My summer as a GreyNoise intern

For approximately 12 weeks this summer, I got to work as an intern on the GreyNoise Intelligence research team. During my time in the GreyNoise internship program, I did great things with amazing people while learning a lot about the workplace (as well as myself).

GreyNoise intern team project - IoT vulnerability research

Given an arsenal of ideas, the intern team decided to centralize the primary goal of our summer internship project around finding a vulnerability in an Internet of Things (IoT) device, release a proof of concept, disclose the vulnerability, and then track the lifecycle of the vulnerability using the GreyNoise dataset. While we did not end up locating a vulnerability, the experience of attempting to achieve this task taught me many non-technical skills.

Walking into this program, I did not have prior work experience. Having previously done contracting, the process of working with a team – let alone communicating with a group – was a whole new experience for me. I had many opportunities to hone my communication skills (which I learned is an area that will always need improvement) and to grow relationships with the research team. Looking back, one of my favorite experiences was observing how everyone on the research team interacted both inside and outside of the office and how they supported each other throughout the day.

When I assisted the research team (and didn’t work on the internship project), I was able to contribute to a company mission that I feel passionate about, which isn’t a luxury that many people have. Working alongside the researchers gave me the opportunity to meet people from other departments (e.g., engineering, data science, sales), and I enjoyed seeing how the various teams interacted and how well everyone meshed together.

As related to the job function, I was able to learn about how the research team produces content for blogs, writes tags, and interacts with customers. I learned how to answer a customer’s request for technical support, and I researched the (now deprecated) EternalBlue tag to better understand what customers were experiencing.

In terms of personal betterment, I learned that while I used to be good at time management, I can easily unlearn that skill. I realized the importance of working on communication with others, staying focused, setting realistic expectations for myself and the speed at which I can work, and setting a structured schedule for when things need to be completed. In hindsight, I think the reason I was able to get other things done (like school assignments) was the fear factor, but I know that’s not practical in any setting and that milestones for progress should be set on my end without stressing myself out.

Key takeaways from my GreyNoise internship

Below are some of the key takeaways I’ve gleaned from my experiences during the summer internship program:

The intern program was a fantastic experience overall.

  • I had the chance to discover more about GreyNoise from an internal point of view.
  • I was able to learn about what each team does and how they do it.
  • The biggest challenge was time management; different factors ended up shortening the amount of time that was allocated to actually completing work.

The internship allowed me to grow as an individual, both technically and personally.

Technical growth:
  • I learned much about the project, how research functions, and how engineering operates. 
  • I got to experience deep-diving into different rabbit holes (both research and non-research related) to see how those areas relate to the main product.
Personal growth:
  • I learned more about how I operate in a work environment, as well as an understanding of what I need to improve in order to successfully complete tasks within a timeline.
  • I experienced growth in my communication skills by interacting with the research team and participating in work-related social events (I tend to be either super-introverted or super-extroverted, so it was good to find a balance between these two traits).
  • I adapted skills from advice and mentorship that assisted me in communicating thoughts and opinions both inside and outside of the workplace.

Overall, I learned a great deal both technically and professionally from interning with the GreyNoise research team this summer. I discovered that I deeply enjoy conducting all sorts of research, then writing about the research. I obtained valuable workplace skills and realized that I have a lot more to learn about working in the real world. I’m extremely grateful to have had the experience of working at GreyNoise this summer, and I’m excited to see how the company grows – and I have absolutely loved being involved.

This article is a summary of the full, in-depth version on the GreyNoise Labs blog.
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