My COVID-19 experience

My name is Koen and I am a graduating bachelor student, currently finishing my internship at Toreon and writing a thesis. I wanted to share my experience during these strange times, what I have been doing to stay sane and keep myself busy.

I started the year 2020 doing something new, exciting. An intership at a security firm in Antwerp. The first time actually working in the field I’ve been studying to practice for the past 2,5 years. This did not last for long though, as the entire world we live in went upside down due to a pandemic. The past couple of months have been spent working from home, which for me personally isn’t as pleasant as going to the office, talking to people, gathering around the coffee machine, etc. But it is what it is, and remote working has its ups and downs.

Many events also got cancelled or moved indefinitely. The most recent one for me personally would have been the Cyber Security Challenge, at the Royal Millitary Academy in Brussels. I was really looking forward to this one, since there’s always a lot of interesting job opportunies. Timing would’ve been great with me (hopefully) graduating this summer.

But this doesn’t mean you should waste all your time and do nothing. For cybersecurity in particular, there is always events happening online. Capture The Flags can be played multiple times a week. Using a platform such as ctftime.org can help you keep track of where and when these things are taking place. Conferences are also being held online and can be watched live or rewatched later on platforms such as YouTube.

As an IT student, your life basically revolves around computers. We are lucky in a sense that everything we do and learn can be done anywhere there is a network connection. Whether it is work or play, most of the day is spent sitting behind a screen. Be wary of your mental health though, as this can be quite taxing. A balanced lifestyle is key. So remember to go outside, and drink lots of water! Thank you for reading.