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I have a colleague who is an ML PhD student part time and works as an engineer part time, but his research (NLP with a focus on text classification) aligns well with his job such that the company supports him writing on his thesis and going on conferences on company time. He's doing a presentation in two weeks about a paper he's written, on company time.

I have no idea how have managed to swing that, and if this arrangement will last for long. He's only been employed here for about a year.

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