IST intern leverages computer vision to inform PepsiCo manufacturing operations

Hope Damato
July 07, 2021
Nia Anderson

Nia Anderson

IMAGE: Provided

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories highlighting College of Information Sciences and Technology students and their summer internships.)

When Nia Anderson started thinking of career paths as she nears graduation, she saw herself as a business analyst. Through the support and knowledge of her virtual summer IT Innovation internship with PepsiCo, and a growing interest in artificial intelligence, she now wants to take a path within data science.

“AI is one of the most popular emerging technologies and has the ability to make a grand impact in manufacturing,” said Anderson, who is pursuing a degree in information sciences and technology, integration and application option. “My internship project lets me research technologies, such as computer vision, and prepare for the use of the technology by developing data for its machine learning capabilities.”

The project, Anderson said, is centered on leveraging computer vision in manufacturing facilities to assist PepsiCo in its business-critical efforts to make, move and sell products. Her prior experiences from classes made her qualified for the job, which she landed after an interview during the IST career fair last fall.

“In my interview, I was excited to discuss my role in a group project I did for IST 210, Organization of Data, where I worked with Microsoft SQL Server,” she said. “This worked out wonderfully because that was one of the projects mentioned on my resume that my interviewer was interested in hearing more about.”

Although the internship is virtual, Anderson looks forward to receiving hands on and real-world experiences. She is working closely with AI, something she had not expected when she started searching for internships.

“I want to take the next three months to get well integrated into the company and have the value of the work I produce extend beyond my summer internship with PepsiCo,” she said.

Before this internship, Anderson saw herself working as a business analyst but now hopes to begin a career in data science. She says that the internship has already taught her so much, but there is still a lot to learn.

“I am always up for a challenge that has me eager to come into work day after day. Before the internship started, my manager told me that I would be working on a project that is connected to a computer vision initiative -- but I did not have any previous knowledge of the technology,” she said. “Today I feel confident in my ability to speak on the topic of computer vision and am excited to present my project on it at the end of my internship.”

Last Updated July 07, 2021