Every day Symantec employees across countries and business units collaborate to deliver on our mission of protecting our customers, our communities and our planet.
We are happy to feature a quarterly series – Inspired, United, Ignited: Symantec’s Corporate Responsibility Champions – that profiles stand out examples of how our employees directly contribute to social and environmental causes. Some participate on our local community relations committees, are members of our Green Teams or champions for our employee resource groups; others are innovating to address needs in their function or region. All are inspiring others, uniting communities and igniting change to make Symantec a leading corporate citizen and to make our world a safer place.
Today we feature our Q1 CR Champion Craig Morea, Director of Security Engineering and his experience building talent and strengthening teams with Symantec’s Cyber Career Connection.
As the Director of Security Engineering for Symantec I spend many hours thinking about how to build the best team, by fostering and utilizing individuals’ strengths, efficiently applying resources for maximum impact and building a team with the diverse perspectives to deliver world-leading cyber security products.
About five years ago I was in the process of building out our team and was looking for college interns to join us. Immediately, I was contacted regarding the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (Symantec C3) program, Symantec’s signature corporate responsibility program to excite, engage and educate hundreds of thousands of students around the world, training youth as well as people of color, women and veterans in computer sciences and cyber security fields.
As part of the program, participants complete an internship to gain hands-on, on-the-job preparation. Interns are placed within Symantec and across our network of customers and partners. Since this time, I have taken on about two dozen interns moving from one or two per year to eight.
I believe internships should be useful to both parties and we want to utilize this talent while also giving them the chance to build the hands-on skills that will differentiate them in the marketplace. They become fully integrated into our team so they can grow with us – or out of us, as can often be the case. Interns begin with access to Symantec’s world-class training, then move through application of a variety of Symantec tools, then to partner products, and some move on to the most advanced tools and solutions.
Our mentoring approach is to rapidly get our interns customer ready so they can provide needed support to our team, but also ensure they leave ready to hit the ground running in their next position – whether within or outside Symantec. Through this approach, we have freed up others on our team for more strategic work, creating a system where everyone is utilized most efficiently while being challenged and building the skills to progress along their career path.
People often ask me about the nontraditional background of Symantec C3 interns. My only response is this has only strengthened them as candidates. Symantec C3 interns are nontraditional in that they have come from diverse backgrounds and most have not completed a four-year degree prior to the program. However, the talent, drive, and caliber of these interns is top-notch. They have developed skills through a training program designed by Symantec and its network of customers and partners, as well as leading non-profits in the workforce development space. They worked extremely hard to change their career – and life – path, and are hungry for the opportunity, ready to do what it takes to add value to their team and position themselves as a necessary asset. They are qualified, innovative, collaborative and have honed best practices from an industry leader – everything today’s cyber security industry needs. An added benefit: they are deeply trained in a product commonly used by most companies.
It is not surprising that approximately 60-70% of our interns have gone on to full time employment, many with leading companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft, eBay, Autodesk, TD Ameritrade, Morgan Stanley, Gap, Inc. and more.
Can you rethink your team with Symantec C3?
I am lucky that when I had the need, Symantec C3 heard my calling. I would encourage other teams to learn from my experience and think about how they can leverage this talent. It has improved my teams, challenging me to rethink how we function and in turn finding efficiencies while maximizing our teams’ potential.
Personally, it inspires me to know I am part of something bigger. Together, my teams, Symantec, our nonprofit partners, our business customers and partners, are creating the workforce of tomorrow—and future customers— and helping to close the cyber security gap by investing in the training of the future generation of STEM professionals.
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