Software security, cybersecurity, application security – before working at Veracode I had a general understanding of these types of terms, but I did not truly grasp the depth and breadth of this industry and its critical role in society. The significant disruption caused by the pandemic has led to an increase in digital transformation efforts with more businesses operating online than ever. Consequently, the digital attack surface is growing at an alarming rate.
Prior to Veracode, I worked for a financial communications agency where I gained experience with asset management, private equity, and wealth management clients. After experiencing the day-to-day of PR agency life, I decided to try something new, and switched to an in-house position in a field that had always fascinated me – cybersecurity.
In my final week as a Veracoder and master’s student at Northeastern University, I took the time to reflect on some of my experiences at Veracode. My university’s emphasis on experiential learning encouraged me to seek out experiences where I would be able to apply my knowledge from the classroom to the real world, and because of this, I was lucky enough to work as a public relations intern at Veracode!
A Public Relations Lens in the Application Security Industry
From day one of working at Veracode, I was quickly thrown into the world of application security. During my first month, the news of a flaw in Log4j, a widely used Java library, surfaced and I was able to experience a crucial public relations opportunity. I learned firsthand the importance of staying up to date on current events and being one of the first industry leaders to share their expertise and join in on these key conversations.
The recent Executive Order on Cybersecurity is another example of a decisive industry event that I was able to watch unfold. This order sets guidelines that determine minimum standards for scanning tools, developer secure-code training, and flaw remediation. Not only did I gain a deeper understanding of the software security industry, but I learned to think from a public relations perspective. Establishing Veracode’s differentiated position in the software security market and strategizing about how to insert your brand into the news cycle were skills that I developed during my time at Veracode.
Expectations vs. Reality
Having worked at an agency, I had a general understanding of the day-to-day work of a public relations professional. Drafting speaker submissions, editing bylines, and analyzing data coverage were all tasks I expected. Additionally, my master’s degree that I completed concurrently with the internship provided me with the technical public relations knowledge and skill set. Working in-house, however, was a bit different than I expected. Having never worked in-house, I did not know if I would be able to work with others outside of the corporate marketing team and was excited that I was able to work with a variety of people across different departments.
One of the top things I discovered was how to foster meaningful relationships in the virtual world. With my manager located in London and the rest of the team in other parts of the world, I was initially nervous that I would feel disconnected from my team. I was pleasantly surprised that I never felt like I was on my own while working remotely. Every single person I worked with during my time at Veracode was eager to help and available to chat. I always felt like my ideas were valued, and that people cared about my growth and development. Although online interactions cannot fully imitate face-to-face conversations, the events at Veracode allowed people to collaborate and connect through interactive games and activities.
Being an intern can often come with a stigma – you are at an entry-level and often given the tedious work no one else wants to complete. I can confidently say that I never once felt like this at Veracode. My ideas were always taken seriously, and I was given the responsibility to own and drive various projects. I had the opportunity to present my work to a large audience, and my experience working here helped me to build confidence in my writing, presenting, and public relations competencies, teaching me the qualities and attributes of a company that I should value and will look for in the future when deciding where to work.
I want to thank my wonderful manager, Global Head of Public Relations, Katy Gwilliam, as well as the many Veracoders with whom I worked alongside. These professional and personal connections made my internship memorable and inspiring. I am grateful for the valuable insight, experience, and opportunities I acquired while working at Veracode!
This post is republished courtesy of the Veracode blog.
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