Yvonne Murphy’s American Internship

On a quiet, summer night in Clonmel, Ireland, while many townspeople relax after a long work day, rising senior Yvonne Murphy works with clients late into the evening. It’s part of her virtual internship with St. Louis-based World Wide Technology, one of the world’s leading IT firms.

The self-described night owl enjoys working under Midwest time-zone office hours while home in County Tipperary six time zones away. It allows her to spend time with family and friends while working in her chosen field.

Murphy is a double major in Cybersecurity and Management Information Systems with a concentration in Business Analytics. She noted how the fields complemented each other.

“Business analytics is more about building up the data and learning how to prep it, whereas cybersecurity is protecting it,” she said. “So they work hand in hand, which is what I like about it. A lot of my classes are connected and things I learn from my cybersecurity classes I can apply to my business analytics ones as well.”

For her internship at World Wide Technology, Murphy works on the business and analytics consulting services team, comprised of analysts, cloud architects and data scientists. Their current focus is on MLOps, an automated approach to developing and maintaining machine learning models, an area in which she had no previous experience.

After significant background research, however, Murphy managed to become an effective member of the team in providing client solutions. She also carries a solo project focused on how to design MLOps to use for forecasting models.

Having access to a global firm like World Wide Technology has exposed Murphy to other areas in the IT sector, like being involved with cybersecurity for one of their clients.

“I worked on updating firewall rules and got to learn various threat and vulnerability scanning techniques."

She also had the opportunity to shadow one of the company’s cybersecurity specialists. “There’s always new things and new threats and she’s (the specialist) always working on something different.”

Additionally, Murphy has worked on ethical hacking and penetration testing. Both will come in handy next semester when she takes Bradley’s popular course on the subject.

“I love how they (the company) let you dip your toe in everything,” she said. “I'm looking more now towards the security consulting side of things and that's something I wouldn't have even thought of before.”

Although she had been to Peoria twice before becoming a student, Murphy said she fell in love with Bradley’s campus after her first visit. Some of the key individuals who helped Murphy over the years are with Peoria's Sister City Commission such as Rex and Laurie Linder, and especially West Peoria Mayor Jim Dillon and his wife Laurie, who have served as her host family while Murphy is at Bradley. The family dog, Bella, has become her study buddy.

“I think it's just a great experience to be in college somewhere abroad,” she said. “Especially being an international student it's a great way to meet new people and make new friends.”

Now back from Ireland, Murphy looks forward to seeing her friends and finishing her Bradley education. Yet, she treasures her summer internship opportunity for giving her new paths to explore in the IT industry.

“This internship really opened my eyes and I think that's what World Wide does really well in their internship program, to give us the chance to meet so many different people from so many different departments and figure out what we want to do and where we want to go when we graduate,” Murphy said.

“It's definitely helped me in that regard to figure out where I want to go and what I want to do.”

- Mel Huang

Yvonne Murphy standing next to Lydia Bradley's statue.