How I developed my skills through a a remote Cyber Security internship, Intern Abroad HQ

Interested to gain exposure to an industry and gain real-world experience with working professionals? Students and recent graduates interested in expanding skills and knowledge in the field of cybersecurity are often drawn to flexible, remote internships, which you can do from home. If you’re interested in this internship and how it’s conducted, read on to learn more about one intern’s experience with an online Cyber Security & Ethical Hacking internship.

Hi Ian! What can you share about your remote cybersecurity internship?

My remote Cyber Security & Ethical Hacking internship was hosted by a cybersecurity firm, based in Argentina, which works with clients to help protect their data and improve their processes.

I’m never quite sure what to expect when I start working somewhere new, but I’m always hoping that it’s a comfortable place to be in terms of friendly coworkers, and not a highly stressful (probably a better way to describe it) environment.

However, this internship placement was great. First impressions are always the most memorable for me, so meeting Alejandro and Mohamed on the first day really stuck with me. They were very welcoming and kind, which put me at ease and got me more excited to start working on some pen-testing projects.

How I developed my skills through a remote Cyber Security internship, Intern Abroad HQ

Why did you choose to do this particular internship program?

I am relatively new to the field of Cybersecurity seeing as I switched over from my background of Biochemistry, so I often had a difficult time understanding new concepts due to zero exposure. I’ve come to enjoy struggling to figure something out, as it gets me more immersed in the content and reinforces that it’s a concept I have a lot to learn about.

As a result of choosing to do this remote internship, I feel I’ve gained a ton of valuable insight as to how a penetration tester works, and more perspective on Cybersecurity as a whole. I really mean this when I say it: I haven’t had the opportunity to work more offensively (talking about school) so exposure to some of the tools penetration testers use as well as the reporting format really makes me feel like I’ve learned a lot.

Seeing just how much more there is to learn in this field is a double-edged sword because it gets me excited knowing there’s so much depth to this field, and I know that’s just a facet of learning new things. I was already leaning towards the more offensive side of cybersecurity, so I will continue to explore new concepts/tools as well as I have done in this internship, as well as keeping the skills I’ve learned honed by seeking out projects I can work on.

How I developed my skills through a remote Cyber Security internship, Intern Abroad HQ

Were there any challenges associated with doing an online internship?

My internship’s online nature sometimes restricted the depth of cultural immersion I could experience. Unlike an in-person setting, where informal conversations and observations can offer rich cultural insights, the virtual environment sometimes feels transactional, focusing primarily on task completion. I’m not particularly opposed to this, to make that clear, but am offering an example.

Given that this remote internship required me to collaborate with people based in another country (and culture), I think that keeping an open mind and sense of awareness (that there could be possible cultural differences) was one of the best preparations I feel I could have made. However, no conflicts arose, and we all got along great.

Most of my interactions were with my supervisor. In our one-on-one meetings, he often shared insights about Argentine customs, work culture, and societal norms. His willingness to discuss these topics and answer my questions was really helpful. I was pleased to discover the same attitude of lightheartedness while simultaneously staying professional that I personally like to exhibit (or attempt to, at least.) I think it’s very important to not only work hard but also enjoy it to some extent at least, and my supervisor seems to really love the field of cybersecurity which got me hyped for this internship!

How I developed my skills through a remote Cyber Security internship, Intern Abroad HQ

What was the communication with your supervisor like?

I think I have been lucky. I honestly cannot think of anything remotely challenging in terms of communication. I have always been able to reach my supervisor with every mode of communication that he offered. In terms of language, his English is great (I actually feel bad I only know a very small amount of Spanish) so there was no issue with our verbal communication either for this online internship.

To provide an example of one situation, I sent an email to my supervisor detailing my struggles with a penetration testing tool. He not only provided several resources to me over our online meeting but also screen-shared and showed me examples of how to use it effectively. This cleared everything up instantly and made it a breeze to work with. I’ve learned to ask many questions (within reason of course!)

What advice would you give to others who are interested in this internship?

I honestly enjoyed this experience so much that if I could change anything, I would have cleared my schedule so I could have had my entire focus on my internship. I had an absolute blast tinkering with various tools and received a ton of amazing feedback on my work.

I would also say to be less nervous - I thought it was going to be cold business, but the atmosphere was very much more friendly while still staying on-task, which I found to be the perfect balance between learning new skills and having a good time doing it!

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