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Deferring Harvard for a cybersecurity start-up

Kacy Zurkus | May 25, 2016
The new gap year gives opportunity for organizations to train talented students for the future of cybersecurity

Classroom learning does lay groundwork students need to consider the different paths they might want to explore. What Chen did learn at Harvard, said Gervais, provided him with a strong base of knowledge. "It was important to Michael to get real experience that would help him decide whether or not the startup environment and cybersecurity field was the right choice for him, and I think he's been able to find confidence in that decision through his time here. On our end, he's a real asset to the team in a way that no summer intern could ever be," Gervais continued.

Many college students around the world take advantage of internships and they can prove to be great experiences that often lead to future careers. "At Harvard most are discovered by word of mouth," Chen said. "You are expected to go to the most well known institutions. You are supposed to be happy at Microsoft, Facebook, or Google, but that wasn't true for me, and I would not have enjoyed my time if I stayed," he continued.

For those college students who are struggling to determine where your career should go, Chen said, "I would really encourage people to take a gap year, especially at a start-up. The experience you get is unattainable anywhere else. You can really see all parts of the company."

And while you explore and grow, college can wait. At least for a year. 

Source: CSO 


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