Please welcome our 2021 Summer Intern, Benjamin Kravets! Benjamin is currently interning with our Information Technology department. Learn a little more about Benjamin in our mini interview with him below!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I live in Pennsylvania about 2 hours southeast of Pittsburgh with my parents and one of my brothers (I have another brother; he teaches in Ohio).
I enjoy cooking, electronics, programming, reading, and anything outdoors. This summer I am working and learning through my Cybersecurity internship here at Holland, and this upcoming school year I will be finishing my Computer Science Bachelor’s at Liberty University in Virginia. I recently finished my CompTIA Security+ certification, and I stay involved in cybersecurity outside of work through my school’s Cyber Defense Club and my personal projects.
- Why did you choose Holland to apply for an internship?
Holland’s goals and forward-thinking culture both in values and industry performance are all important to me. Between family, respect, partnership, integrity and improvement, I believe family is the most important attribute of Holland’s day to day operations. It is very meaningful to have a good family in my personal life, work, and industry. There’s plenty of good people at Holland and in railroading who are helpful and friendly, and that’s cooler than the Fonz leaning on a ‘57 Chevy. I am very thankful that Holland and the Curran group have elected to keep the internship program going this summer, especially considering how crazy the past year has been. Getting a foot in the door before I graduate is a valuable learning experience that is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
- Walk us through an average day of your internship.
6:55 - My superpower is waking up 5 minutes before my alarm clock goes off. I get out of bed- less promptly then I would like too- and head to the kitchen to make my coffee, sunny side up eggs, and toast.
There should be enough time before work to start going over news feeds, forums and articles. I keep up with computing and security trends through a variety of social media, news, and vendor websites, all relevant to Holland’s security posture or one of my own projects. Information security is more of a lifestyle than a career, so I do my best to stay cognizant of current trends and conversations pertinent to tools, operating systems, apps, vulnerabilities, and practices that I find either interesting or important.
This type of reading is both a professional and personal interest since good practices in my life contribute to well-rounded decisions at work. Good information security practices are osmotic between my personal network and the corporate information systems I help maintain.
Today I’m donning a Holland trucker cap- thank you to the employee engagement team! (In case you were wondering, no- my desk is usually not this neat ?)
9:00 - I start off my day checking emails (who doesn’t?), and screen for anything that needs attention immediately. Aside from any pressing items, I start on documentation or testing, the two major functions of my internship. I start at 9:00 because I’m on EST.
10:00 - I meet with my manager (Tim Rushing- cool guy if you haven’t met him) almost every day to review issues that need to be addressed or projects that I am contributing to. I am very fortunate and thankful to have a manager who has been working to help build, maintain, and secure Holland’s technology infrastructure since I was learning to walk. Never have I ever been in one of our check-in meetings without learning something new about organizational networking and computers in the business environment.
11:00 - I continue working on documentation or testing. Documentation helps us complete audits, identify risks, stay compliant, on-board new employees, and make decisions. So far, I have completed network diagrams and information collection on permissions. More information means better decisions, so a large part of my job is learning about corporate information systems by keeping tabs on permissions, authentications, and anything else that could become a security risk.
Testing helps us (again) identify risks, find issues, and make decisions. Our team works to find vulnerabilities or issues before a bad actor does (when I say bad actor, I mean a hacker, not Nicholas Cage). Holland is continuously improving its security posture by rolling out fixes, monitoring solutions, and awareness-driven information that keep mission-critical functions safe for us and our customers. I am very fortunate to help with this process and learn a lot in the process.
12:00 - I break up my day with lunch and try to get away from my home office by going on a short walk around the neighborhood.
1:00 - The rest of my day is spent doing more documentation and testing that I planned out in the morning. Tasks here are many and varied, so there’s never an assignment I can’t learn from.
4:30-5:00 - I’m out for the day and will spend the evening working on a personal project that involves programming or networking, or taking a break from computers by hiking, cooking, or reading. There’s no end to learning with computer development, so I do my best to stay curious. I’m looking forward to the next day of working, learning, and contributing.
Working from home has its ups and downs, but I can’t complain about the commute.
Welcome to the team, Benjamin!