My STEP internship involved me going north to Akron Ohio and Work for The Goodyear Tire and Rubber company. In particular, i did work doing cyber security in an attempt to reduce the risk of a potential hacker obtaining intellectual property. Some of my daily tasks included working with team members to update vulnerable servers through different methods such as shutting them down and creating new storage space in more secure locations or updating firewall rules to accommodate and meet new cyber security standards. On top of that, i also worked in network architecture in an attempt to segment the network. This means that if a system where to get breached, the breach would isolated to individual systems instead of the entire network.
Overall, one thing that has changed for me is the understanding of computer systems and what fields that i should be looking into during my progress with my Electrical and Computer Engineering degree. To be honest, walking into freshman year and deciding to do ECE was a big decision. Little did i know what i was actually getting myself into. I had thought that ECE was merely computer programming and making faster computers. I actually had that expectation going into this internship and very quickly discovered that what i thought was a relatively small field was more akin to an ocean of possibilities. During my time i learned about new up and coming fields such as industry 4.0, SAP usage and development. The growing threat of cyber security and cyber terrorism and new ramification that laws that are currently being written will impact my field. So in a nut shell, Electrical computer engineering isn’t just creating computer components and designing fast computers but also involves almost all aspects of implementation and all the way to deployment and sustainability of those systems. Now that i have real world experience, i can now tailor my course load to try to meet the growing demand in the IT or Engineering field.
One of the most important interactions i had at Goodyear was with the diverse community of people that was their. Each individual person had their own story, their own experiences and more importantly their own skill set that allowed for the successful operation of the business. Everyone from my Manger Martin who was the the Senior IT Analysis to my Mentor Andy who was the admin of a small group of servers, each had their own specialties and skill set that drove progress forward. No one their was an expert on everything. No one always had the right answer but through collaboration and teamwork, we always made it through to the best possible solution. This idea of collaboration and teamwork is very different to the style of learning we learn during school. In school, we are always forced to become the master of every aspect in our learning and are forced to rely on one self to get the correct solution. Very few can say that classroom learning is collaborative beside the odd group project here and there. This is a major change in mentality that i was not really expecting during this internship and will defiantly try to change the way i think about getting solutions to problems. It was my HR manager who said that people are the most valuable resource a company can have. Not an individual person but everyone coming together to find solutions to the problems we face.
Overall, this experience has shaped how I will view my major and my course load. Some classes that i thought would be essential to my future have been out shined by the new growing demands that the computer world has been formulating. One of the big fields that i now hope to go into is the idea of industry 4.0. This is the idea of creating a closed loop system in order to create machines that can self adjust to any variations is final product design without having to have human intervention. This in turn will decrease down time and reduce waste in the long run. Another area that i now wish to learn more about is the growing threat of cyber secruity. The new goal that industry leaders are now pushing for is the idea of the Internet of things meaning that getting more and more devices such as fridges, doors, roads connected to the internet and be able to be adjusted remotely and without physical interaction. One ramification to this is that is increases the risk in hacking. Cyber security is and will be a growing field within the next decade and is another field i wish to learn more about.