In a school as specialized as Champlain College, the pressures to find a job within your field of study are more prevalent than other schools. The classes you take provide you with the tools and knowledge you’ll need directly out of college, and part of preparing students with what they need is creating outlets to gain experience. The Senator Leahy Center for Digital Investigation (LCDI) is one of these outlets. I began working at the LCDI as a sophomore in order to gain experience and get a better understanding of the knowledge I was acquiring in my classes. In my time with the LCDI, not only have I been able to apply what I’ve learned in class, but I’ve gained practical knowledge that surpasses what can be taught.
During the summer of my junior year, June 2014, I landed an internship in the litigation department of Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP (DHG) in Charleston, South Carolina. I worked in the digital forensic lab with two other digital forensic examiners. During my time at DHG, I was exposed to different tools, as well as provided with an opportunity to apply knowledge I had learned during my time at Champlain College, including looking through emails, documents, internet history, and mobile device data.
Working at the LCDI was instrumental in the success of my internship, especially working on research & development in addition to forensic cases. The research & development provided me with the skills to effectively communicate with my co-workers, as well as being able to find the information I needed in regards to tools I might not have been as familiar with, like Intella or Lantern. When it came to actually working on confidential cases, I was confident about how to follow procedures, such as writing down all the steps taken while doing analysis, as I had prior exposure to this during my case work at the LCDI.
Champlain College prides itself on having some of the most prepared students in the field. Most job listings require candidates to have a certain amount of experience prior to applying, and at the LCDI, students gain the experience and knowledge needed in order to join the workforce prepared.