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Intern Spotlight: Joey Candella, Arundel High School Senior and CAT North Completer

Intern Spotlight Tell me about yourself: I am a senior at Arundel High School and last year I completed the Network Systems Administration program at the Center of Applied Technology North (CAT North). I am currently a member of the National Honor Society at Arundel and the National Technical Honor Society at CAT North. I also participated in a few clubs at CAT North last year such as CyberPatriot and SkillsUSA. In my free time, I like to relax, spend time with family, and workout with friends at my local CrossFit gym, CrossFit Glen Burnie.

Why did you choose to pursue an internship? I chose to pursue an internship because I wanted to gain a real-world job experience early in my career and learn more about computers and technology outside of school. Also, I wanted to be able to work at a job that I enjoyed while also being able to build relationships with other people and make connections with companies and employers.

What are your plans after graduation? After I graduate from high school, I hope to attend either UMBC or University of Maryland, College Park. I want to major in Computer Engineering and hopefully continue to work at NSA.

Name and Location of Internship: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD (Summer 2018) and National Security Agency, Fort Meade, MD (12th grade school year)

Job title/department: ASPIRE Student, Asymmetric Operations (APL) and High School Work Study, Data Warehouse Platforms (NSA)

Supervisor’s name and title: Daniel Thomas, Enterprise Systems Security Engineer (APL) and Jill Calhoun, Manager (NSA)

Daily internship duties: At APL, I worked on a variety of research projects that had to do with cyber security and automation/orchestration tools. At NSA, I support an office that develops repositories to store different types of data and the metadata and content that goes with it. My role within the office once fully trained includes providing support to customers who request assistance, tracking internal actions and requests for information, and then when approved for access, assisting by submitting special compartmentalized access requests for users to gain access to NSA systems. Once customers have an account established, I help to guide and assist them in sending data over for storage on a secured network.

One thing you have learned that you will take with you: One thing I have learned through my experiences is that communication is key. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Go to work every day with a positive attitude and show your ambition to learn.

Best piece of advice that you would give to a junior who is looking to pursue an internship: Don’t underestimate yourself! Even if you think you won’t get accepted, it never hurts to apply. You might be a lot more talented and qualified than you think you are. Additionally, always keep close relationships with your teachers and counselors.

Describe one experience at your internship that you will never forget: One experience that I will never forget are all the opportunities to see all the different job skills at NSA, such as the security force, medical, etc. NSA is a large employer, and they have their own Emergency Response and Federal Police Force. The Police force has a communications 9-1-1 center, Bike Patrols, and a K9 unit. I had the opportunity to take a tour of the NSA Police Forces K9 Training facility where we got to meet the dogs and watch them in action.