Cultivating the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals: Recapping Summer Internship Projects

  • October 12, 2018

Circadence® is proud to live out its mission to continuously educate and upskill the next generation of cyber professionals. We had the pleasure of hosting several interns over the Summer season who showed us firsthand the promise and potential they have for the industry. We had more than 20 interns spread across our offices in Tupelo, MS, San Diego, CA, and Boulder, CO. Students were placed departments pursuant to their degree programs or learning interests.  

Interns are provided on the job experience and assist teams (both technical and administrative) with current work, while contributing to current projects and products. Each intern was assigned a specific mentor in which they were to meet with weekly for performance evaluation and learning monitoring. At the conclusion of the internship, students presented their project results and takeaways in a capstone brief, which they presented to their respective Circadence teams. All our interns did an amazing job learning new aspects of the cybersecurity industry from programming and app development to marketing and research. In this post, we feature the work of our interns in Tupelo who developed two web applications that focused on cybersecurity awareness training using trivia concepts.  

Circadence interns in Tupelo

Cypher

Tupelo interns created a mock mobile app inspired by the concept of Alberti Cipher (a code that requires a movable circle to decipher text using a cipher algorithm). In the game, the player gets an encrypted or decrypted message in a quiz-like format that requires them to use the cypher code-breaker to figure out the answer. The app is designed for “on the go” playing and learning, which supports today’s learners who want a more accessible learning platform. The interns created it as an educational tool so new and seasoned professionals alike could learn more about cybersecurity and the technical side of the industry. The interns utilized the latest technologies of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Bootstrap 4 to develop the app, levels had different themes to keep engagement high and scoring systems help players see where they rank against other players.  

“I see a lot of promise in them and they were all very talented and very committed to their work; their work ethic was extremely strong, and they learned a lot and made a valuable contribution to Circadence’s work,” said Lauryn Pregoni, Human Resources Business Partner in Circadence’s San Diego office.   

Perplex

Interns also developed a multiplayer trivia loot game inspired by the many mobile app games we may play today. It is based off a client-server model with two types of client modes: host and controller. The host is the interface of the game projected on a main screen like a TV or projector. Players join in a queue on their mobile devices and start the game—kind of like how you’d join in HQ trivia. After the game has been initiated, a question pops up on a central screen and players race to select the correct answer. Players are timed to choose an answer and points are awarded based on correctness and time taken to answer. The game would be ideal for cybersecurity events or academic cyber competitions. 

“It’s visual, multi-sensory, team-oriented, and brings everyone together in any genre to share and communicate and learn about cybersecurity,” said Katie McCustion, Human Resources Manager in Circadence’s Tupelo office.  

All projects the interns worked on were a part of the everyday work that the professionals performed. This hands-on learning allowed the interns to develop and grow their technical prowess while working together as a team on real-world projects. Interns learned new skills in coding, research, frontend and backend development, and graphic design and overall communication skills that will support their future professional pursuits. We look forward to our next batch of interns in Summer 2019 and are excited for the future of these hard working and bright individuals!  

Special thanks to Circadence’s Jerry Camp, Lauryn PregoniKatie McCustion, Wes Knee, and Maria Ko-Lee for their collaboration on this blog post.