shiny chekuri intern

What are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about learning about different topics such as psychology, astronomy, physics, economics, languages, politics, and technology. I find that learning about a variety of things helps change the way a person thinks about everyday problems and ultimately their worldview. I have always believed that learning doesn’t always have to be constricted to boring things that you might never need; it can be used to help understand how the world works and how we can be a part of making it better. For instance, psychology can teach us about why individuals who are victims of domestic abuse, never actually believe that they are in trouble. Learning about their mindset can help us identify markers in individuals who might be experiencing domestic abuse, even if the victims do not realize the dangers of their own situation. 

How did you hear about ManTech?

When I was in high school, I went to Academies of Loudoun (AcL). It was like taking an elective class, but in another school that specialized in teaching courses related to specific careers. David Mack, my current supervisor, heard about AcL and thought about hiring interns straight out of AcL. He came to visit and spread the word about his internship program, which is how I heard about the DFEND internship track at ManTech.

What do you like most about ManTech?

Everyone at ManTech is incredibly friendly and welcoming. All the mentors are focused on the interns learning and professional growth, while also ensuring that we can have a balanced life. The mentors understand that we are still quite new, so they help us with our work, while also giving us the space needed to thrive in a professional environment. I have personally never felt like my job took a toll on my mental health, I enjoyed every moment I spent with my mentors and fellow interns. 

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

Work and school mean a lot to me, so I personally have chosen to focus a larger part of my life on it. I take summer classes, so after work I usually must focus on getting my schoolwork done before I can hang out with my friends and family. I really only have time to hang out with my friends and family on the weekends, which for me has personally worked.  

Why did you choose your school and/or major?

I love solving puzzles and technology. When you think about it, hacking is a lot like a puzzle. You must understand how the target system works and where the weak points are before you can finally solve it. In high school, I took some courses through Academies of Loudoun where we learned about cyber security. I ended up loving that class and decided to make cyber security my profession. When I applied, George Mason University had one of the best cyber security degrees in the nation. It was also in-state which was a bonus. In the end, going to GMU seemed like a smart decision for me. 

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

As students we’re always told that internships can help boost our resume and help us get the jobs we’re after. ManTech also understands this and tries to make sure that their interns get the most out of their experience. Mentors will focus on teaching you different concepts related to the field, and how to apply them. With my specific internship, I am being sponsored for a clearance through ManTech, which will be a valuable addition to my resume. 

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

ManTech is a collaborative environment. Some individuals that go into internships are more focused on competing with their fellow interns for a job at the company. To thrive at ManTech, be ready to collaborate with your fellow interns and learn from them. Each individual is hired for their knowledge and what they would bring to the team as a whole, so be ready to share your knowledge and be willing to learn from your teammates.

Shiny attends George Mason University.

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