Finding Your Team: Interning with InfoSec

 - Nicole, 2018 IGNITE Information Security Intern

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

Before my internship, I was familiar with FireEye from their media presence following industry news. I knew that they were a cybersecurity company, but I had no idea just how integral their involvement within intelligence-led security was. I decided to intern here because the work that they were offering peaked my interest. I liked the idea of a central project. The opportunity also offered mentorship which indicated to me that FireEye invests in the development of their employees. After my summer experience, I can confirm this suspicion.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned?
Do not be afraid of failure. In school, we learn to avoid failure at all costs, even if it means shying away from a new challenge, but failure is okay. It is part of the feedback loop for success. The key is to fail fast and not repeat the mistakes of past failures. Step into roles where you aren’t as comfortable. You learn more that way.

What has been your favorite part of your internship so far?
I loved having a project to dedicate my time to and that I got to oversee. My project involved integrating scans from different third-party software programs onto one platform to help automate FireEye vulnerability management. So basically, I got to have fun with python scripting and APIs. I loved the problem solving. I loved exploring solutions that were new to me (like learning to parse CSV file data). I loved that my team let me run with it. I loved meeting a road block to then overcome it. And although I didn’t have time to see the project to its end, it felt good knowing that I left my team with a good starting place for future enhancements.

What would your advice be to a student pursuing an internship at FireEye?
I think there is value in dedicating some time throughout your internship to learning about the company outside of your specific team. The summer goes by so quickly. Scheduling some time to have one-on-one conversations with upper management allowed me to make the most of my short time here. I was surprised at how willing people were to make time for a chat with an intern, but they welcomed it. I got a lot of insight from picking their brains and I learned more about the work throughout the company than I would have had I just kept my head down.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
Find your team. Sure, it’s easier to take the first job offer that comes your way, but I encourage you to hold out for an employer whose mission aligns with yours. It’s far more rewarding. Beyond that, look for a team-focused group. If you surround yourselves with individuals who only think of themselves as such rather than as part of the team, it limits what can be accomplished. It was incredible to work on a team that I knew cared about each member’s success.

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