Cybersecurity Chronicles: My Aryaka Internship Experience
I am a freshman at Santa Clara University, studying Computer Science and Computer Engineering. I began my internship at Aryaka fresh out of high school, unaware of what the next three months would bring. I have always had a deep interest in cybersecurity; however, my high school, and many other high schools, did not offer classes on this topic. I found myself searching for other ways to satisfy my curiosity about cybersecurity and got in touch with Maria Konta, a research professor at Georgia Tech. With her guidance and knowledge, I could delve into the world of cybersecurity and learn about a myriad of topics, including cyberattacks, the importance of threat intelligence, and more. I was determined not only to expand my knowledge of cybersecurity but also to spread awareness of the dangers of the Internet and inspire other young women to take an interest in the field. I founded an organization dedicated to this cause called CLFA, or Cyber Literacy for All. I traveled to numerous elementary and high schools in the area and presented the dangers of the Internet and the importance and intrigue of Internet security. Overall, my interest in cybersecurity was immense, and going into this internship, I was determined to take advantage and learn and experience as much as I could.
My Threat Intelligence Project – What I Accomplished
An official internship at Aryaka Networks – going into it, I was overjoyed with excitement to learn more about the world I had merely dipped a toe into. My first week was rocky, with technology issues and navigating a long commute. It wasn’t until the second week that things took off. My mentors, Srinivasa Addeppalli and Ritu Sood, were instrumental in helping me understand my project. My project, developed and tweaked along the way, was to create an online dashboard that provides users with a straightforward, easy way to determine the validity of IP addresses, domain names, URLs, and more without running the risk of exposure to malware. In this role, I utilized React.js and Node.js to design a user-friendly front-end display and GoLang to develop the back end by writing APIs that sorted and displayed relevant data collected from Webroot data servers. The project and intent were almost perfectly in line with my previous work, and I was determined to provide the best final product I could. The idea was something that was genuinely helpful and could help a lot of people safely navigate the Internet. While at Aryaka, I learned and experienced the process of creating and developing a project from idea to final product. I ran into numerous technical challenges along the way but was able to problem solve and either rectify the problem or pivot towards another solution. Overall, I learned a lot of vital skills during my time at Aryaka and enjoyed the experience immensely.
The Aryaka Experience
Being a freshly graduated high school student, I was the youngest intern in the engineering department. While this concept seems intimidating, I can confidently say it never crossed my mind even once. The unwavering support and encouragement from my managers, Ritu Sood and Srinivasa Addepalli, made my experience unparalleled. I truly cannot say enough good things about them both. The culture at Aryaka as a whole was incredibly supportive and professional, one of the main reasons I was able to complete and execute my entire project with barely any difficulty. I worked closely with Ritu; she was the best mentor I could have asked for. Her professionalism and knowledge made me feel as though there was no problem that could come up that we wouldn’t be able to conquer. I truly only have good things to say about my experience at Aryaka. Not only was the actual project a smooth, enjoyable experience, but our weekly intern lunches took the cake in pleasant experiences. The lighthearted conversation and friendly banter where everyone from the office came together to eat was an incredibly wholesome and refreshing change of scene. The culture, support, and efficiency at Aryaka were truly marvelous to me, and it was a place I would strive to one day be able to work at once again.
My time at Aryaka was incomparable, and I will forever cherish the experience. The combination of working on a project that almost felt tailor made to what I was looking to accomplish and the amazing people I met along the way was an experience I will never forget. My work at Aryaka could not have better prepared me for the opportunities to come. I learned and refined vital skills I know now are necessary in a workplace environment – one I had little experience in before Aryaka. Problem-solving, pivoting directions when necessary, remaining determined, and desiring to produce a perfect final product are all skills I practiced and refined during my time at Aryaka. I had never worked on developing a front-end and back-end stack simultaneously, and I learned many valuable things I otherwise wouldn’t have. I loved every minute of my internship at Aryaka and, without a doubt, would recommend it.