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!

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