Anna-Sophie had always known ZEISS to be an attractive employer in the region. After finishing school, she studied business informatics as part of a dual program with ZEISS and spent two years working full time in the company’s IT department. Then she decided to expand her knowledge of big data by pursuing further studies, before returning to ZEISS to write her master’s thesis on data science and machine learning. She talks to us about why she thinks ZEISS is such a great employer, about the personality types the company is looking for, and reveals what she’s exploring in her master’s thesis.
Anna-Sophie, why did you decide to return to ZEISS?
There are several reasons for this: due to its size and global orientation, ZEISS offers many opportunities to try out new things and develop your skills. I really enjoy contributing to technological success and keeping the company’s pioneering spirit alive.
In your master’s thesis, you compare different “metrics for evaluating tree-based machine learning algorithms for mass customization.” That sounds pretty complicated. Can you tell us, in simple terms, what you aim to discover in your thesis?
Machine learning is essentially about identifying patterns in machine learning algorithms on the basis of existing data sets and being able to apply your new knowledge to unknown data. The aim of the algorithms is to intelligently combine the data in order to identify links and make predictions. In other words, historical data is used to generate artificial knowledge. What I’m doing in my master’s thesis is evaluating data from the mass customization of eyeglass lenses and comparing the predictions for the algorithms using suitable metrics. I want to find out if machine learning can be used to detect quality issues early on in eyeglass lens production.
That sounds very exciting. Don’t tell me you spend your free time looking into machine learning as well?
*Laughs* Not at all. I devote every spare moment I get to dancing. I am a member of the KeraAmika Urban Dance Crew in Aalen. We’ve already done shows for Jugend forscht and have also performed at the Aalen Jazz Festival; ZEISS sponsors both of these events.
Why did you choose to write your thesis at a company?
There are many advantages to writing your thesis outside the classroom. It allows me to put the theories I’ve learned into practice by performing tasks in a business environment. If the solutions I’ve developed are good, they might just be implemented. As long as you stick to scientific topics, you can be very creative and even help shape the end result. By writing my thesis, I can leave my mark on ZEISS, and that’s something I’m very proud of. Another advantage is that once I graduate, I’ll have a better idea of the topics I’d like to focus on later on in my career.
Besides professional experience, what have you gained by working at ZEISS?
Since ZEISS is such an international company, I’ve been in touch with so many different people and been exposed to so many new cultures. One of my former colleagues in the IT department is a girl from India. We’ve now become friends and occasionally meet up, even though we’ve been working in different areas for a long time.
What personality types would you say are most suited to a role at ZEISS?
I’d say ZEISS is particularly interesting for open people who enjoy taking an active role and who want to develop their careers. It’s a company where things are changing all the time and there are so many different areas and technologies, so being open and ambitious can only be an advantage. If you want to work in IT, you have to have a certain level of curiosity. The area is coming on in leaps and bounds, and technical changes are being made all the time, so you should make sure you’re up to date with them. That’s where your own interests and your commitment come in. Oh, and be real! We all want to be accepted as we are. You can only find out if you’re a good fit for ZEISS by staying true to yourself.
Anna-Sophie, thank you for talking to us!