Intern to Published Author: Laying the Foundation for a Scientific Paper

- Octavian, 2018 IGNITE Data Science Researcher Intern


How did you hear about FireEye? Why did you choose FireEye?

I actually got to know about FireEye through one of my research projects at school, where I was reading technical blogs published across the industry. Specifically, reading FireEye's Threat Research Blog stood out to me in terms of timeliness and accuracy of information. Later on, I found out about the intern position on the Data Science Team at FireEye and it closely matched my research interests. The deciding factor for me was actually during the interview process, when discussing my soon-to-be mentors. I then realized how knowledgeable they were and how much I would get to learn by joining the team. Our discussion got me very excited about the internship and I decided it was a perfect fit for me.

 

What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

The most interesting thing I learned has to do with the vast pool of data and infrastructure resources that FireEye has. In machine learning, we often strive to find reliable datasets to build predictive models and academics generally rely on thousands of examples. As it turned out during my internship, when you have 12 million binaries to play with, you can really get a unique perspective of the ecosystem. This, paired with the amazing guidance from my mentors, allowed me to publish a scientific article with these findings.

 

What has been your favorite part of your internship so far?

I really loved how the entire Data Science team strove to make me feel like I was part of the team. I had the freedom to test my own ideas, yet my mentors were always available to discuss progress and promptly eliminate blockers. Moreover, when I needed technical advice from outside of our team, it was very easy to quickly find expertise and get actionable suggestions.

 

What would your advice be to a student pursuing an internship at FireEye?

I discovered that, by thinking about the problem I was going to work on even before the start of the internship, I was able to set realistic goals and stay on track during the program. I would recommend discussing projects with your mentors beforehand, maybe even during your interviews, and start off being excited to learn as much as you can during this short period.

 

Is there anything else you would like to say?

One thing that really impressed me was how the IGNITE team promoted bonding within the internship program. There were tons of events organized by FireEye, as well as independent intern events, so I doubt any of us got bored during the summer.




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