From APR.Intern placement at NBN Co, to working with Cryptography and Legal experts as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Radboud University’s Digital Security Group in the Netherlands, Veelasha Moonsamy has come a long way in advancing mobile phone data security.

Veelasha begun her journey at Deakin University with a Bachelor of IT, majoring in IT Security and Mathematical Modelling, then moving on to Honours in IT, which lead to her PhD in Security and Privacy of users’ personal information on smartphones. During her PhD studies, Veelasha was selected to work with NBN Co through APR.Intern to evaluate company smartphone applications and determine potential risks to their business operations.

“The internship gave me the opportunity to put my technical skills into practice,” said Veelasha. “I was also able to develop my soft skills, learn the ins and outs of networking and collaboration and how to sell my work. You could be doing great work, but if you don’t talk about it then no one will know.”

Industry is becoming increasingly reliant on understanding what research is being conducted in the mobile phone security space, in order to continue advancing privacy laws that keep up with technologies. This is where cross-disciplinary collaborations are essential.

“The industry collaboration skills I picked up in my internship proved to be very valuable, especially in my current role working with cryptography and legal experts to study secured communication via mobile phone applications and the laws governing them.”

“PhD students in Europe are always travelling to conferences and internships because of the close proximity to other countries. The APR.Intern program is essentially giving you this opportunity in Australia, providing the funding and support needed to undertake the internship successfully, including checks in place like the mid-internship presentation to ensure you stay committed to producing good work.”

“Going into industry and doing an internship gives you the opportunity to learn in a safe environment with the support of your mentor,” said Veelasha. “It’s a challenge, but you learn time and stress management and you become more productive.”

The NBN Co internship opened many doors for Veelasha, exposing her to potential job opportunities throughout her placement, leading to her current role as Postdoctoral Researcher at Radboud University’s Digital Security Group in the Netherlands. The APR.Intern alumna is now looking to focus her research on not just smart phones, but on the broader category of smart mobile devices including wearables, in her upcoming role as Assistant Professor with Utrecht University.