21 Jan 2022

Inside Benevolent

Last year we welcomed our second cohort of exceptional interns to the BenevolentAI team. Here’s a snapshot of their experience at Benevolent.

Our interns work on impactful projects at the intersection of science and technology, are supported by world-leading experts and contribute directly to our mission to improve patients' lives. We caught up with some of our 2021 cohort to hear about why they chose to #InternAtBenevolent, what they worked on, what they learned and their advice for future interns.‍ We are now taking applications for our 2022 Internship programme. Submit yours by 7th February 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your role and why you choose to join BenevolentAI

Romero | Product Development Intern “My background is in astrophysics, and I’ve always loved communicating science topics. My role involves documenting how Benevolent’s tools work and writing and recording guides to help users get the most out of their time. I was interested in Benevolent because their work seemed enormously impactful.” 

Niall | Data Scientist Intern “I am from Dublin, Ireland. My interests are in the intersection of tech and biology; my background is in Biomedical Science/Molecular Biology, and I just finished an MSc in Computer Science. My role is to establish metrics to evaluate and characterise genetic data to build a dashboard based on these metrics. Benevolent has always been on my list of companies I wanted to work for as they are at the forefront of the future of drug discovery.” 

Lottie | AI Scientist Intern “I am a masters student in biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School. My project is to generate target prediction explanations to help scientists better understand the model and triage targets more effectively. In school, I worked a lot on Electronic Health Records and biomedical images, so I wanted to learn more about how Benevolent applies machine learning to solve drug discovery problems.”

Ainesh | Software Engineering Intern “I am a Malaysian who has just finished my MEng Computer Science degree at the University of Bristol. My role is to improve aspects of the orchestration tool that underlies many of the company’s applications. I applied to other companies that were more software development based, so BenevolentAI stood out because I found the idea of using big data for drug discovery intriguing.”

Chanasak | Site Reliability Engineering Intern “I am a biomedical engineering student at Imperial College London and I’m currently creating an internal web application to improve the management of the company’s whitelists. I applied to Benevolent because I’m really interested in the intersection between biology and computer science.” 

Urszula | User Research (UX) Intern “I’m currently doing my masters in UX design at UAL. During my internship, I’ve been establishing and closing the gap between learnability and productive usage of Benevolent’s products. I applied to Benevolent because I was looking to dive into projects with that quantitative edge to add to my experience in qualitative research.”‍


What expectations did you have for your internship, and what’s been a surprise?

“I’ve been continuously surprised at how friendly and how helpful everyone I meet is. People are always happy to answer questions and go out of their way to make me feel included. It makes working so enjoyable when you know everyone is rooting for you!” - Romero

“No matter how junior or senior, everyone has been extremely friendly, welcoming and open to help, which I found really motivating. Challenge days were a brilliant surprise as they allowed me to participate in a completely different part of the business.” - Niall

“I was kind of worried about doing the internship remotely; however, the people here are always patient and available to listen to my questions and concerns and happy to work out solutions to problems with me.” - Lottie 

“As this is my first internship, I thought it might be stressful, but my work has been so interesting, it doesn’t feel like work! I like relaxed company culture, the casual “coffee break” chats with my teammates and being included in wider team meetings.” - Ainesh

“The open culture is a real surprise to me. Everyone is so nice and it feels like I can just talk to anyone. The People Team has also organised lots of social events to make sure that people feel included, despite working remotely.” - Chanasak 

“I thought it would take time to understand what the company does and the products they use, but I was pleasantly surprised about how much people wanted to help, which made my transition into the company much smoother.” - Urszula 


What did you get out of your internship?

“I’m currently leading a data science project, which has been an interest I’ve picked up here. It’s cool working on an independent project where you can see how your work makes a difference.” - Romero

“I feel like I have learnt so much; my technical, soft and project management skills have all improved, and I have a much better understanding of how a complex company like Benevolent functions. It has made me sure that this is the industry I want to be working in and, most importantly, I have met some fantastic, clever people.” - Niall

In school, I usually ignored the interpretability of the model and worked to improve the model performance. During my internship, I learnt the importance of providing explanations for black-box models. I also worked with scientists in the drug discovery team and learnt how to think about their needs and provide explanations that make sense to them.” - Lottie

“I have learnt a lot about software engineering principles, including aspects of version control, as well as good code-writing practice. It was also great to learn how the company functions, and about the drug discovery process itself.” - Ainesh

“So far, I have picked up the Django framework for web development and have learnt a lot of SRE tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, Helm and Terraform. These tools allow me to deploy a production-level application in a reproducible way, which is a valuable skill for a developer to have.” - Chanasak 

“I have gained a lot of insight into the process of preparing and organising research and learnt about the structures and procedures needed to carry out successful research.” - Urszula 


What would you say to someone thinking of applying to an internship at BenevolentAI?

“Make sure to talk to everyone as there’s not a single person here who doesn’t have some incredible knowledge. It’s such a supportive environment, so don’t be shy!” - Romero

“Go for it! Even if you don’t think you quite have all the requirements, what have you got to lose?” - Niall

“If you are passionate about both AI and medicine and are very interested in drug discovery, this is the place you go!” - Lottie

“Go for it! Since the company is so diverse, I am certain that you will take many positive things away from the experience as I have so far.” - Ainesh

“The company’s culture is amazing and the impact its work has on people is massive.” - Chanasak 

“Don’t worry if you have a non-scientific background. It might take you a week or two to understand what everyone around you is talking about, but you’ll be totally fine!” - Urszula 


Would you like to #InternAtBenevolent?

→Apply for our 2022 Internship Programme here. Applications close on Monday 7th February 2022.

→ Want to do some more research before you apply? Go to our FAQ  to find answers to commonly asked questions or head to our YouTube page to hear from our fantastic Data Science intern - Niall.

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