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Source: University of Otago

AbacusBio have taken on 11 local students who are studying science, technology, commerce and engineering. Photo credited to Neville Jopson .
This year, AbacusBio an agribusiness consultant company, have taken on 11 local students who are studying science, technology, commerce and engineering.
Among the interns is third year Bachelor of Science student, William Hadden.
“This internship has been such a great chance for me to work with people in a business setting and apply the skills I’ve been learning at University.”
William has been working on the modelling of bee colony dynamics with the end goal of developing software that predicts the future state of a hive.
“I’m working on a computer model of a beehive with the idea that it could help with predicting and assessing commercial viability. It can also predict if the hive is headed towards collapse and how to change it. This is something that is necessary considering bees are a crucial part of our ecosystem.”
William has been working on the modelling of bee colony dynamics with the end goal of developing software that predicts the future state of a hive.
The Auckland-born student moved to Dunedin two years ago to study Chemistry and Computer Science and is enjoying both the student-life on offer and the professional development opportunities around him.
“I see this as a chance to work in a team and learn from people who are already in a field I hope to move into. At university your work can be quite independent so internships like this give us the opportunity to transfer skills into a team environment and develop a business mind-set approach to science. It has been a good chance to reaffirm that computer science is my passion.”
Another of the interns at AbacusBio is double degree student Josie Cook, who is in her final year of her Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science.
“It’s been amazing for me to see how both of my degrees can go hand in hand. In the lab at University you see how a future career might work for research, and in marketing lectures you can see what advertising looks like. This has given me a chance to see how I can apply them both together for my future career.”
This is Josie’s second summer completing an internship at AbacusBio. Last year she spent time working for them in a marketing role, assisting with social media and writing up case studies.
This is Josie’s second summer completing an internship at AbacusBio.
“This year I’ve spent time working on the science side of my studies. I’ve been researching a mass-treatment for mastitis and understanding antimicrobial resistance. This is important because farmers need to be able to treat their animals when they’re unwell but ensure that what they produce is then still fit for human consumption alongside not promoting antibiotic resistance.”
As well as being an opportunity to see both of her passions partnered together in a professional setting, Josie says that it’s also been a good opportunity to get a feel for applying her learning in a business environment.
“It’s nice to be in an office, hear from other people in the team and go to workshops to continue professional development.”
In the future, Josie would like to continue on to postgraduate study and is interested in working in science communications. When William graduates, he would like to do more in the artificial intelligence space of computer technology, something he looks forward to learning more about in his 2021 studies.

MIL OSI