Jenny Lam, MSci IT for Creative Industries with Industrial Experience

MSci IT for Creative Industries with Industrial Experience student Jenny Lam helped launch the Cyber Advisory Service during her internship with Xyone Cyber Security Solutions Limited.

How and why did you choose to work with the business?

“I was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a twelve week internship with Xyone. I chose them because I wanted to see how theory taught on my course was applied in the “real world”.  I also wanted to work in a professional setting as practice for post university work, and took it as an opportunity to develop my skills, knowledge and confidence.

Having spoken with Xyone at a careers fair, they seemed like a friendly, professional and upbeat company that could challenge me in a supportive environment. A brief chat about the work they do sounded interesting and I wanted to find out more about what they do on a day to day basis.”

Had you worked with a business before starting your project with the company?

“I have worked for the University’s ISS Service Desk team during my time at university, which was fantastic for developing people and customer service skills. Previous to that I have had a variety of administrative, tutoring and customer service roles as casual work during studies. However, the internship with Xyone was closer to the style of work I would want out of a career.”

What problem did the organisation face? What did they ask you to do to help them?

“Xyone provide essential support to businesses in order to secure data, assets and intellectual property against the threat of cybercrime. They wanted an intern to assist in the launch of a new service, the Cyber Advisory Service (CAS), populate the company website with frequently asked questions and information, and provide a front line service to callers to the company.”

What skills did you use and develop working with the company? Did you learn any new skills?

“The internship was a great way for me to practice and refine my project management skills, and learn about how businesses operate in an industry different to my previous experiences. My technical knowledge also improved from gathering content for CAS, as well as speaking to technical staff about their work.”

What did you do for the business?

“I project managed a new service known as the Cyber Advisory Service (CAS). I converted the idea into a workable process and oversaw its development and growth into a functioning prototype to use as a pilot. I developed the content for the online service, and outlined the procedures within CAS for future staff to follow.

“Outside of the CAS project I assisted the North West Cyber Security Cluster (NWCSC) with administration and communication tasks, and managed social media profiles for both the cluster and CAS.”

Did you get paid? Did it cost you anything? What expenses did you have and were they paid for by the organisation?

“I was paid around £3000 for the twelve week internship. This meant that I could afford accommodation over the summer period, and without this I would not have been able to take this opportunity. Travel expenses were covered by the company. Even with accommodation and living costs I still had approximately £1500 extra spending money at the end of the internship.”

What was the best thing you think you did for the business?

“The best thing I did for the business was help to develop CAS, a product which will enhance their services to their clients, and grow the company.”

What was the best thing about the project for you?

“The best thing about the project for me was meeting new people who you wouldn’t normally meet at University. I’ve made great friendships with people I still talk to now who made the entire experience really fun and enjoyable, as well as business contacts I’ve met at events that I will look forward to seeing in the future.”

What was the result- has it lead to more projects?

“Having had such a good experience with the company, we began to organise a 17 week placement which formed part of my final year of my degree. The new project was based on social engineering, which is a topic I find extremely interesting and was very excited to work on.”

Did you get a job because of it?

“The experience, skills and knowledge I gained and developed while working for Xyone helped me secure a place on an Information Security graduate scheme for Atos, who are a European IT service corporation.”

What career do you hope to pursue at the end of your course and how has your project helped you achieve that? Did it help you make any decisions on your career?

“My internship with Xyone made me certain that I wanted to pursue a career in Information Security, meaning I could focus my final year on IT security.”

Can you describe what it’s like studying at a top global 1% Lancaster University? 

“Lancaster University was a fantastic University to study at, and would definitely recommend to others. The campus is picturesque and one of the most modern University campuses I’ve seen. The campus has many facilities all conveniently located and perfect for students who have never lived away from home before. The campus is a short bus journey away from the city centre which provides a much wider range of shops and amenities to enjoy away from campus. The recently built sports centre is excellent and provide great training grounds for sports teams.”

“The collegiate system and societies mean you get to meet people from different courses, and receive plenty of support with any issues.”

Would you recommend your course to prospective students? If so, why?

“I would definitely recommend my course.  The course is tailored to develop a wide range of skills within its students, such as technical skills, project management and creative thinking. The department are supportive and flexible to allow students to gain the most out of the course.”