Huge congratulations to Akhil who completed an internship with Vodafone this summer. He talked to us about his internship, the work he's been doing, the in's and out's of the application process and his experience of the Bright Network FESTIVAL.
Why did you apply to Vodafone?
Since year 12 I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to secure technology internships with firms in a variety of sectors. However, I really wanted to explore cyber security, preferably within a firm in a different sector. Vodafone are one of the few very large companies that offer internship opportunities in cyber security and so I decided that I really wanted to work there. In my past internships I’ve seen many of these large firms work very closely with Vodafone and so I was quick to realise Vodafone’s reach into other industries. Not only then did Vodafone offer a role in cyber security but they also offered the opportunity to collaborate with some of the largest companies in the country.
Why did you want to pursue a role in cyber security?
Cyber security is always something that has really fascinated me. I like the fact that it’s a high-pressure job, in which the whole company is relying on you and your team to keep the organisation’s infrastructure secure. These high-pressure situations are where I feel I excel. The requirement for a serious attention to detail and the tiny margins of error obviously contribute to making this a really high-pressure role but this kind of work is what really appeals to me.
What was the application process like?
Surprisingly, it was quite a short process. There were a few initial online tests: verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests plus a situational judgement test. After these I had to sit an online video interview, in which my responses to questions were recorded and then submitted. Finally, the last stage of the process was a Skype interview with my line manager. The process only lasted about a month.
What did you do on your internship?
It was a 7-week internship. I was placed in the Cyber Defence Incident Management (CDIM) team and had to solve ‘incidents' using established models for containing and mitigating cyber security risks. Working in a global company meant that I was extremely fortunate to work in a team of Incident Managers from countries all across the world. As soon as the team realised I was performing well. I was allowed to report on incidents to senior management. I was given real autonomy from the get-go and given the opportunity to get involved in real risks to the company, which I absolutely loved.
How has Bright Network helped you throughout your career path so far?
Firstly, I saw the listing for the Vodafone internship on the Bright Network website and so I applied through you to Vodafone. Secondly, I found Bright Network’s networking events incredibly useful. I went to the Festival last year with limited experience in networking, which meant I found the event particularly useful as it gave me an opportunity to network and interact with professionals. I also gained a great insight into different careers and industries. Arriving at the festival, I didn’t know much about which career path I wanted to pursue, but I left with a good idea of some roles and firms I would choose to apply to. There were also a whole host of talks at the Festival, which I found particularly beneficial as many of them taught me how to differentiate myself from other candidates, how to be memorable and what are good interview techniques.
What three tips would you give to your fellow Bright Network members?
- Go into interviews with the mindset that you are the best candidate for the role. This will give you the confidence you need to make a strong impression on the interviewer.
- Research a company and a role intensely. Read online, watch videos, message and email people asking for more information, ensure your knowledge is not superficial.
- Be transparent about yourself and what you’re good and bad at. This transparency will show that you understand yourself and how you fit into the role you’re applying for. It also makes you much more personable.