Professional Pathways: An interview with a cyber intern
We always enjoy having interns in the PGI office—sharing our knowledge and seeing what we do from a new point of view is always refreshing. We shat down and spoke to one of our current interns to learn more about them and why they wanted to enter the cyber industry.
What made you decide to intern at PGI?
I joined PGI in 2016 as part of my university placement; this is where a year out of my four-year degree program is spent in the industry to give me a practical understanding of how university topics fit in to the real world. For the past two years, PGI has allowed me to get stuck into a number of projects within a wide range of disciplines for a broad set of clients. I have fulfilled work for clients from small business to international governments, including incident response and forensic consultancy, through to targeted training programs.
What you have enjoyed?
Working with PGI has given me the opportunity to travel and deal with clients in a range of cultures. I had always wanted to see the world. The ability to do this whilst working has been perfect, as I have not only been able to visit places but I’ve gotten to know people and partake in real experiences of what life in other countries and cultures are like. The ability to travel and meet people on both a professional and personal level around the world has given me an understanding of these unique cultures and beliefs.
What has stretched you?
During my work on various projects, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone, both professionally and personally. As a self-confessed techie/geek, people skills and confidence are something that I really struggled with; however, having to communicate and integrate as part of a project has allowed me to be comfortable conversing with people I don’t know, or who have a different perspective than my own.
Technically, everything I have been involved with has allowed me to advance my understanding and learn new topic. As a university student, I was aware of SCADA, but had never been fully involved with it in any way. However, as part of a forensics job I became very familiar with how these systems work and operate. Aside from its differences to a traditional computer system, a similar methodical approach was taken within the investigation.
Expectations of the internship vs. reality
I expected my internship to be a year spent pushing papers and making tea. I joke, but most of my fellow students have found this; left to do the boring and mundane tasks that their bosses don’t wish to get involved with. My experience on the other hand has been totally different. I have been trusted to engage with clients independently as a consultant both in the UK and abroad, as well as being able to lead projects and manage a team.
What are your career ambitions?
My future career is looking bright—the placement has allowed me not only show and develop my skill set, but also allowed me to meet people both with similar interests and in positions that could help me progress further in my career which are both within PGI and from other organisations.
Where you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I return to university in September to undertake the final year or my degree. During this time, I have been fortunate enough to be able continue with PGI for a day a week. I’m not sure exactly where my future in cyber lies, as I have been able to experience so many departments.
What PGI Group are like as an organisation
PGI as a group are outstanding in the work that they do. We may not be a huge company but we can certainly compete with the largest organisations, both with skills and efficiency. Being a small company means that the teams are close and work well together, we can collaborate on projects and even share a beer in pub after work. It’s the only company where I can come in as an intern and still have a casual conversation with the managing directors, CEO and chairman of the board.
Join the team
If you would like to join the PGI team, please get in touch. We’re always looking for keen people looking to take on a challenge and expand their knowledge.