After that, I defined my research topic, as well as formulated research hypothesis and methodology. The topic that I did was “Ownership of Self-technical Debt”, which I took part in preparing related information, doing test, and analyzing the result.

Mr. Natanon Ritta (Palm): I did internship in Software Engineering field, related to “Source Code Similarity and Code Stylometry”. The procedures of the internship were adjusted a little bit differently from what  a normal internship as it was an online internship. At the beginning, I gathered information from related research, then, formulated research hypothesis and methodology. Moreover, I did the test and summarized the result. And finally, I set my research topic as “Code Stylometry and Code Authorship”.

How can you prepare yourself for this internship program? And, what else to be prepared in order to do internship with foreigners?

Miss Tasha Settwong (Gail): For me, the knowledge acquired in the classroom is enough for this program. However, we might need to broaden our knowledge by studying and researching more on related topics. Moreover, we also need to manage our time effectively.

Mr. Natanon Ritta (Palm): I knew it right from the start that most of leading organizations require quite good GPA for the internship program, so I tried to maintain a good GPA. In addition, I prepared myself by gathering information from my seniors who did internship before and consulting with related instructors on how to conduct a research-based internship. In my opinion, knowledge and experiences from ICT Mahidol are enough to pursue this program. The instructors and seniors are always ready to help whenever you have any problems. However, if you are good at programming, that will be a plus.

How was the internship atmosphere? Did you find any difficulties in doing internship online? Did you face any language barrier?

Miss Tasha Settwong (Gail): Although it was an online internship program, the atmosphere was quite friendly. I got a lot of advice and suggestions from instructors from ICT Mahidol and NAIST, as well as the seniors. As a result, I felt relaxed and confident to ask whenever I had questions. Moreover, I did not face language obstacle because during the internship program we used English to communicate with each other, just like the normal teaching and learning at ICT Mahidol. The only problem for me was the different time zone.

Mr. Natanon Ritta (Palm): From my point of view, the atmosphere was quite good. Everyone is very kind and friendly, that made me feel very relieved. I did not have language barrier problems as we used English as our primary language of communication. However, during the internship program, it was a bit inconvenient to have meetings as we lived in different time zones. Moreover, as there are some limitations, it was difficult to access to some data.