MSIM students' internships include video games, cybersecurity

Here’s a look at how some students in the iSchool’s Master of Science in Information Management program have been spending their summer:

Sonal Srivastava 

Interning at Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, California. Blizzard is a video game developer and publisher of games such as World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and Starcraft.

Q: What are you working on?

A: I am interning as User Experience Researcher and Designer. The first phase of my work is exploratory research to find out how our players play games and how they interact with players in and out of the game. This is a critical to understand since 67 percent of U.S. households play video games and an in-depth study is imperative to find out how we can make the gaming experience more valuable to our users. I am involved in competitive analysis, user interviews, survey, white-paper analysis and usability tests to uncover what our players value in any game they play. The next phase of my work would focus more on designing prototypes based on the insights gathered from the first phase of the project.

Q: What’s your favorite aspect of the internship?

A: I have had a great time at Blizzard, so it’s a bit difficult to single out one favorite aspect. Out of multiple positive factors, there are two things I would say have contributed the most in making my internship so valuable:  First, the impact of the project. My project deliverables will be live in the next few months and would directly impact millions of gamers, which is both exciting and humbling. Secondly, user experience is a comparatively new field and many organizations are still struggling to make the optimum use of it. However, Blizzard understands the power of user experience and has incorporated it in its structure seamlessly. This, in turn, has helped me ramp up quickly and learn a lot.

Another great aspect of the internship has been the people I have worked with. Blizzard employees are extremely passionate about the work they do and are dedicated to make the company even more successful. This creates a great working environment filled with passion, enthusiasm and fun.

Q: How will your internship help with your career objectives?

A: My career objective is to help create delightful user experiences that positively impact millions of users. My internship is a great stepping stone toward realizing that career path.

First, the internship is helping me develop skills in real-world industry settings where every decision I make directly impact users. This has helped me apply my classroom knowledge in real work settings. It has also helped me in assessing skills that are critical for me to excel in this field.

Second is personal development. In an industry setting, I have to work with multiple different stakeholders and it has helped me foster my collaboration and communications skills. The internship has also provided me an opportunity to discover my passion, realize my strengths and find out my areas of improvement.

The third is directly related to the talented and amazing set of people I am working with. It is helping me create a network of experts and friends who I can learn from as I move ahead in my career.

Aditya Gandhi

Interning at Oracle in Westminister, Colorado

Q: What are you working on?

A: I'm working as a full stack intern. I and another intern from Princeton are building a tool that collects metrics from a multitude of sources and enables users to build custom reports on the fly.

Q: What’s your favorite aspect of the internship?

A: The best part of the internship was that the onus of driving the project was completely on us. We were given the responsibility of arranging meeting with stakeholders across the organizations and drafting the scope and the requirements of the project. We then designed the system, developed it, demonstrated it on a bi-weekly basis and incorporated the feedback. It wasn't like we weren't supported or the project was a token project crafted for the interns. This system will solve a big problem faced by upper management at the Oracle Data Cloud. The freedom, the responsibility and the challenge were perhaps my favorite aspects of the internship.

Q: How will your internship help with your career objectives?

A: It'll help be build information systems and not just from a technology standpoint. This internship was perhaps the first time I was actively involved in steering the direction and the pace of a project.

Yogesh Sharma

Interning at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in Seattle

Q: What are you working on?

A: I am working in the 'Advisory' line of service, with the 'Cybersecurity & Privacy' practice. Plainly speaking, we engage clients and perform security audits and testing on their technology infrastructure and help them with implementing new solutions to make their systems more robust and secure. We also help them perform risk assessments and then implement measures to mitigate those risks.

Q: What’s your favorite aspect of the internship?

A: One of the most attractive aspects of this internship is working as a part of Attack and Penetration teams, trying to hack into client networks and fish out vulnerabilities and loopholes in their systems. It is a challenging and daunting task to get into the roles of malicious hackers and perform attacks involving a blend of technical and social engineering methods (and ensure that we don't get caught). I have learned a lot and expanded my knowledge on various tools, techniques and best practices in this domain. 

Q: How will your internship help with your career objectives?

A: I have been pursuing the Information Security specialization track at the iSchool. This internship has given me valuable experience on the form of client interactions and hands-on work in the field. The business and technical acumen that I garner will help me shape a better career as an InfoSec Professional.