For Andrew Rink, a summer internship may lead to a career of a lifetime.

Rink, a WSU computer science major, worked two internships over the last two summers for the Department of Defense at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, WA.

During the first year of his internship, Rink was assigned to a software development team, where he performed software testing for nuclear submarine defense systems. The following summer, Rink found was assigned to a cyber security group doing research and development.

“I got to jump in on some of these projects and it was really cool to see the process of it,” Rink said. “I learned a lot in the first few weeks, then later on I got to use what I learned to try solve problems and it was really rewarding.”

Six members of the Computer Security Group posing for a photo at PNNL.
Rink (top row, second from the left), with the WSU Computer Security Group at the Department of Energy’s CyberForce Competition at Pacific Northwest National Lab.

During his internship, Rink got an in-depth tour of the naval base, including tours of nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers.

“My dream job would be to work on an aircraft carrier and do something physical like setting up and testing network and security systems,” he said.

Rink also received a scholarship from the Department of Defense, which paid his tuition and helped him with his living expenses in exchange for a minimum service of one year after graduation.

“It’s a guaranteed job after graduation and I don’t see myself leaving after one year, so it was really a no brainer,” said Rink.

Voiland College’s Career Services was a big help in finding my internship,” Rink said. “They are a huge help to a lot of people I know.”

As a freshman, Rink became a part of the Boeing Mentorship Program, which pairs participating students with a Boeing employee who helps students develop cover letters, resumes, and professional skills. Rink also participated in industry tours and was able to tour big companies in Seattle, including Amazon and Disney.

“Career Services Director Sandi Brabb helps with interview practice and has so many contacts,” Rink said. “She brings so many important people to campus to give talks and is really helpful in getting you in contact with them.”

What advice does Rink have for students seeking jobs or internships?

“Get help with your resume and interview skills—they are important,” said Rink. “Two big things that helped me are networking and staying in touch with potential employers that I’ve met. It is interesting to see how much a small personal connect makes a difference.”

“Companies love seeing that you’re involved in extracurricular activities,” he added. “Everyone does well in school, so showing that you have something you do outside of your regular classwork to go above in beyond helps you stand out.”