Big data co-op students make noise at RBC's AMP EXPO 2016
Four Big Data Master’s students participated in RBC Amplify, a unique, intensive summer internship at Canada’s largest bank, and won prizes at the culminating FinTech competition.
SFU Big Data students Abhishek Arora, Mangesh Bhangare, John Long, and Amit Tiwari faced fierce competition when they applied for a co-op position at RBC’s headquarters in Toronto. They were told that a total of 15,000 students had applied for an internship with RBC this past summer. Just over 400 secured a co-op placement with the company, but only 32 of those students were selected for RBC’s coveted Amplify program.
RBC Amplify is a unique, four-month student internship where RBC executives take an active role in developing student talent to achieve a strategic goal. Throughout the summer, eight teams of students from various Canadian universities were solving complex, data-intensive business challenges using techniques from big data, machine learning, AI, and other areas of computing science.
“Amplify was a really unique co-op experience,” says Bhangare. “Throughout the program we received mentoring from four executive sponsors, including executive and senior vice-presidents from different branches of the company. It was incredible to work with such experienced and influential leaders.”
Bhangare’s team consisted of fellow SFU Big Data students Abhishek Arora and John Long, as well as University of Western Ontario student Prabhjot Mukkar. Together, they helped implement a new big data solution using machine learning capabilities to drive next-generation analytics. They worked collaboratively across the organization to develop projects that will help enhance the RBC client experience.
The program concluded with AMP EXPO 2016, a showcase of the students’ projects, where each team presented its innovative business solution to a panel of RBC leaders. Bhangare’s team received the Best Pitch award for delivering an engaging pitch while clearly communicating the business value of their idea. Amit Tiwari and his team were also successful and obtained the Most Disruptive Idea award for an out-of-the-box solution they developed.
Two teams were awarded the Best Overall Solution along with a prize of $15,000 each. Three students also received $1,000 Amplifier Scholarships for standing out amongst their peers in the areas of leadership, collaboration, and business acumen.
Arora, Bhangare, and Long are back on campus and will be finishing their coursework this fall, while Tiwari continues his co-op placement at RBC and will be completing his master’s degree in spring 2017.