Meet Erica Ward! Erica graduated from Keller Graduate School of Management and majored in Information Systems Management, Information Security and is a new family member as a full-time employee. To her, the internship she had with Copart was challenging, but above all a rewarding experience. Erica says that the great experience she had with Copart taught her to always be motivated, to stay focused and always be hungry for success. She believes that interning with Copart offers a great learning experience for students to apply their academic knowledge in everything they do.
For fun, Erica likes to play video games such as Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and Portal 2, play the piano and go to concerts. Erica enjoys learning about different cultures, attending meet-ups to discuss and learning about technology, and volunteering to feed the homeless.
Erica offers advice and insight into her internship experience, her time with Copart so far, and the value she found in interning with the company:
When you were looking for an internship in your department, what made you choose Copart?
Although I was in school, I needed experience to apply my academic knowledge to real world applications. I had other internship opportunities that I turned down because I didn’t feel like I would have a great learning experience. I knew I wanted to work with Copart after understanding the expectations of the internship position with my former manager and his colleagues and seeing how much I would learn here.
What is the most valuable part of your internship with Copart?
The most valuable part of my internship was working with amazing individuals who did not hesitate to share their knowledge to help develop my skills. Because of this, I felt more than prepared and ready to transition to full-time employment.
What is one way in which you have grown/ learned something new during your internship with Copart?
I learned so much about IT governance, risk and compliance. It was definitely challenging, but also a rewarding experience that gave me a platform to gain real-world experience to leverage my skills. I also learned additional IT Security skills from my colleagues.
What advice would you give to college students who are looking for an internship in your field?
- Learn and listen to your mentor(s) as much as you can; it’s good to have a student mentality.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions; you never know if you don’t ask.
- Always continue to learn to stay relevant in the IT Security industry. The coolest opportunity in IT Security is that there’s never a dull moment to learn about threats, security software, and ethical hacking techniques.
- Network; sometimes it’s not about what you know, but who you know that can open the opportunity to you. My suggestion is to attend Meetups because there are plenty of technology networking events that can help build your career.
What is one of your favorite memories while interning with Copart?
One of my favorite memories while interning with Copart is when I went to a Dallas Stars game with my co-workers.