My time as a student at the University has prepared me for my remote internship with SafeAbroad this summer. The experience is enabling me to help keep others safe as I build the skills I will need to excel in a professional environment.
July 15, 2021
I chose to apply for my internship at SafeAbroad, a leader in security consulting and risk analysis for international education, in part, because they provide students with so much experience working as an intelligence analyst. The experience isn’t only for criminal justice students, as there are many national security majors, and even psychology majors completing internships. There are projects for everyone.
SafeAbroad conducts crisis simulations, crisis predictions, and risk mapping, among other things. Because I did so much mapping and predicting in my classes because of my concentration in crime analysis, I think I’m very well prepared when it comes to working with mapping software. I can’t wait to see what we do and what we will accomplish going forward.
The company is focused on keeping students – and all people – safe and aware, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. I expect to gain knowledge that will not only set me apart from all other applicants, but also to gain experience that will give me the upper hand in a professional environment. I’m hoping SafeAbroad makes me more competitive for future career opportunities, as I have big dreams and I want to achieve them. I want to gain the skills I will eventually use in my career.
One of my projects has been to fix the current dashboards the internship uses to show and visualize all data. I chose to work on this project because I have background information in data visuals and creating charts and maps from scratch.
The biggest difference between doing it in class and at my internship is that we use two completely different platforms to create and analyze our data. In school we use a program called Rstudio, which is almost like Excel spreadsheets, but I find them to be a little cleaner and easier to use. At my internship we use PowerBI – premade maps for Excel sheets, so the base of your maps and visuals are already made.
On the dashboard I recently worked on, there was a pie chart to show how frequently a country was having incidents. It was very hard to read. I decided to use a heat map instead to show how often a country has incidents, and I represented the data by color. I used a sequential color scheme starting with a light color to represent one incident and a darker color when more incidents occurred. If I didn’t have the prior knowledge of the right formatting and color scheme, I would not know what to do.
I hope to eventually put out my own travel advisories and make proper predictions as to what will happen in different countries. I hope I get to have a firsthand look at how to work with intelligence, and what can be done with it.
My goal is to end up in any of the “three letter agencies,” and I think being an intelligence analyst intern will definitely help prepare me for my career. This opportunity enables me to gain this experience as a junior, which is invaluable.
Genesis Feliciano ’22, a criminal justice major, is completing an internship at SafeAbroad as part of the University’s Bergami Summer Internship Program.