INFORMAL & CO-CURRICULAR EXPERIENCES
Since 2017, I have volunteered with The Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), which harnesses the collective resources of the technology community to provide no-cost information, communications, and technology solutions that connect survivors and responders in crisis. I was deployed with ITDRC after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and I helped by assessing critical technology infrastructure and repairing systems for getting the Internet and communications in emergency management facilities back online. This opportunity has provided a massive professional network of other IT professionals as well as giving me the opportunity to see how technology affects people in a time of disaster.
In addition, participating in UMBC Cyber Dawgs, a student-run organization, has taught me valuable skills for the cybersecurity industry. Over the past three years, I have learned offensive and defensive skills by attacking and defending virtual labs that resemble actual critical infrastructure networks. UMBC Alumni who have taught workshops for this organization have commented that skills built-in Cyber Dawgs simulations are valuable to employers in the field of cybersecurity and information systems.
During Summer 2019, I interned at Parsons Cyber, which taught me many key skills for my degree. I learned agile development, a particular strategy for project management, in order to properly manage a development team doing both backend and frontend development while learning many new programming languages.
For my professional development, I believe that it is important to make connections with emergency managers from all around the world and to gain knowledge from them. Therefore, In March 2020, I joined the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). It is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the principles of Emergency Management and representing those professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies or disasters. I also became a part of their Emerging Technologies Caucus in which I gain insight and knowledge in technologies that are helping in disaster response efforts. We meet monthly to discuss what folks are working on and sometimes will have a webinar about a case study in which technology was used in disasters.
For Summer 2020, I was accepted into an internship with the Walt Disney Company as a cybersecurity professional intern at Orlando Florida. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this internship was canceled. I plan to reapply to this program in Summer 2021.