George Mason University, May 2024
How did you hear about ManTech?
I heard about ManTech through a presentation held at my high school. In the presentation, the mentors and leaders from the DFEND internship program described the program and answered questions. After listening to the presentation, I was eager to apply.
What do you like most about ManTech?
I loved the freedom we had when approaching a project or problem. Our mentors were always ready to help us if we needed it, but we were given a lot of freedom to try different ideas to solve a problem or complete a task. This allowed us to approach questions logically and creatively and has changed the way I approach other challenges as well.
ManTech’s inviting and positive work environment made it exciting to come in every day and get started on the project I was working on. I often looked forward to the new challenges and daily activities.
How have you balanced your internship, school and home life?
Creating a daily to-do list or schedule has helped me manage my time. Following a routine can help balance everything, especially when time is limited.
What’s the coolest thing about what you’re working on?
One project I worked on over the summer involved developing an app to detect and extract steganography or hidden data in files. It was amazing to see how easy it is to hide potentially harmful data in seemingly harmless files. It was also fascinating to reverse engineer an app used to hide data and learn about the embedding process it used to hide the data.
Why did you choose your school and/or major?
I chose to attend George Mason because of its prime location in northern Virginia, as well as its research opportunities.
Furthermore, I chose to major in bioengineering because the concept of applying math, science, and engineering to health-related problems appealed to me. GMU’s bioengineering program incorporates lots of math and science with programming and computational methods. The program also allows you to concentrate in different areas, such as data science, computational modeling of the body, or nanomedicine.
How will this internship/job help to advance your career?
This internship has helped me build crucial programming and cybersecurity related skills which are highly applicable to a career in engineering or computer science. The challenging projects I work on have helped me build skills in software development and computer forensics. I was also able to build on my problem-solving skills.
What advice do you have for someone thinking of interning/working at ManTech?
Think outside of the box! When approaching a tough problem, it is often easy to get stuck on a certain method. My internship at ManTech has taught me that sometimes the most effective solutions stem from ideas which normally would not be considered. Do not be afraid to use your creativity!