If the word “intern” conjures images of a traditional college student delivering coffee to a bunch of suit-and-tie execs, you’ve not met Octo’s interns. Interns here are a vital and vibrant part of Octo’s innovation culture and community. We rely on their creativity, enthusiasm, and growing skills to keep us at the forefront of technology trends. And while they may not be working directly on a contract, Octo’s interns are key to uncovering solutions that will help our Federal Government customers better serve and protect the public. Get to know our interns in this new series. Meet Arnav Garg, a Virginia Tech Computer Science major graduating in 2025.
What are some of your general interests or hobbies?
A lot of what I know today can be credited to practicing robotics, which I’ve done since third grade. I really love the designing and building process. I have mastered skills in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery, 3-D printing, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), wood/metal shop tools, and utilizing software that professionals use. I also really like to understand how different things are engineered. One of my hobbies relates to automatic/mechanical watches. I love to understand how the small movements in these watches work and how I might remake some of them.
What’s a fun fact about you?
In 2015 my robotics team was selected to be a United States Ambassador of Robotics in Beijing, China. We attended a new conference in China called the World Robotics Conference (W.R.C.) where technology companies that specialize in robots come from around the world. We were part of the World Adolescent Robot Contest (W.A.R.C.) being one of only six international teams. Tim Kaine recognized our accomplishments and sent us a letter. Since then, I’ve traveled to a new country each year to help with an Olympic-style robotics competition called FIRST Global Challenge.
What are some of your professional or workplace interests?
I hold great interest in artificial intelligence (AI). My interest stems from using different AI frameworks to control the robots that I build. So, my strongest professional interest actually has to be in the AI field. I am also interested in mobile app development. I would like to combine these interests to develop an entrepreneurial idea that I could pursue in the coming years.
What excites you about the future of AI?
The thing that excites me the most about the future of AI is how it is rapidly evolving. In the future there may be new applications that AI could be used in that don’t even exist right now. I feel that AI can solve a lot of the current problems we have.
Now let’s talk about the internship. What drew you to an internship at Octo?
I was drawn to the internship when I met Octo’s CEO, Mehul Sanghani, at Benny’s Pizza in Blacksburg, Virginia, right beside Virginia Tech. Mehul was down in Blacksburg that weekend to watch the spring game, and he was buying everyone pizza the night before. We started talking, and we found out that we both were raised in Blacksburg and went to Tech. He then told me about Octo and the internship. I was interested in it and applied the next day.
What do you hope to get out of this experience?
I am really interested in AI, so I hope to gain experience in using different technologies required to implement AI in everyday life. I would also like to gain experience working with a team to develop code. I would like to come out of this experience with all the required skills to work efficiently with a team of software engineers.
What is your impression of Octo so far?
I really like Octo. So far, I have been able to learn about the different techniques and technologies that Octo uses to satisfy the government clients’ needs. Octo has also provided me with a lot of different resources in order to learn about the AI field. With the new oLabs™ opening up, I am also excited to utilize the computing power and space to finish my projects.
What are you most excited to be working on at Octo?
The current project we are working on centers around neural information search. I am excited to be working on this at Octo because this has the potential to actually be used with one of Octo’s government clients. I am learning an open source framework called Jina. Now that I am certified in Jina, I am able to apply this new skill in my future. Also, I am excited to be working in oLabs and using all the cutting-edge technologies that are available to us.
Who is an innovator you admire?
Elon Musk is an innovator that I admire and aspire to be like one day. I really like how he is able to incorporate new discoveries in machine learning (ML) and AI into products that ease the way that we live. He is not only leading the field in ML/AI, he is also making new discoveries in space. I admire him the most because of his contributions to bring self-driving cars to everyone.
What do you want to be working on in two years? In five?
In the next two years, I would like to be working on utilizing AI with hardware, for example, incorporating it into self-driving cars. AI is a field that is rapidly evolving, and I would like to stay on top of it and utilize it as much as possible. In five years, I would like to be working on my own startup with a few of my friends, something I have wanted to do since I was a child.
Would you enjoy working in a collaborative environment that provides tools and resources to help you succeed? Octo is an inclusive workplace for employees at every career stage. We’re hiring technologists and support staff with a passion to learn and empower customers to meet essential missions. Check out careers at Octo now. And stay tuned for our next installment of Meet the Interns.