Interned at Homeland Security/Dept. of Emergency Services / Bismarck, ND
Senior majoring in Computer Information Systems
Expected graduation: May 2017
1. How did you find your internship position?
This internship was posted on ND.gov and sent to me via email.
2. Why did you decide to do this internship?
This was the only internship I was offered sophomore year. After hearing that I was offered the job, I quit my job in a welding shop and moved to Bismarck. I knew that I would need the experience one day and was really excited about working with the government.
3. What were your responsibilities?
Protecting cyber infrastructure. While working at the North Dakota State and Local Intelligence Center, I would publish weekly reports about the cyber in fracture news from the previous week. I also worked with the FBI and Homeland Security on creating a database on the 16 sectors. Basically this just contained information on each resource in the state and how long response times would take. The Department of Emergency Services also does site assessments on state building and finds security issues and areas that should be addressed. I went along on the only assessment that came up during my internship. After investigating the building, I created reports on our findings and submitted them to the property management. I also created a power point that is being used by the North Dakota Highway Patrol in their Information Liaison Officer program. Since this is going to officers and civilians, I needed to create a civilian edition and a version for officers with security clearances. One of my final projects was directed towards the oil fields in North Dakota. Since it was going to the people without security clearance all of the information had to be open-sourced. After examining many reports and news clippings, I created a report for the oil fields and covered what to look for in potential attacks and what to do during an attack.
4. What was your favorite part of the internship experience?
I really enjoyed working with the small group of people in the fusion center. I believe there were 14 of us in the section that I was in. We all got along with each other and were very productive with our work. I also thought the work was pretty interesting as well, especially since most people are not privileged enough to work in a workplace like I was able to.
5. In what way has your VCSU experience prepared you for this internship? The best thing that VCSU has helped me with while I was doing this internship was the computer security class. That class related to my work quite a bit. Also since most of my classes are pretty small, I feel that that was a huge help with me fitting in such a small group of co-workers.
6. How do you feel this internship has helped prepare you for your career? This internship has helped me a ton in looking for jobs that fit my career. I liked that all of my efforts went to saving the country and state, it really made my work feel important. Now that I am beginning to look for full time jobs, I am looking for something that offers that same level of reward.
7. What advice would you offer to a student completing an internship? Apply to every job/internship that interests you. I debated even applying for this job because I did not feel I was qualified. This internship created many friendships and experience that cannot be replaced.