Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Remote: The virtual internship as a solution
The 21 years old Iranian Elahe Sadeghi had been supposed to travel as an exchange student from Iran to Bochum in April 2020 and do a three-month internship at Casa (Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries). At least that was her plan before Corona.
However, the pandemic and the political situation did not allow an internship in person. The solution: a remote internship. You could also call it a virtual internship or home office internship. The concept remains the same and is being used in more and more areas of work where work can be done on the computer. So what would be better suited for this than an internship in IT security?
The cluster Casa (Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries) is based at the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI) at RUB and has been funded by the German Research Foundation since 2019. It is considered internationally as one of the leading research institutes for IT security.
But how did the remote internship come about?
Sadeghi studies mathematics and computer science at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran in Iran. During research for her studies, she came across scientific papers by Professor Eike Kiltz. He is a mathematician and researches in the field of cryptography of the future at Casa. His research focus is on the theoretical foundations of asymmetric encryption methods. Impressed by Kiltz’ work, Sadeghi contacted the RUB researcher about ten months ago.
For the ambitious student it was clear that she wanted to delve deeper into the subject of cryptography and gain experience in doing research. Convinced of Sadeghi’s dedication, the internship was made possible online despite obstacles.
What did the internship look like?
The young researcher completed the full internship as planned. Under the supervision of Eike Kiltz, Sadeghi was entrusted with a research question and dealt with digital signatures in cryptography. As far as theoretical work is concerned, it’s plausible to expect that the human aspect of an internship as well as networking might be neglected.
I was worried that, working remotely, it would be difficult to connect with people.
This is also the Sadeghi’s concern. But the weekly Zoom meetings and e-mail conversations, in which she was able to exchange ideas with the team around Prof. Dr. Kiltz, proved that the opposite was true.
As part of the research team, she also contributed to drafting a scientific paper on the results of the research, in addition to her internship, and she continues to exchange ideas with her former colleagues. The Iranian student concludes: “It was a great experience and I have learned a lot.” She recommends the concept of the remote internship.
If a conventional internship in person is not possible, you should consider the option of a remote internship.
For the future, Sadeghi is aiming for a Master’s degree after completing her Bachelor’s degree, but the young researcher is not ruling out a PhD either – perhaps even at RUB.
16 October 2020