The Tenable Intern Program: Learning to Work Collaboratively
Tenable’s 2016 Internship Program hosted 26 interns in 8 departments for 9 weeks. Interns gained hands-on professional experience, networking opportunities, and valuable mentoring relationships. Tenable also treated our interns to several lunch-and-learns, a bowling outing, a Star Trek movie night, and an Oriole’s game.
Elizabeth and Maddie joined Tenable as Market Research Interns on our Strategy team. Elizabeth is a rising senior, majoring in Marketing with an Information Systems minor at Loyola University. Maddie is also a rising senior, majoring in Economics at Johns Hopkins University.
Elizabeth and Maddie sat down with us at the end of the program to discuss their intern experiences and achievements.
Tenable: Why did you choose to intern at Tenable?
Elizabeth: The main attraction for me was that the position was an internship in market research, and there were very few companies offering similar internship positions. However, the more I started looking into Tenable, I thought that the security industry was very interesting and could be a good field to explore. As an information systems minor, the industry appealed to me because I could apply what I had learned in those classes. Once I started interviewing for the position, everyone I met had great things to say about Tenable, which made me more excited about a potential internship.
Maddie: I chose to work at Tenable for many reasons. First, the growing and expanding market of cybersecurity is extremely exciting and I thought this would be an awesome experience to learn more about that. Also, during my interview process, everyone I talked to had positive things to say about Tenable, which made my decision even easier. Furthermore, the headquarters location in Columbia, MD worked perfectly for me, so it helped seal the deal.
Tenable: What was your favorite project you worked on this summer?
Elizabeth: I enjoyed all my projects, but my favorite was the Future Sales Growth Indicators project I worked on with Maddie for the last month. This project was very cool because it was something Maddie and I had the idea for, based on different things we were each doing at Tenable or had done in school. When we told our supervisors about the idea, they were excited about it as well. It was very motivating, not only to work on this project we designed and watch the results progress, but also to feel that this project we developed as interns is something that can make a contribution to Tenable’s future.
Maddie: My favorite project I worked on this summer was also the Future Sales Growth Indicators project. Elizabeth and I worked collaboratively on the project. Our goal was to determine which indicators from various countries have a correlation with sales data, to help identify countries that have a high potential for future sales growth. The project was really exciting to work on.
Tenable: What did you like about Tenable’s company culture?
Elizabeth: So many things! Everyone was so welcoming and supportive of the interns, and taking us seriously as fellow employees. The freedom to pursue projects we were interested in was something I never expected in an internship. Another thing I really appreciated was the flexibility in hours. If there was a day I had to work from home because I didn’t feel good, or if I needed to take an hour off for an appointment, they were very understanding as long as I completed the appropriate number of hours for the pay period.
Maddie: The culture at Tenable is awesome. All of the people I met were very friendly, willing to help, and excited about their work. There was a lot of support for new ideas and new ways of thinking, which is really cool. People work together and collaborate on projects which I think is very beneficial. Moreover, there is a real balance at Tenable and everyone really seems to love what they do and enjoy working, which I think is an extremely attractive attitude of employees at any company.
Tenable: What lessons and experiences did you get out of this internship?
Elizabeth: There several lessons I learned throughout the course of the internship, between the intern activities and the projects I worked on. The lunch-and-learn sessions with different departments gave me more insight into what other people - both on the business and technical sides - do on a daily basis for Tenable. I also learned about other departments on a more basic level just from speaking with the other interns about their experiences. From the projects I worked on, I gained a lot of great experience in competitive intelligence and market evaluation, and learned what I like about each type of project to consider as I look for a career. Those projects also taught me some more general lessons as well, including: when working with large amounts of data, attention to detail and organization are essential; focusing on the end result of more in-depth or research projects can make the process to reach the result seem longer – it takes time and patience to reach the exciting end result; and sometimes with projects making estimates, things will never be perfect, but you always have to look for how it helps and what ways it could possibly be built upon to be made even better.
Maddie: I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that in a market research role, not everything is set out for you; rather, you get the freedom to explore and research what interests you, which I really liked. I also learned that when given the opportunity to collaborate with other people, the outcome is much greater than when working alone. For example, for the Future Sales Growth Indicator Project, working together with Elizabeth enabled us to bounce ideas off each other, try different approaches, assure one another of outcomes, and motivate each other. I also learned that processes involving substantial amounts of data require attention to detail and can be difficult to organize at times. I also learned that patience, when completing quantitative projects such as the one I was working on, is essential. While it can be easy to focus and think about the end result of the project, it can take a lot of time, hard work and patience to get there.
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