allison salami graduation

What are you passionate about?

Lots of things! I love to write and read, and play the piano; those creative outlets play a big part in my life. I’m passionate about expressing myself through fashion, and about using it as an avenue to be myself. I’m also passionate about learning more about technology, and particularly about coding, which is what brought me to this internship.

What do you like most about ManTech?

ManTech has created an opportunity in which learning walks in stride with working. This isn’t a stagnant work environment, nor is it limiting. I’ve been encouraged to branch out and learn new things throughout my time here, and I don’t doubt that those in other internship programs and who work full-time would say the same. Working and learning go hand-in-hand at ManTech, which is an admirable mode of operation for a company.

How have you balanced your internship, school, and home life?

Balance is all about self-discipline. Granted, I’m very blessed that I’m able to wholly separate work and school, as I intern during the summer in between my semesters. But that balance is delicate, and it is best bolstered with definitive goals or “rules”. For example, setting aside time to isolate each part of my life has helped me. I’ll have days where I’m completely focused on school (those days are usually closer to exam season), or days where I’m just spending time with family or friends and intentionally not focusing on work or school. Learning to keep a balance in life is a different process for everyone, but that’s how I’ve found success.

How will this internship/job help to advance your career? 

This internship with the DFEND program has exposed me to sides of the computing/cybersecurity field of which I was completely unaware. The opportunities I have been given have allowed me to broaden my knowledge of this field overall, alongside engaging more deeply in the things I already know I enjoy. When I head into a full-time career, what I gained from my summers interning here at ManTech will be directly useful in engineering solutions to the problems in the computing world today,

What advice do you have for someone thinking of interning/working at ManTech?

Say yes to new opportunities, and don’t be afraid to dive into unfamiliar territory. The best way to learn is hands-on. DFEND has done a fantastic job with introducing interns to brand-new challenges and providing the proper guidance to help each one of us be successful.
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What did you gain from your experience/internship at ManTech?

I have gained something different from each summer intern cycle at ManTech. In the DFEND program, the opportunity is always there to do something new, and I’ve taken it each time. This is my third cycle interning, and I had a big picture focus this time around. The past two summers I was in the weeds of the technical side, writing code and figuring out how to make things work from the ground level. This summer, I got a peek into the macro management side of things, getting to see what it meant to be a manager, how to delegate work for projects between teams, how to keep information flowing across several groups of people- some of the things required to make a ManTech project run smoothly.

What is the coolest thing about what you are working on now?

Another cool part of my internship experience has been working toward a certification. I’ve been able to go through the training and get hands-on experience with what it’s like to seek out a certification. It’s not often that interns are able to work toward such a thing during an internship cycle, so it’s been really cool having that opportunity.

Allison attends George Mason University

Allison Salami