Student lands data science internship with Biddeford consulting firm
Kylie DeFeo never imagined she would pursue a career in data science. But, when the former environmental engineering student transferred to the University of New England as a sophomore, she began to see how, no matter the discipline, data was everywhere.
“I chose data science because of how versatile it is,” said DeFeo (Data Science, ’22), of Kennebunk. “I like that I can take these skills and apply them to any domain. For example, I’d like to work in the environmental or earth sciences fields, but, with my degree, I can work virtually anywhere. That was a huge attraction to the major for me.”
The field of data science focuses on extracting knowledge and insights from large amounts of data. The knowledge gained can be used to set public policy, determine trends in products, or provide steps toward solving social justice issues, said James Quinlan, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
“Data is ubiquitous,” Quinlan said. Every five seconds, a cell phone stores the location of billions of people; turnpike booths snap images of the front and back of every car passing through; supermarkets record and track every transaction; and text messages, emails, tweets, and social media posts are stored in databases.”
Using the knowledge she has gained in the major, DeFeo will spend her summer as an intern at ATX Advisory Services, a Biddeford-based consulting firm catering to mid-market businesses. As part of her internship, DeFeo will work to develop business intelligence solutions and client support services, such as dashboards and business metrics, while analyzing large data sets.
In addition, she will participate in technology assessment, selection, documentation, research, and analysis that drive business solutions. The internship was recommended to DeFeo by Quinlan, who said that data science is a rapidly growing field that is increasingly in demand.
“I had been searching for internships online for some time, but I found that this one with ATX was perfect given the classes I have taken at UNE, particularly in data visualization,” DeFeo said. “I thought it would be a good idea to continue using those skills over the summer.”
Quinlan said the internship will be an important step forward in DeFeo’s career in data science.
“With the experience Kylie will gain from the internship at ATX and the knowledge and skills she learns at UNE, she will be set for a rewarding career, both in terms of job satisfaction and financial wealth,” he said.
DeFeo said she is excited to bring a fresh perspective to ATX and to learn from her soon-to-be colleagues.
“I'm really looking forward to taking what I've learned in the classroom setting and applying it to real word data,” she said. "I'm eager to learn my peer's perspectives and work together to help businesses maximize the benefits of their valuable data."