Interning at the LCDI: Madi’s Journey
About one year ago, I found myself setting foot on Champlain College grounds after a tiring fifteen hour drive from Charlotte, North Carolina. My dad miraculously agreed to visit this random college that I found on the internet with me. I discovered Champlain has an actual Digital Forensics major, which is rare across the country (especially in North Carolina), so I knew I had to make the journey to see it in person. The major itself got me to visit, but what really hooked me was the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation, or as I now know it: the LCDI.
Our visit to the LCDI was a stop-off in our final minutes of the day, right before we were about to start our long drive back. Inside I discovered an opportunity to get real world experience in the digital forensics field while in college. And even more, I was told I could start my first year! This locked in Champlain as my first pick, and I finished my application and submitted it later that very same week.
Needless to say, I got in and am now almost halfway through my first semester at Champlain. A couple of weeks before I started, I received an email with information on how to apply to be an intern at the LCDI during my first semester. I completed the application and interviewed for the position my second day of school. A week later I was thrilled to hear that I was accepted and placed on the Tool Evaluation team. I’d work eight to ten hours a week, in addition to completing occasional assignments for an internship class that’s paired with the work experience. This brought my total credits for this semester to eighteen, which, to be honest, seemed daunting at first. But in my experience so far, it’s all been very manageable.
My internship at the LCDI is just one of the factors that’s made my experience at Champlain different from most of my friends. In high school I went to a middle college, which allowed me to complete my Associate’s Degree in Information Technology Fundamentals during my junior and senior years. Forty-four of my sixty credits transferred to Champlain, so on paper, I technically came in as a sophomore. Because of this status, I’m already taking upper level courses. It has been fascinating working with students of every level, and each of my classes has a different dynamic.
The biggest difference I have noticed so far between home and Burlington is the amount of people who walk everywhere. In Charlotte, everyone drives to get anywhere because most of the city is spread out. It’s nice having a downtown area within walking distance I can visit whenever I want while here at Champlain. One thing I still have to get used to is the cold, but I’m definitely on the fast track to acclimate soon enough.