Now in its fourth iteration, the program facilitates students’ experiential learning opportunities focusing on an important part of the Virginia cybersecurity ecosystem, startups. Startups and small businesses need young cybersecurity talent and are often handicapped in their hiring of workers because of competition for top talent from large companies and government agencies, limited startup financing, and the high cost of cybersecurity labor.
In last year’s program, 35 out of the 41 students received either a follow-on internship or a job offer at the end of their internships.
Through their participation in this program, the students will not only continue to develop further their technical skills with real-world experience, but also gain valuable soft skills, such as critical thinking and communication. These young professionals are also encouraged to be part of the cybersecurity innovation ecosystem during their college education and on graduation, increasing the chances of their retention in the Virginia region.
Seven MEC companies, DataLock Consulting Group, KaDSci, LLC, Total Cyber Solutions, Solvitur Systems LLC, Assuresec, Looking Glass, and Itinfra – have agreed to host students this semester, their stipend paid for by the University, to work on their projects.
Thanks to this experience, students will get a taste of life in a startup and may launch their own startups in the future. From the past cohort, two students, Areej Ali and Kylie Amison, have already taken the plunge and launched their own startups!
For more information about the CCI Internship Program, contact Gisele Stolz at [email protected], PI for George Mason University.