Internships Arm Security and Intelligence Students with Eye-Opening Work Experience | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry‑Riddle Aeronautical University junior Hannah Hoffman dreams of working for a federal agency as an investigator, and her internship at software company Verensics this summer helped her gain valuable experience toward that goal.

“It provided me with many different opportunities to gain real-world experience and apply my knowledge,” said Hoffman, who is double majoring in Global Security and Intelligence Studies and Forensic Psychology.

Hoffman was one of five College of Business, Security and Intelligence students from Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus who completed remote internships this summer through a new partnership with Verensics, which uses artificial intelligence and psychological tools to screen employees for corporate security and fraud prevention.

Recent graduate Emily Lewis credits her internship at Verensics with helping to prepare her for her current job. (Photo: Emily Lewis)

“With technology advancing for investigations, applicant screening and related security vetting, I was excited to partner with Verensics,” said Alan Saquella, instructor of Global Security and Intelligence.

A former polygraph examiner and director of security and investigations at Cox Communications for 16 years, Saquella said the interns gained valuable experience in the security and intelligence field, including using new technology for truth verification and assessing human behavior during interviews.

“My internship has given me the opportunity to put into practice skills like open-source intelligence gathering, briefing and intelligence analysis,” said Hoffman, who is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. “I compiled and analyzed data, social media and blog posts for Verensics, and created comprehensible graphs from the data collected.”

Russ Law, co-founder of Verensics, said he looks forward to hosting more Embry-Riddle interns, as the ones he has met so far have all impressed him with their intelligence, motivation and professionalism. 

“Each Embry-Riddle student brought individual strengths to the internship,” said Law. “From in-depth analysis of customer data to marketing projects to presentations to enterprise prospects, they exceeded our expectations time and again.”

Emily Lewis, who graduated this past spring with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Global Security and Intelligence Studies, credits her internship at Verensics with helping her prepare for her job as a ;global security watch officer with On Call International, a provider of travel risk management solutions and emergency assistance services.

“Learning how to work with large quantities of data and presenting it in an easy-to-read format has proved helpful,” said Lewis, a native of Wenatchee, Washington. “Understanding international affairs, how to monitor and track global events, and [how to] write in a concise manner are crucial to my job and are all skills I gained during my time at Embry-Riddle.”

Not all student interns at Verensics were Global Security and Intelligence Studies majors. Cade Cabral, who is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration, said he gained business skills through the internship, including learning more about entrepreneurship. He said he was also able to learn about effective communication in business through sitting down and brainstorming with the founders of Verensics, Russ Law and Yariv Lis.

“During my internship, I was able to apply my knowledge in real-world situations and use critical thinking to solve problems in the areas of Google Search Engine Optimization, backlink creation and overall marketing strategy,” said Cabral, who is from San Diego, California, and wants to eventually start his own company. “Working with successful entrepreneurs was very valuable, and I know that I can ask them any questions I have about my own journey.”

Posted In: Security Intelligence and Safety


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