Hiba Fatima, an information network and computer security major, has always been fascinated with information security and hacking exploits. “It was always my dream to become a hacker,” she says. But rather than exploit information, Fatima wants to put her knowledge to “serve her nation and protect it.” Her long-term goal: To become a security expert at the NSA.
When it came time to settle on a school in order to pursue her passion, she only applied to one university. “NYIT is the only school that offers my major. All the other institutes don’t have a specialized course for information network and computer security,” she says.
And now she will have the opportunity to take what she has learned and apply it in the real world. She recently started working with the Department of Defense (DoD) as a cyber future operations intern.
Fatima heard about the opportunity through NYIT. “I received an email with a proposal for the DoD Information Assurance Scholarship Program,” she says. She wasted no time in filling out the application.
More than 40,000 students across the United States applied. After three months of waiting, Fatima received an email telling her she was a recipient of the prestigious scholarship. “I couldn’t believe it. I was in a state of shock and excitement,” she says. “I kept reading the email over and over to make sure I wasn’t day dreaming. I feel proud of myself to have achieved this position and scholarship. It’s a dream come true for me.”
Fatima credits NYIT for helping her reach her full potential. “I love my professors. They are so supportive and knowledgeable,” she says. “The staff and faculty members make sure we are in good hands and help guide us towards a better future.”
She is certainly well on her way to a successful career. “The experience I will receive from this internship will have a great impact on my future,” says Fatima. “I always wanted to work for the DoD and now I am. I am looking forward to achieving my goals.”
But it wasn’t just applying for an internship that got her where she is today. “Your GPA does matter,” she joked, before offering this advice to incoming students: “Just be yourself and work hard on your ambitions. NYIT can be the bridge which can take you to your dreams.”