Archive for September 2019

Internship Spotlight – Jacob Boyles

Jacob Boyles is a senior at Christopher Newport University. He is a Computer Science major and spent his summer interning with Atlas Systems. Jacob was hired as a Software Development Intern and worked in Virginia Beach from May to August. He applied for the position on Handshake, then he was contacted for a phone interview. After success in the phone interview, he was contacted for an on site interview and was ultimately hired.

As a Software Development Intern, Jacob was responsible for several different projects, working both individually and with a team. He started out with his own project which he saw through from “conception to presentation.” The rest of his internship was spent working with a team on two overlapping projects. Jacob described the two latter projects as being much larger and more challenging. At the end of his time with Atlas Systems, Jacob presented the projects he worked on to company leadership.

Jacob described his biggest challenge this summer as the amount of debugging and problem solving required to make the projects work. He spent an entire week of the summer working  side by side with another intern on one problem. It took them until Friday to finally fix the problem after hours of testing and debugging.

His favorite part of this experience was his coworkers. Jacob spoke of how they were always there to answer questions and help coach him through any problems he ran into. Jacob happened to also have the pleasure of working with two Christopher Newport University graduates, Austin Schaffer (Developer) and Dustin Stokes (Chief Technology Officer) and current Christopher Newport University student Avery Kitchens (all pictured above).

Thank you, Jacob, for sharing your summer internship experience!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Lockheed Martin

Last week we were joined by Lockheed Martin for an exciting Pizza My Mind. Presenting were Denis Coo (Senior Manager), Greg Wilds (Leadership Development Program Manager), and Sadie Rynestad and Benjamin Herzberg (Software Engineer Associates) from the Manassas, VA Campus. Lockheed Martin has locations all over not only the United States, but the world as well, so if you are looking to travel this company may be a good fit for you.

Lockheed Martin works to make high quality products for many different customers. They make cool tech specializing in aeronautics, missile and fire control, rotary and mission systems, and space. The morals of the company include respect, fairness, and doing the right thing, and are truly important to employees like our presenters. The company offers jobs for all majors and provides educational perks like training and tuition reimbursement for masters degrees to keep their employees on top. 

Benefits offered by Lockheed Martin for interns include case by case housing stipends, community outreach, access to fun tools like 3D printers and laser cutters, hackathons, and even sports teams and activities with coworkers. 

As reported by the presenters, there are some great perks of living in northern Virginia to work at the Manassas campus. There are many historical sites, hiking trails, and sports to play and watch, as well as many other opportunities to get out and have fun. This is probably already well known to the many CNU students who live in northern Virginia and have experienced what a great area it is.

The things that make Lockheed Martin unique and stick out as being an awesome place to work are the content of the work and the cool travel opportunities. Sadie Rynestad stated that her favorite thing about her job was the balance between work and life.

Thanks to the folks from Lockheed Martin for sharing about your company!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy presented Pizza My Mind on September 12th. Thanks to Faby Argandona, the college campus recruiter, and Arathi Kashipathi, the senior information security analyst, for coming to talk about Dominion Energy. With them was Trey Shuford, an intern and CNU student. Congratulations to Trey for securing a full time position with Dominion after he graduates.

With locations across America, and headquarters located in Richmond, VA, Dominion Energy serves communities and supplies power to 7.5 million customers. The presenters highlighted the company’s core values including safety, ethics, and embracing change. One such change Dominion is looking to embrace is the support of clean energy as shown by their reduction in carbon output and other emissions, and their solar fleet that is now the 4th largest in the United States.

Dominion offers a large range of internships to students interested in business, engineering, information technology, math and science, and liberal arts. Internships are offered for the summer and during the school year, and may also have opportunities for scholarships related to diversity and military service. Other benefits that may come with an internship at Dominion Energy include professional development, networking opportunities, and fun recreational events.

Thanks again to the folks at Dominion Energy for joining us.

Internship Spotlight – Grant Pierson

Grant Pierson is a senior here at Christopher Newport University who is working toward a bachelors of science in computer Science. This past summer from May to August, Grant worked at Coalfire Systems in Reston, VA as an intern with FedRAMP and Assurance Services. He got the job with a little help from a family member who passed his resume along, and attributed his success to his strong resume, thanks to the Center for Career Planning of course, and his excellent interview. 

In this internship position, Grant was tasked with collaborating with many large tech companies. He had to investigate each company’s information security standards to make sure that they complied with standards set by federal agencies, so that the company could work with these federal agencies and reliably handle potentially sensitive data. 

Grant described his favorite parts of this internship (as there were too many good things to pick one) as the free snacks and drinks provided, the ability to work from home on Fridays, going out to restaurants with coworkers, and don’t forget the business trip he was sent on to London.

The biggest challenge Grant recalled was understanding and remembering all of the long, technical security documents needed for the job. He was expected to know the approximately 800 security controls from the NIST 800-53 document that details secure procedure for dealing with federal information. He commented that all of the “security infrastructure and architecture can be extremely hard to understand if you don’t already know a lot about network security.”

Despite not yet being one of the companies attending CNU’s Pizza My Mind, Coalfire Systems has a lot to offer anyone interested in cybersecurity or computer science. Congratulations to Grant Pierson for his full-time offer with Coalfire Systems after graduation, and thank you for sharing your internship experience!

Internship Spotlight – Nicholas Lee

Nicholas Lee is a freshman here at CNU intending to major in computer engineering. He spent this past summer as a technology intern for Fairfax County Public Schools, working in Fairfax, Virginia from June to August. While working as a tech assistant during the prior school year, he was asked to stick around to help during the summer.

Nicholas was responsible for accounting for, setting up, and distributing about 2,750 laptops to high schoolers in the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) system. This was all part of an initiative called FCPSOn. FCPS are acting to equip every student with their own laptop in an effort to improve education and teach students relevant skills they will need as adults in the working world. 

Nicholas reported that his favorite part of the internship was the opportunity to help his high school and future students. The biggest challenge he faced was the time constraints placed upon him. Each computer had to be imaged and processed before distribution to students. With the distribution deadline looming, this task was daunting, but Nicholas overcame this obstacle. Overall, he spoke of this internship experience as a positive one.

Pizza My Mind Presented by CNU IT Services

Last week, we welcomed CNU’s IT Services to Pizza My Mind. IT Services has a staff of about 70 employees with approximately 40 of those being students. These are the people who work to maintain CNU’s internet, phone, apps, websites, etc. They work at data centers in Ratcliffe and Luter and can also be found at the IT Help Desk in the 24 Hour room in the Trible Library.

During their presentation, led by Mr. Andrew Crawford, the CIO, they talked about a few of the projects they work on including updating CNU WiFi in residence halls across campus. They also shared some entertaining stories of massive failures like when servers had to be shut down to avoid heat damage, because an animal nested in the cooling unit and broke it.

This was a fun presentation close to the interests of students. The IT Service department speaks our language, both regarding CNU and the bigger Technological scope of things. Their ability to understand CNU and the students makes them a great employer for a job during the school year.

There are occasionally on campus job opportunities with IT Services, so keep an eye out on Handshake for future openings. One great thing about working for them is that you get to work among and for fellow students. Additionally, as they are an on campus organization, they are very flexible with hours and understand that students have classes and other activities to attend.

Thank you to CNU IT Services for joining us last week.

Pizza My Mind Welcome to the Department

Welcome back to CNU, Captains. Last week’s Pizza My Mind kicked off an exciting new year with an introduction to the department for all students, new and returning. Each organization and club was introduced, and we had the honor of welcoming a few new faculty members to the department. Additionally, the mentorship program for women in PCSE as well as study abroad, research, and service opportunities were discussed.

If you’re interested in getting involved in any of these fun things, you can get more information by filling out this survey:

For the rest of the year, Pizza My Mind will return to weekly presentations given by companies. Each Thursday a new company will come to discuss what they do and what sort of job and internship openings they have. They will answer student questions and often collect resumes, so don’t forget to bring a few copies. Pizza My Mind provides an excellent opportunity to talk one on one with the presenters, have your questions answered, and give you a good shot at being considered for open positions. 

Not only could you potentially get a job by attending Pizza My Mind, but the department sweetens the deal by offering extra points based on your attendance each Thursday. This year, the system has changed to make it easier for students to earn points. You accrue 5% of a point each time you attend, with special bonuses for the 10th, 12th, and 14th event attended. You can earn up to 2 points to apply to any one PCSE class at the end of the semester before finals. These points can make a huge difference, so make sure you come to as many of these events as you can!

This is an exciting year, and we hope to see all of you in future Pizza My Mind presentations and other department events.