Summertime, Learning Strides, and Cybersecurity

Childhood summers are often full of simple days spent soaking up the sunshine and getting your feet wet in the swimming pool.

For a college student, summers are a great time to prepare for your future. This year, while I still fit in some time in the sun, my days were also full of soaking up knowledge and getting my feet wet, so to speak, with consulting experience as a cybersecurity intern. Because of the Schneider Downs Cybersecurity Team, this internship was both a valuable and enjoyable way to spend my summer.

The beginning of my internship was filled with attending orientation, setting up accounts and virtual machines, learning about the company, and getting to know my team members. Soon, many of my days were spent shadowing team members as they conducted pen tests and blue team engagements. Between shadowing opportunities, I read through procedures and utilized resources to expand my technical knowledge. I also got to conduct a practice pen test and write a report on my findings. Each of these preparations eased me into the world of cyber consulting so that I was more confident and ready when I got to help with the early stages of some real pen tests. The team’s willingness to share knowledge, answer questions, and provide great learning opportunities added so much value to this experience.

As this is my last internship before graduation, I knew entering the position that I wanted it to be not only a chance to strengthen my cyber skills but also a way to help me decide what I want to do after graduation. Every semester, professors and guest speakers would share different career paths to take with a cybersecurity degree, and I would ponder which path would best fit with my personal goals and strengths. Before I fully understood penetration testing and consulting, I crossed them off the list of possibilities. However, when I happened upon the Schneider Downs cybersecurity intern posting last fall, I felt it was what I was meant to do this summer. Through this opportunity, I better understand the world of consulting and can more clearly consider cybersecurity consulting as an option for my career.

My experiences over the past several weeks serve as a reminder not to be intimidated by what I do not know and to be open-minded about possibilities for the future. I could not have predicted all the ways I would grow and benefit from this internship, and I am so glad that I spent this summer as an intern on Schneider Downs’ Cybersecurity Team.

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