Real-World Robotics

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Tech-minded ISP students gain valuable experience by interning at Robotics giant ABB

In the last few summers, Internships for Upper School students have become increasingly an opportunity to gain real-world experiences in areas students are passionate about. In recent years, ISP students have gained new insights at major Prague-located firms, such as Czech internet security giant Avast and the Swedish-Swiss robotics, electrical and automation multinational ABB, which has a big presence in and around Prague. 

A group of ISP students spent time last summer at ABB, and the students work at the company garnered very positive feedback from the company, to the extent that an extended internship partnership is planned for the future!

Over the course of the inaugural ISP/ABB internship program, ISP students took part in an introductory course in ABB’s Production and Research Facility in Vestec on Prague’s southern outskirts. The interns were given the opportunity to work on three individual projects, two on robotics and one on marketing and communications. As well as individually, the students were required to work in teams, both with each other but also with ABB people. 

ABB leaders specifically praised the ISP students, stressing that the internship summer program had been an overwhelming positive experience for ABB as much as for the interns. Specific feedback from senior ABB employees included: 

  • “Interns were hugely motivated and interested in Robotics”
  • “We must commend the very good presentation skills of the interns, it was easy for them to express and present their opinions”
  • “Interns worked proactively on their own, and used both their knowledge from school and from the ABB introductory course”.  

From the students’ perspective this was a great opportunity to apply their robotics learning in a professional context. ISP IB Computer Science Teacher Mr. Igor Popstefanija expressed his gratitude to ABB:

“I want to thank you for the opportunity for the summer internship program for ISP students. As the robotics mentor and computer science, I know the importance of STEM education for students and I think it will be a great way to provide students with the real-world application of their learning from school. I am excited to see where this partnership will lead.” 

On behalf of the students, ISP would like to express particular gratitude to Staffan Erenmalm, Chair of the ISP Board of Trustees, who as the former CEO of ABB helped initiate the partnership. Thanks to everyone at ABB who was involved in any way in hosting the ISP interns. Particular thanks also go to Vítězslav Lukáš, Country Managing Director at ABB Czech Republic for his exemplary sponsorship of the initiative, and to Alice Chvojková, Training Manager, Robotics & Discrete Automation, who organised the whole program from ABB’s side.

Upper School students themselves commented on the value and rewarding nature of the internship program. Selected quotes from students included: 

  • “The first weeks of in-person training with robot manipulations and operation was great”
  • “I really like the introductory course and the work was pretty cool, as I got to program things that I’d never programed before, as well as work with CAD (Computer-aided Design) files”
  • “I gained new experiences of collaborating with others to come up with solutions and learning technologies for production”
  • “I found the free-flowing work style helpful so I could still work while travelling with my family. The set meetings helped ensure I had some structure to my time at ABB”.

Everyone at ISP looks forward to further building on the relationship with ABB and other firms, based both in the Czech Republic and elsewhere, in regard to growing ISP internships, hopefully on-site, but also online. If any alumni or parents are interested in offering real-word working opportunities to ISP students through internships please get in touch with ISP Human Resources Director, Petr Draxler –