August 23, 2011
Orlando may be the last place you'd expect an internship in New York City to take you, but that's exactly where Luz Jaramillo and Nandita Rao Narla, both INI students in the Master of Science in Information Technology - Information Security (MSIT-IS) program, ended their summers. Attending the International Intern Leadership Conference in Orlando was just one of the memories these women will take away from their summer internships at the Ernst & Young LLP headquarters office in Times Square, New York.
Ernst & Young is one of the world's largest professional services firms and a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, advisory services and strategic growth markets. In addition to this, they have been recognized as one of the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune magazine and are ranked among the top ten largest private companies in the U.S. by Forbes.
"However, what is relatively lesser known is that Ernst & Young's advisory services include dedicated Information Security, IT Risk and Assurance and performance improvement practices," Nandita says.
This is the area of work her internship has focused on: IT and security risk assessments. She also worked on a project for a Fortune 500 banking client and collaborated with Luz on an intern project where they researched security trends in social media and developed a framework for social media security, with emphasis on financial firms, in the corporate context.
Other than working on this project with Nandita, Luz's intern position was in the Financial Services Office for the IT Advisory practice. Her main duties included helping a company in the insurance sector control it's risk management process in a more accurate fashion. By using a pre-defined framework she was able to help the company develop closing gap strategies and provide evidence of compliance with regulations.
"As a service provider, the firm puts people first," Luz says. "The firm invests in its employees, making sure that professionals are exposed to different learning experiences."
As interns at Ernst & Young, both Luz and Nandita got to participate in a variety of fun and beneficial activities. But, it seems that for both young women the recent Ernst & Young International Intern Leadership Conference in Orlando will be their most memorable experience. It was an amazing opportunity to network with a group of 1,900 fellow interns from around the globe through career development workshops, team challenge activities, and a visit to Disney World.
In addition to this, throughout the summer they attended workshops, conferences and social events, while also participating in "all-hands" meetings with other colleagues from different levels of the firm, from staff to managers to partners. They also took part in a scavenger hunt around Manhattan, attended a "dress for success" event where style experts came and gave advice on how to dress professionally, and also participated in community volunteer activities.
"Nandita and I attended a wonderful activity with a local Ernst & Young volunteer committee supporting 'The Access Project' from the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York's (CIDNY)," Luz says. "I also participated in a community revitalization event with the New York Street Project at Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights."
For Luz, this internship opened her eyes to the consultancy path. It finally gave her an answer to the question of whether she wants to be a technology consultant--she now knows it's a 'yes'. Also, Nandita says this internship was the first step towards her goal of having a career specializing in security in the consulting industry.
Both women accredit the skills they learned through courses at Carnegie Mellon, and also the experiences they had working with people from different backgrounds at the INI, for properly preparing them and for making their overall experience at Ernst & Young so incredibly rewarding.
"As one of the senior managers in my team put it," Nandita exclaims. "It's an all-you-can-eat buffet for those hungry to learn."
Pictured above: Luz Jaramillo and Nandita Rao Narla