Students take on problem solving challenges at competitive Ocean - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Students take on problem solving challenges at competitive Oceanit internships

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Oceanit) (Image: Oceanit)

By Kimi Andrew
HNN News Intern

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- Oceanit, one of Hawaii’s largest innovation companies, is concluding yet another successful summer internship program this week.

Their highly sought after program gives students with ideas on how to change the world, the opportunities and resources to do so.

With hundreds of qualified students applying each year, Oceanit selects only a handful to participate in their summer program.

This year’s six interns are all from Hawaii and attending university. Although a specific major is not necessary, all students must have taken some engineering, science, or information technology courses, and must have a passion for problem-solving along with creative ideas to do so.

Throughout the summer, interns get to collaborate with scientists and engineers on projects within Oceanit, and go out into the field to help solve current issues.

“We get them acquainted with business concepts and marketing concepts. We go from deep science to product delivery so they get involved in different aspects,” said Patrick Sullivan, CEO of Oceanit. “It kind of depends on their background and their interests, but they get exposed to the full spectrum.”

Intern Aliya Petranik explained what she does on a day-to-day basis with the company.

“I’ve been working on this company’s in-house processing software called VIPA, or Versatile Information Processing Architecture. What I’ve done this summer is write software to read data from a camera and process and encode it.”

On top of helping Oceanit with their current endeavors, interns are given the exciting opportunity to pick a problem they are interested in, and find a solution for it. At the end of the summer, the students present the problem they have chosen along with their proposed solution to a Review Committee. Many projects have blossomed into products that help Oceanit clients.

“We ask them to try to think of something that they care about. Whether anybody else cares about it is not important, it’s whether they care about it,” said Sullivan. “Usually, for these kids, they’ve got ideas but no one’s ever asked them.”

Once the interns choose a problem that they want to try to solve, Oceanit provides them with state of the art science equipment and resources to work with. The company also puts students in touch with experts on their topic from around the world to help answer any questions they may have.

For more information on Oceanit’s Internship Program, click here.

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