2 students at the RSA Conference

ASU cybersecurity students invited to apply for preeminent conference

By

Trista Zobitz

Each year more than 50,000 cybersecurity professionals from around the globe come together to attend the world’s preeminent cybersecurity gathering, RSA Conference. During the weeklong event, attendees share their cybersecurity knowledge with other cyber professionals.

In conjunction with the annual conference, organizers offer outstanding students an invitation to attend RSA Conference through the RSAC Security Scholars program. Arizona State University was one of the first of a small number of universities to offer the RSAC Scholars program to its students. ASU’s RSAC Scholarship program is managed by the Cybersecurity Education Consortium and the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Students across ASU have the opportunity to apply for the RSAC Security Scholars program. Two ASU students will be selected to attend the weeklong conference in San Francisco completely free of charge, with all travel and registration expenses paid. Additionally, they are invited back in subsequent years, and their conference registration is waived, allowing them to meet the next cohort of scholars and continue networking with conference attendees.

The goal of this program is to raise awareness of cybersecurity degrees offered by ASU and select outstanding ASU cybersecurity students to attend the conference. It offers an extraordinary networking opportunity among hundreds of companies and a chance to learn firsthand from top cybersecurity experts from around the world.

Last spring, Muhammed Kilig and Raida Khan, both computer science majors in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, were ASU’s student representatives at the conference.

“It’s like every corner you turn in this whole conference is an opportunity,” Khan said. “We connected with the first female chief information security officer for the White House, and she said ‘Come meet me, we’ll talk,’ and we did!” Conference speakers ranged from the FBI director to actress Helen Mirren. 

“The final keynote was by Tina Fey. We’re like speechless … (because of) all the stuff we’ve gotten to do,” Kilig said.

Students who have attended in the past view the experience as a gateway to future opportunities.

“Attending the Conference was truly defining for me, as it opened up so many doors of opportunity and allowed me to meet some of the most inspiring leaders of the industry,” said Khan. “In the span of three days, I walked away with two internship opportunities.” Khan ultimately accepted an internship with Lockheed Martin this past summer.

Applications for the 2020 RSAC Security Scholars program are open now. Students interested should visit the CEC website for more information. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 15.