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Intern of the Week: Brenasia Ward-Caldwell for IS

Brenasia’s Information Systems Internship with the USDA!

May 19, 2017 4:29 PM

Name:Brenasia Ward-Caldwell

Internship, Co-op or Research Site:United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Marketing Service - Information Technology Service - Cyber Security Division

Position Title: Cyber Security Intern        

Major:Information Systems

Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.

Each day, I had a variety of tasks. My large project throughout the semester was developing an incident response plan for how CSD (Cyber Security Division) handles incidents. There is a goal of making this slow and tedious process, automated in order to begin to allow for data tracking (think Big Data) and quicker response times (think user experience). In addition to that, I took many training required by my internship surrounding professional development as well as preparation for the Security+ exam.

Describe the process of obtaining your internship, research, or co-op opportunity.

One rainy day in October, I was sitting at my on campus job desk, reading multiple emails from the Career Center notifying all that the USDA was on campus doing drop in resume sessions. I figured, why not check it out while getting my lunch. I dropped by and ended interviewing with three representatives on the spot and to my surprise, I received a call a month and a half later, offering me another interview and eventually the job!

Which resources did you use to find your current experience?

UMBC Career Center

What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization/company?

I have enjoyed learning exactly how different it is working in the public sector than the private. As someone that has always wanted to work in DC, I am fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to see what that is like so it may assist me in making future professional decisions when it comes to location and types of work.

How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?

I think I have made an impact by being a young, innovative mind. Much of what is done in the government is antiquated and consistent with old, defunct processes. I incorporate innovation through the tasks I fill to encourage my department to change how they do things to encourage the actual use of the applications that they have.

What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?

Be very clear in your interview about what you are interested in. Make sure it is a good fit and do not take something just because it may feel like your only option. And if you find yourself in an experience that is not what you expected, make the most of it and find a learning experience from within it.

Please provide a short reflection or quote about what you liked most about your position.

The Career Center was extremely helpful in guiding me to the proper resources to assist with my internship.

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Want to be the next Intern of the Week? Make sure to fill out this form and stay tuned. New interns are announced every Friday!

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