Learn, Earn, Return: My Experience as a Security Automation Intern

Before joining FireEye as an intern, I was aware of the company and its prominent position within the cybersecurity industry through meeting incredible people that worked here at local meetups and keeping up-to-date with the company blog posts.  As someone who previously interned with two internal information security teams, I was looking to join a cybersecurity company like FireEye to get a new perspective within this industry.

Since my previous internship responsibilities involved writing simple scripts to automate different information security workflows, I was pleased to join FireEye as a Security Automation Intern to further explore and learn about the cybersecurity automation and orchestration niche.  This role involved learning FireEye Security Orchestrator and leveraging it to automate InfoSec workflows that required orchestration between different pieces of technology.  This process also involved collaborating within the team to understand the current workflow, requirements of the automated process, establish milestones, and communicate/work together through any issues.

The highlight of this internship has been the people I met and worked with.  My team constantly challenged me with new projects and made the experience impactful by giving me the opportunity to work on projects that provide real value back to the company.  The best part about automation is getting to see what improvements you brought to the table and how your work can allow others to spend their time on more exciting tasks.  Additionally, working with a passionate group of people that have extensive experience within this industry motivated me to perform well.  Being within an InfoSec team at a cybersecurity company also gave me incredible insight into what it takes to create and maintain a successful cybersecurity team.

A piece of advice I have for future interns is to take initiative.  Take the initiative from the beginning to get to know everyone on your team.  This will help you slowly build a good rapport with them as the summer progresses.  Especially at FireEye, take the initiative to meet new people outside your team.  FireEye has an open culture that interns can take advantage of to meet experienced individuals in this industry and learn from them.  The title of this blog, “Learn, Earn, Return,” is an idea that FireEye CEO, Kevin Mandia, explained when he had an open conversation with the interns.  This “cycle,” as he described it, had a profound impact on me because it made me realize that even someone who is just starting his career like me should always be looking for opportunities to ‘return’ in some manner as I keep learning and growing.  To make the most out of your internship, take the initiative to volunteer for more responsibilities/projects.  Through this, not only are you showing interest in the work you do, you also get the opportunity to learn new skills by doing impactful work.  Finally, take the initiative during your own time to learn about FireEye and staying up-to-date on different issues within your area of interest.  In my case, this involved learning what other projects my team is working on, meeting interesting people in different departments, reading company blogs or watching conference presentations, and following interesting InfoSec people on Twitter.  Personally, learning and being aware in this manner allowed me to have interesting conversations and be more present/involved during meetings and team outings.

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