The first two weeks of my internship at PHEMI have been both exciting and extremely instructive. PHEMI is a Vancouver-based company that works to make Big Data more secure, manageable and easy to use. PHEMI is looking to expand its client base and has tasked myself and 15 other fellow SHAD interns with researching how it can tailor its services to suit the needs of customers in various sectors, including genomics, wearables and oil and gas. My internship experience has been slightly unconventional, seeing as I have been conducting independent research from home instead of going to the office every day. However, I have found this aspect to be especially enjoyable, since it allows me to take my work in whichever direction interests me as long as I stay within some basic guidelines.
On the first day, we were divided into groups based on which area we wanted to study, I myself elected to investigate genomics alongside 3 other SHADs. Each following Tuesday, we held video conferences via Google Hangout with our supervisor Adam Lorant, each group presenting what it had learnt the past week and discussing possible directions for the future. The first week was spent learning more about what Big Data is in general as well as delving into the details of the services PHEMI provides to its customers. The second week was spent focusing in on how Big Data could be used in each of our specific fields. In particular, I looked into the Canadian Open Genomics Repository, contacting its head coordinator, Dr. Jordan Lerner-Ellis, to find out how his organization was using Big Data to assist genomics researchers. Overall, my internship at PHEMI has been incredible and I cannot believe it is coming to an end next week!