After a year and a half of online classes, a virtual high school graduation, a virtual convocation and orientation at university and only interacting with others virtually, I was skeptical about doing a 9-week internship remotely. With zoom fatigue and social isolation setting in, I expected long workdays filled with socially awkward meetings where we would hide behind muted mics and turned-off cameras. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this internship would not be what I expected.
The InStep Global Internship at Infosys this summer was an amazing experience and opportunity – one that truly allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. I was fortunate to be able to work on a project that I was passionate about and learn from my mentors who were experts in their fields. The InStep Internship team held numerous events, like game nights, cooking sessions and even art sessions where I got to meet other interns. I was also chosen to represent Infosys in a series of videos entitled ‘A day in the life of an InStep Intern’ that were posted by Vault.com on LinkedIn. Lastly, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to meet and share a conversation with Mr. Narayana Murthy, one of the co-founders of Infosys.
The InStep Hackathon, InStep Hacks, was another highlight of the internship. Over the 48 hours, we brainstormed and developed a software that allowed companies to enroll their staff in courses. Furthermore, Infosys is the official digital and innovation partner for the ATP tennis tournaments, and as an avid tennis player, I was thrilled to be able to attend a meeting about the Infosys Tennis Portal and software. It was exciting to see how Infosys was revolutionizing the sport with their real-time data analytics and technology.
Over the 9 weeks, I assisted Mr. Srinivasakumar Lakshmanan in the cybersecurity department at Infosys where I developed a fully functional software that automated the process of passive reconnaissance in penetration testing. The software, which was developed in python used a variety of sources such as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and python modules. The software allows users to enter a domain name. Information about that domain and its subdomains are then collected from open sources. The data is organized and stored in a NoSQL, which keeps track of the changes made to the domain, subdomain and even typo-squatted domains over time.
This experience taught me not to shy away from a project simply because I am not proficient with the skills required. Through this internship, I learnt a wide array of technical skills in both the field of cybersecurity and software engineering. Firstly, I learnt a new language: Python. Along with that, I also learnt how to use APIs and a NoSQL database. However, perhaps, most importantly, I learned how to learn. Computer Science is an extremely broad field, and it is constantly evolving. It is crucial that one is able to stay updated with the trends and skills required. Before beginning this project, I had never used python, APIs or NoSQL, but I took the time to learn, practice and apply my newly acquired knowledge.
As I continue my journey at Duke, I know that the skills I learnt over the summer, the friends I made and the mentors I got to build a relationship with, will stay with me.