Almost everybody knows or at least has heard of McAfee, that is certain; but how is working for McAfee? The answer to this question came along with one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Currently I am a PhD student in Wright State University, Ohio and this summer I was offered the incredible opportunity to intern as an Anti-Malware Researcher in McAfee in Beaverton, Oregon. Most of my life I have been practicing my skills in an academic environment, which I am accustomed to. However, I always wanted to see firsthand how a typical workday is when working in a big business and at the same time hone my skill-set and abilities to a modern business’ demands.
Before crossing the doorstep of McAfee my feelings were strong and mixed. In one hand I was overly excited to work for one of the leading companies in my field of research and on the other hand I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated by the company’s big name. So my first day at work came and I dressed as I believed anyone working at a cubicle for eight hours would — that is to say business casual; only to feel entirely too formal upon walking through the doors and surrounded by denim, t-shirts, friendly chatter and smiling faces. To my delightful surprise, I felt immediately at home.
The people I met were very friendly and understanding and I quickly came to the realization that this is the ordinary case in everyday work. McAfee provides a fun and casual environment for smart people that excel in what they do and have fun along the way. The desk I was given is spacious and very well-equipped, so I can carry out my daily activities efficiently. In general, the facilities in the company’s building create a pleasant and relaxing setting. I especially enjoy Friday breakfast, where we are always provided with delicious, surprise treats and have another chance to mingle.
As for my work, I found that my initial expectations were quickly surpassed. In almost a week I was exposed to a whole new world evolving around the research and development of cutting-edge methods and products. I am constantly excited by the new valuable things I learn every day, as well as the opportunity to apply all the knowledge I had acquired to a security product that defends against real-world malware. My duties include field-research for new malware, especially stealth malware like rootkits, analyzing it via reverse engineering and providing an extensive description on the techniques they employ in order to infect a computer system. Moreover, I am accountable for extending their existing protection coverage so as these kinds of attacks are successfully detected and thwarted by McAfee’s security product.
My advice for future interns would be that this is an experience you should not miss. Be prepared to face real responsibilities and be always alert in order to adapt and provide quick solutions to problems that arise daily. This provides the ideal situation for an intern, who would like to garner as much knowledge and experience as possible. In conjunction with the friendly and professional environment of McAfee, the effort becomes highly enjoyable. Last but not least, the feeling of being a contributing member of a professional team of experts is really indescribable.
In conclusion, my internship here at McAfee will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable experiences in my life and will greatly influence my future aspirations and employment opportunities.