The Future of Talent #5 – Klaudia Konadu-Finke

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The Future of Talent #5 – Klaudia Konadu-Finke

The 5G Hub proudly presents one of its brilliant interns: Klaudia Konadu-Finke. An international student from Fontys University, Klaudia has lived in the Netherlands for about three years now. In the 5G Hub, she further develops the 5G Drone project, implementing new elements and features to the design. Outgoing and with the will of being self-sufficient, Klaudia is very proud of her project and describes the 5G Hub as a great place to be.   

Klaudia was born in her father’s home country, Germany, and moved to Ghana, her mother’s land, to finish her schooling at the age of eight. After graduating from high school, Klaudia moved back to Europe. She perceives herself as an open-minded individual with a love for talking to people and going out. As such, she has missed this part of life over the past pandemic months quite a lot. “I think everyone does,” she says.    

Fascinated by all kinds of puzzles and deeply interested in art and music, she talks with fondness about her creative site: “I actually wanted to go in that direction when I was younger. I even went to a music school, which was quite fun.” But that perspective changed when she took computer science classes in high school, and that became her favorite subject, the one she would truly excel in. Following her elder brother’s footsteps, who was already in the computing world, Klaudia decided to follow that path. She realized that combining her interest in IT with her creative side could result in a stimulating career.   

A singular internship for a software engineering admirer   

Klaudia moved to the Netherlands in February 2018 to study at Fontys Eindhoven. She is currently in the third year of her graduation in ICT and software engineering. As she explains, in the first semester of their course, students are presented with an overview of the ICT courses: “When I started, we had ICT technology, ICT business, and ICT software engineering. As I am not a great fan of business, I was torn between software engineering and technology because it has an important commercial part, but it also has to do with building things, which I enjoy. At that point, it was a bit of a difficult decision to make. But I realized that I am more familiar with the software engineering part.” Klaudia was also drawn to the wide range of possibilities to learn and explore in software engineering. With projects that go from regular PC applications to app development for Android and iOS and much more, she believes the course gives her extensive options and even vaster job possibilities later on. “I can always take some technology-focused courses and add them to my set of skills when needed,” she says   

Klaudia explains that all the students have an internship project to develop in their fifth semester. Scanning a website specialized in this kind of vacancy, she came across Ericsson’s: “It caught my eye because it sounded familiar, of course. And I saw that they are different; they have projects for a variety of studies. So, I thought they might have something for me. I applied, and, luckily, this project opened up,” she celebrates. Klaudia had an interview with Edwin Dijkstra (Klaudia’s project advisor from the 5G Hub) and Senna Kloosterman, who told her about the project. She was immediately excited about it, as it combines hardware and software, which means one can physically see their progress. “I wanted to see that interaction because I had never done that before. I was very enthusiastic,” she says.   

Klaudia and her fellow intern Tim van Oudheusden at the 5G Hub.

Updated, upgraded project   

Klaudia is working on a Parrot Drone, further developing the project initialized by her predecessor, Levi Vlasblom. She explains she is “making a PC application that will allow you to control the drone over 5G beyond visual line of sight. For that reason, I am also adding a 3D camera to it, so that we have a better, wider view of where the drone is flying. There is also the addition of two different sensors that give the user a proximity notification; this way, we make sure that the drone does not hit any obstacles on its course.” The new features also include sensors related to the authorized flying ranges a drone can currently reach. According to Klaudia, this helps turn the gadget more autonomous, as in following an object.    

She hopes to finish all those components by the end of her internship, which means having the video stream complete. Another fantastic feature in this project is that the user line of sight will not be provided by a screen, but by the Oculus Quest glasses, which also control the drone, “so we can actually see where the drone is and see what the drone sees,” Klaudia clarifies.

Lessons learned   

Klaudia admits that she is the kind of person who has a hard time ask for help. So the open and friendly atmosphere in the 5G Hub is helping her work on that. Her first experience in a work environment, the Hub surprised her: “I have always imagined people working in cubicles. But the 5G Hub is very open; you can always simply walk to someone, talk to them, and ask them what you need. We have a nice atmosphere here. And the people are lovely.”   

She says that a project like this has many surprises in store. For her, “with programming, you never know if it will work. So, now and then, you can get stuck on one thing that could have been solved effortlessly. But the brain thinks, ‘no, that is too simple. It probably has to be something else.'” In this sense, learning how to discuss her issues and ask for support from her colleagues and supervisor, Edwin Dijkstra, has been a valuable lesson.    

A proud researcher   

Klaudia is very proud of her project. For her, working with 5G, such a novel and under development technology, feels like helping make History. As she defines, “I think that is quite nice to be part of this revolution. When I get older, I’ll be able to say, ‘oh, yeah, when I was younger, I worked on this, I was part of the team.”   

Another unique aspect of her internship is that drones are also a trend. At the moment, there are many restrictions for flying, she remarks, “but, hopefully, later on, it will be easier. So, I think the combination of those two new technologies is really nice. It is something unique, something brand new.” As such, Klaudia sees the best possible outcome for her project would be to see her research being valuable and maybe inspiring other similar developments.