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Meet our students: Dániel Bánjay

Dániel Bánjay

Dániel Bánjay

Looking for a job in Europe

As he adds the final words to his thesis, Daniel looks back on his educational journey at the EIT Digital Master School - playing in the EIT Digital Academy Band, and his guest appearance at the EIT Digital satellite opening in Braga, in front of ministers. As a student ambassador, he also encourages bachelor students to apply for the EIT Digital Master School. His persuasion techniques are being personal, he says, telling stories about his experiences.

Banjay is graduating this year from the EIT Digital Master School programme Visual Computer and Communication programme (previously Digital Media Technology). He studied this at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. The official Graduation Day is 30 November in Berlin, where he will collect his certificate alongside another 230 students from all over the world. To Banjay the EIT Digital Master School has been much more than just a place of learning, he explains.

To start with, recently you were speaking at the opening ceremony of the EIT Digital Satellite in Braga (Portugal). How was that?

“I was asked to participate in a panel talk about entrepreneurship education. Braga is a new EIT Digital location and the first in Portugal. That was quite exciting. I had spoken before to students and employers while in Sweden, but there I was part of a panel with the Prime Minister of Portugal and European Commissioners! It was a prestigious setting. I talked about my educational journey, my first year, second year and how I took summer school in Portugal. I told a similar story to when I talk as a student ambassador on how entrepreneurial education changes your mindset. I also said that I saw too few Portuguese students. I only know two or three. I encouraged them to go to the EIT Digital Master School.”

You are one of thirteen student ambassadors. What do you say about EIT Digital?

“I came to know about EIT Digital quite randomly. I would like to change that for Hungarians and other young people in Europe. When I meet computer science students, I mention to them the opportunity to apply to the EIT Digital Master School. I convince them with my personal stories and good impressions. That works better than summing up facts.”

How did you get to know about the EIT Digital Master school then?

“I had worked at a multinational company in Hungary after my bachelor’s degree. But I thought I have more studies inside me. But I do not like so much the education system in Hungary, it is too theoretical for me.  I wanted  to combine my knowledge with the economic field. That is important if you want to start your own company one day. One day, one of my friends tipped me off about a computer science master’s that also has innovation entrepreneurship in it and offers scholarships. I thought: ‘ Is this real?’. I went to the EIT Digital Master School website, applied and got accepted. I was so excited!”

What would you tell aspirant students about your highlights?

“It is quite difficult to highlight one aspect. It is the whole setup of this education programme. One thing that pops up is the mindset. You learn to think entrepreneurially and to come up with real technological projects. You learn not be afraid of starting your own company, and get all the tools you need.  And here, we actually do a business case at the Kick-Off, during the Summer School and during a Winter School in Eindhoven. So, in real life, we know exactly what to do. Another important aspect is the networking. That is unique. I am not sure if there is any education in the world like this. You have the opportunity to visit countries and experience for real how people live. I have made a lot of friends. I can now access anyone in the world. First, I lived for a year in the Netherlands, then in Sweden: I did a two-week Summer School in Lisbon and have been living there also for six months to do my  thesis. The travelling and networking is an add on in the EIT Digital education.”

Why is travelling important to you?

“If you just visit countries, you do not live as a local. I did. I was born in Hungary. If you live in just one country, you maintain a biased idea about how other people live. By living in different countries, I changed my mind completely. It helps me think globally, not just within the borders of my own country. I am now more Europe oriented. For instance, I am looking for a job somewhere in Europe. I am not limited to just one country. I see that this applies as well to my EIT Digital friends: they all look around in Europe.”

At last year’s Kick-Off you were a member of the EIT Digital Academy House Band. You will play again this year at the Kick-Off and your own Graduation Day. How was that?

“I had been a sound engineer during my bachelor’s. I play instruments as well but am not as talented as the others.  I like to sit at the mixing desk and provide the musicians with the perfect sounds. It was a great experience to perform this concert at last year’s kick-off. For the first songs, the students sat in silence and did not know what to expect. Then, they stood up, were dancing, and singing and being enthusiastic. I hope this year we can continue. We are already practising.”

Now you have travelled back to Hungary to finish your thesis. What is your thesis about?

“When doing the Summer School in Lisbon, I decided to learn to surf and to live a while in Portugal. During one of the visits at the Summer School, I met people from Fraunhofer Portugal, whom I contacted later when I had to choose my thesis topic. It turned out that they had a research topic on surfing. They wanted to implement a new software application for mobile phones to measure movements of surfers. I could do my thesis topic with this institution. In so doing, I developed a tool to capture motion sensor data on a phone. Having this data, you can predict patterns of behaviour. In the quantifying self-phenomena, people track everything. Yet, for surfing there is no solution for full evaluation - that is what we are aiming for. My thesis provides stats, and based on the fact that you might recognise patterns, can help improve peddling or standing techniques. The application is not ready yet. My next step is to prototype it in Python language. In the meantime, I became an intermediate surfer myself. “

What do you think about wearable sensors?

“The phenomenon  that is wearable sensors has been happening over the past few years.  At the moment, you can be rich if you have natural resources like oil and gold but in the future, it will be data that will be the most valuable. We collect more and more data but we are not able to process all this data yet. That is why the world needs data scientists. Over the next few years, people will have wearables in their clothes without even being conscious about it. They will provide you with feedback on health and your activity. I foresee that wearable sensors will be useful in the medical world.” 

What is your dream for the future?

“For a couple of years, I want to settle down in Budapest and get used to working life and gaining enough experience to have my own startup in wearables one day. I now work at a Hungarian company ArcSecond that makes smart textiles. I am focussing on smart training pants with embedded sensors that can predict injury risks during training. Wearable sensors  can tell you that if you stretch your leg too much, you should train differently. I think that motion data translation is meaningful.  I do have an idea on how wearables can help people’s lives. When I do it, I believe I will start small, target on one market. That would be a well-developed country – the Netherlands would be a good starting point. In ten years, I might scale up in Europe or even the US.”

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