Throughout my internship, I have had the opportunity to meet some interesting people. The Chairman of Cambridge Global Advisors (CGA), Chris Burnham was one of them. He has had an illustrious career in government, diplomacy and banking. He served as the effective Chief Operating Officer of the Department of State (2001-05), the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management under the late Kofi Annan (2005-06), and the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Deutsche Bank Asset Management (2006-12) among a host of other impressive positions. We had some great conversations about his professional background and he shared with me some insights that he has gathered over the years. I expressed to Mr. Burnham that I recently garnered an interest in finance and financial markets, so Mr. Burnham showed a willingness to speak about his time at Deutsche. Our chat was informative and fascinating as we inevitably spoke about that financial crisis and Deutsche’s role in it. All in all, I got some great pointers on how to kickstart my career. I consider Mr. Burnham a valuable mentor moving forward. I plan to be back in D.C. pretty soon, so I hope to maintain a professional rapport down the line.
I also got to meet Bob Lord, the Chief Security Officer of the Democratic National Committee at DEF CON. Bob Lord just joined the DNC after spending two years with Yahoo (before it was acquired by Verizon) as the Chief Information Security Officer. Mr. Lord also worked at Twitter in a similar capacity. Him and I met at R00tz Asylum where the Election Hacking station was. The DNC co-sponsored (the other sponsor being CGA) a contest for child white-hat hackers at DEF CON to hack replicas of state government websites and the one who devised the best defensive strategy won $500 from the DNC. Another $2,000 was distributed amongst the kids who managed to penetrate a site’s defenses. Mr. Lord and I worked together to figure out which child hacker should win the prize. We interviewed multiple kids and asked for their recommendations; it was a tight race because many kids had some awesome suggestions. There was however, one kid by the name of River who really stood out and it was clear that he was incredibly knowledgeable and deserving of the award. Mr. Lord and I might be working for River one day. Mr. Lord was great to work with, good company and definitely a valuable connection to have.