Language Translation
  Close Menu



Internships Provide Mentoring and Career Opportunities in Cybersecurity

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley Romero

Today is National Intern Day and Indiana Intern Day; a day for companies and organization to honor and celebrate the hard work and effort of the people, who are dedicating their summer or a part of their school year as part of an internship or co-op.

It’s an opportunity to gain some real-world experience, as they make the decisions that’ll help influence the choices they’ll make when it comes to deciding on a career. And, right now, when it comes to workforce development, cybersecurity job openings are as “in demand” as almost any other industry or business across the country, as well as right here in Indiana. According to CyberSeek, it’s estimated that there are more than 20,000 cybersecurity job openings in the Hoosier State and more than 700,000 positions that are needed to be filled across the U.S.

As someone who believes strongly in the value of mentoring – both in terms of providing a meaningful on-the-job experience, but what we can learn from having the perspective of someone who’s grown up with technology and the Internet – we like to say that once your internship begins, you’re no longer an intern, you are a part of our team.


This summer, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Michael Herald (pictured on the right) and Phil Shou. As our Communications Specialists, they are working on everything from writing blogs and creating social media content on Twitter and Facebook to helping us update our Indiana Cyber Hub website (and much more). In celebration of their work, we sat down with them and asked them five questions reflecting on their time with us and what they’ve gained through their experiences in cybersecurity and working as a part of state government.

What is it about cybersecurity that interests you as part of your education and as something you might pursue as a career?

Michael Herald: "Cybersecurity interests me in a variety of different ways. In terms of my education, I have had to use various cybersecurity tools like two-factor authentication and password managers. As a part of my future career in communications as well, I know that I will have to be aware of cyber threats. The knowledge this internship has taught me will definitely come in handy someday".

Phil Shou: "I think the aspect of cybersecurity that I found most interesting was how common technologies could be exploited if one were to think a little creatively. It itches my brain to understand how it can be exploited which motivates me to learn more about vulnerabilities.

Michael, you are studying communications at Butler University. What is it about working on the Indiana cybersecurity program that led to you applying to be an intern?

Michael Herald: I was initially drawn to working on the Indiana cybersecurity program after I heard great things from a friend that worked for them in prior years. I was also drawn to the aspect that this would give me somewhat of a government experience, seeing how local governments and cybersecurity mix.

Phil, you recently completed your bachelor's degree in music at Indiana University and you are a pianist. How did you decide to apply for a cybersecurity internship?

Phil Shou: While I was completing my bachelors, I had been taking some classes in computer science and going to the cybersecurity club at IU and I wanted to apply some of the knowledge I already knew in an internship.

What have you learned about cybersecurity?

Michael Herald: I have learned a great deal about cybersecurity. The biggest lesson that I can take away from this experience would be to always be proactive when it comes to cybersecurity. You do not want to fall behind when it comes to updating things like your passwords, because cybercriminals are always one step ahead of you.

Phil Shou: Regular people being manipulated is a huge reason so many companies and institutions have been hacked. Going into this internship, I thought there would be a lot more stuff about hackers building this elaborate malware that breaches a system and then saying “I’m in”. In reality, it’s some guy in a company clicking on a phishing link giving out their login credentials. Now the hacker says “I’m in” because someone gave up their login information. Sometimes, it’s really as simple as asking someone what their password is.

As someone who's grown up, you might say, with the Internet and digital technology, what would you say you've learned about cyber as part of your everyday life?

Michael Herald: In terms of my everyday life, I have noticed things that I could improve on. For example, I recently just reset all my passwords and if I would not have learned that it should be routine, I may not have done that.

Phil Shou: I have definitely been very conditioned and aware of how public everything is on the internet. Google search anybody’s name and you’ll have a good amount of their personal information. This has made me a lot more conscious about my privacy and I’ve tried to stick to posting as little about myself online, although I’m sure you’ll still find something embarrassing about me.

What's the most interesting experience or something you've learned about cyber working with the State of Indiana?

Michael Herald: The most interesting and rewarding experience that I have been a part of is probably the day-to-day operations of the various social media channels and writing for them. This has allowed me to strengthen my writing skills as well as learn about the various topics related to cybersecurity.

Phil Shou: As I’ve been working with the State of Indiana, I’ve come to learn one crucial thing. The technical side of cyber is definitely very, very important. However, the human side is also an equally if not more important side of cybersecurity. Working with the State of Indiana in cyber has taught me that you can have the most robust security system ever, but one guy or several can bring the whole house down because of negligence or a very manipulative phishing email. Therefore, it’s important to also foster a healthy cybersecurity culture through awareness and collaboration and it’s been great to be a part of that this summer.