Our interns are pursuing some of the most innovative intern projects in Cogo history. We’ll be highlighting the projects, the intern experience, and the Interns that make these initiatives possible. This week we talked to the Project Laser Team, Chris Rinard and Chris Noga, to learn more about their internship experience at Cogo so far!

Where do you go to school and what’s your major?

“MIT. Chris and I lived on the same floor together freshman year. It’s made the team work for sure. I’m an electrical engineering and computer science major.” – Chris Rinard

“Data Science, Computer Science, and Economics, but I’m considering going straight to Computer Science  - Chris Noga

What year are you?

“We’re both Sophomores.” -Chris R. & Chris N.

Where are you both from?

“Mountain View, CA” – Chris R.

“Oakland, CA” -Chris N.

Describe the current project you’re working on at Cogo.

“We’re working on Project Laser. Given a large set of LinkedIn data, including; anything a person would have on their profile, any tags, their name, job, place they’re from, previous job, education, etc. We were also given the internal Cogo Labs data from Greenhouse (our Applicant Tracking System), detailing who we’re hiring, who is passing through the recruiting funnel, each interview stage, and more.” -Chris R.

“We know that hiring people is really costly, so we dug into the recruiting funnel data to see how much interviewing different candidates for different roles cost. Part of the project is not only to go through and do LinkedIn prospecting, but there was also an aspect to look at the current hiring funnel at Cogo and make it more transparent to the organization.
Additionally, we’re looking for trends and bringing a new level of transparency to the in house hiring as well.” -Chris N.

We’re using a lot of machine learning (ML), elements to try and predict whether or not someone who applies will be hired or predict at what stage of the interview process candidates will make it to. We’re using that data and ML AI to look at LinkedIn prospecting and look at the entirety of  LinkedIn, putting filters on what we want and then looking through those resumes. We appl that model to filter out candidates and then beyond that we’re trying to get the model to predict, given the LinkedIn URL, how successful someone would be in the interview process at Cogo.” -Chris R.

“At the beginning it was Chris and me figuring out what we were going to do. We were asked to give a better list of candidates for the recruiting team to review, using ML. One thing I really enjoyed is it seemed daunting at first but they gave us freedom in how we approached the problem. We were able to flesh out a really great tool that can be repeatable and maybe some time we can develop this into a company or something. There are endless possibilities in what we’re doing, and we wouldn’t have come to where we are today without the initial freedom to decide how we approach this problem.” -Chris N

What do you like the most about interning at Cogo?

“Really two major elements to the internship at Cogo: Communication and openness, and the freedom to define the project that we worked on.”

“We got a skeleton of ideas and we were able to add things, remove things, change the project, and we had a long leash. Cogo has been really receptive to any requests that we’ve had as well. Program mentor, Manager, Analytics, Daniel Brady, and others were quick to answer any questions and allocate resources to us. They do everything in their power to make sure we get the results that we want. Cogo managers are willing to invest time into what we’re doing and working on. Mentors are really responsive and always answer our questions.” -Chris N.

“I 100% agree with that. If we figure out what we need and something to solve that need, we’ve had 100% success in getting what we need allocated to us. We have the tools to do the job. This semester is rather unique in what an internship looks like but we get to define our hours, and use the office space. Never discount free diet coke and coffee. We can be here in the same place and have meaningful interaction with each other.” – Chris R.

What’s a skill you’ve learned at Cogo you’ll bring with you to your next internship or full-time role?

“Organizing code and writing it in a corporate spec manner. A more narrow skill set that we wouldn’t so much learn in school. Formatting code in Git to be readable as  well. More generally, being a swimmer, one of the things you learn when doing sports in college is taking things one step at a time. You have to split the work up into manageable chunks and in doing so you’ll get where you need to go. It’s critical to break projects like this into manageable pieces.” -Chris R.

“I echo that, but also learned SQL, on the basic level, I learned a whole new coding language. Knowing how to develop a project and then narrow it in scope is another huge skill. I think it’s been a great experience learning how to take an end goal and figure out how to get there.” -Chris N.

Advice for students looking to intern in the future?

“It is what you make it. In the beginning it’s all about defining what the project is. Once you know what you’re doing it’s all a matter of how you execute. if you know what you’re doing and that has to change, then it’s okay to pivot.”  -Chris R.

“The autonomy is something I really appreciate. My advice is for interns to not get discouraged by any lack of instruction at the beginning of an internship. You’ll see your impact eventually. – Chris N.

How would you describe interning at Cogo in one word?

Startup-Like – I really felt like this was our own project and we built it ourselves “ -Chris N.

Go –  Because so far in my experience here – we’ve been given the resources we need and defined something meaningful” -Chris R.

Playing Favorites:

Favorite show on Netflix right now?

“MASH” – Chris R.

“Outer banks” – Chris N.

Favorite thing to do in Boston?

Chris R:

Pre COVID: “Sailing on the river as long as the weather is warm”

During: “Going for runs.”

Chris N:

Pre COVID: “Long steady rows on the water. I really enjoy that.”

During: “The esplanade and Boston Commons have been particularly nice in my limited time here”

Favorite part of working remotely?

“You don’t have to go anywhere to be on a meeting.” -Chris R.

“The flexibility of scheduling things and acknowledging what time zone people are in. I like that I can work remotely and stay safe with my family.” -Chris N.

Favorite app currently?

“Tik Tok” – Chris N.

“Firefox” -Chris R.