My name is Ori Talmor and I am a fourth-year student at the University of Guelph. Not long ago, I completed a 4 month-long term at Deloitte in Vaughan, Ontario. This blog will analyze the goals I have set for myself and the steps taken to reach them. It will also dive into my role as an intern at Deloitte, the skills I learned, and my overall experience while working there.
Deloitte is a global professional services network that provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500. During my term at Deloitte, I worked in the Risk Advisory sector as part of the Cyber Intelligence Center (CIC) which is a 24x7 cybersecurity solution. This advisory branch of the company helps organizations move towards cyber confidence in a world fixed on privacy and security. As a security consulting company, the Deloitte CIC tailors to each individual business' needs and helps them become more secure, vigilant, and resilient as a whole. My team's focus is on managed security services as security technology specialists.
This term, I was tasked with a really important project of automating a large portion of my teams toil. Most of the tooling at my disposal was new such as Demisto and Solarwinds, and so the learning curve was big. Nothing I've learned so far in school prepared me for what I was getting into so it was really a refreshing experience. My experience was unique since what I was hired for (in my job description) was completely different than what I had available to do, so it was really up to me to find something to take on based on my own self-drive. My expectations for the job based on the job contract and interview was highly focused on working with clients and their environments, but unbeknownst to me, I wasn't actually allowed to work on anything client-based. On a team that deals entirely with client work, I was really sidelined in my work, left with nothing other than taking meeting minutes and writing occasional pieces of documentation that was extremely tedious. Because of this, I took it upon myself to define my own position since my job description could not be applied as a co-op. I decided to look into the processes and tools used by the team and the organization as a whole. I noticed the lack of clear communication lines between team members as well as lots of manual toil that made up most of my teams daily routine. A large portion of every colleagues' day (more than half) was made up of investigating reports of incidents in client environments that could have been automated and reduced. I decided to get my hands dirty and work on our Solarwinds alerting tool. I created custom programs to test false postivie alerts, report real incidents, and instigate incident response accordingly. This project will end up saving the company over $150 000 yearly from very manual and time consuming tasks and will free many in the organization to do more meaningful and efficient work, thereby increasing the productivity of the division significantly. This job was out of my comfort zone as I'm used to being told exactly what to do and with a set of requirements, but here everything was up to me to achieve - no one was standing by ready to give me work to do, I had to seek it out myself. That's what made my term a great learning experience. It taught me a lot about what it is I don't want to do, the types of organizational structures I don't want to work in, and most importantly it taught me the type of things I like to work on and find enjoyment doing.
I learned so much from this work term, but I think the most significant piece is what I learned about myself - what I want to do and don't want to do. In my previous work term I came to the conclusion that I wanted to work in the field of Site Reliability Engineering and in this term I think I affirmed this conclusion. When not tasked with any meaningful work I found myself going back to very SRE related tasks without even thinking about it. Near the end of my term as I was reflecting on the last 4 months, I jokingly thought to myself that I should've been hired as an SRE rather than a analyst. I also learned that the very tedious roles of my colleagues is not something I would want to do in the future. All the power to them, but I don't think I'd be able to do the same thing every day - configuring firewalls and updating policies as client requests come in. I'm the type of person who needs daily challenges that require deep thinking and creativity and I don't see myself getting that with a full time position at my current placement. I enjoyed the company culture and my time at Deloitte, the people were friendly, inspiring, and really happy. It was really nice coming into the office daily to get a fist pump (or elbow during COVID-19) from everyone and to sit and catch up often. I definitely won't forget my time at the CIC and I'll be sure to stay in touch in the future. The skills I learned in this term could not have been taught in a better way, and I'm certain that without the opportunity I had I wouldn't have the confidence in what I want to do than I have now.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dominic Nguyen, without his guidance and ability to withstand my constant rush of
questions and FCRs (Firewall Change Requests) I would not have had the chance to make the impact I did. You were a great mentor and
friend and any future coop who shadows you will be lucky to have had you.
I'd also like to thank the rest of my colleagues on my team for their direction throughout my term, as well as for their supportive, embracing, and approachable personalities: I learned a lot from each and every one of you.
Finally, Deloitte CIC, thank you for the welcoming environment and fist bumps that occurred every morning and afternoon as I walked into and out of the office (before coronavirus). Not to mention, for pushing me to be diligent, and for allowing me to find inspiring work that kept me happy.