This summer I am interning at a Washington-based national security consulting firm called Cambridge Global Advisors (CGA). CGA is a relatively young and small advisory firm in the U.S. national security space. The firm offers a range of services, among which is its cybersecurity practice — the section for which I do most of my work. The team I am working with is involved in the Voting Village portion of the annual DEFCON Hackathon hosted in Las Vegas. I’ll speak more on this in later blog posts.
I started looking for internships in October. I knew I wanted to do something that involved conducting a lot of research and handling data to solve problems that have considerable traction. There was no particular subject matter that I could decisively point to as my passion, so I did what most people do when they don’t know what they’re primarily interested in…I looked for consulting firms. Consulting shops like CGA were where I focused most of my energy during my search. But, even with this filter, my earlier problem still reared its ugly head because I didn’t know what practice area interested me the most. I’ve always been interested in political affairs, so I just took that and ran with it. After applying online, I was interviewed at CGA and had an incredible conversation with my team’s project leader. She was passionate about the project and framed the opportunity more along the lines of me joining a purpose as oppose to me just coming on board to fulfill a set of job duties. I had interviewed with other firms but the dialogue simply wasn’t as seamless as the one I had with CGA, even after my pre-interview jitters faded. So, I decided to go with CGA. The internship is in DC so that was a huge pull factor as well because it’s one of my favourite cities.
After accepting the offer, I hoped that, since CGA is a small firm, that I would be able to establish some meaningful connections and learn a lot more about cybersecurity. My goal at the outset, and even now, is to perform well enough to be considered for a full-time position at the end of my internship. I know that it will be challenging but I also know that I wouldn’t want it any other way.