Next-Gen Networking: Our Student Member-Volunteers

Josh Chin, Michael Chau & Edmund Cheung, HTCIA student volunteers

Josh Chin, Michael Chau & Edmund Cheung, HTCIA student volunteers

If you attended our conference in Atlanta, you encountered our student volunteers at some point: at the registration desks for the event and the labs, in the corridors to assist with wayfinding, and (in one case) taking pictures for our Facebook page. If you were a speaker, you worked with at least one student volunteer long before arriving in Atlanta.

Our students weren’t just there to help us out. They were there to learn and to network, too: they’re the next generation of cybercrime investigators, and their work helped them as well as us. And they did such a great job with it all that we wanted to take the time to introduce them by name.

Edmund Cheung assisted with registration and helped get our speakers situated in their rooms. “I was also appointed to the position of conference photographer,” he says. “I basically ran around taking picture from the exhibit hall, to the lab sessions, and Tuesday night’s dinner.”

Having been involved with conference planning from the beginning of the year, Edmund found it rewarding to see how his and fellow volunteers’ hard work came together. But that wasn’t the only benefit. “I had a great time networking with a lot of great people, getting to know each other better, and hearing their stories about why they enjoy doing what they’re doing or just the importance of combating high tech crimes.”

A full-time fourth-year student at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) Pomona, Edmund is studying Business Administration with a focus in Computer Information Systems, and a minor in General Management. Upon graduating, he plans to pursue a career in computer forensics, possibly as part of an electronic crimes task force, and to obtain a graduate degree along with certifications.

Like many professionals in the industry, Edmund says he’s captivated by the way the technology is ever growing and changing – one of the main reasons he attended the conference. He plans to join HTCIA “to be part of an association that wants to promote awareness and educate those who want to battle against electronic crimes. [Also], I get to interact with and learn from the men and women in this community who enjoy their work in investigations that deal with sophisticated technologies.”

Michael Chau, like Edmund, volunteered with registration and speakers. “By helping out in this year’s conference, I was able to meet new people that share the same interest as I do,” he says. “I would say the best thing about being there was the fact that everyone is associated or wanting to be associated with [investigating] the high-tech crime that is going on in today’s reality. I love the atmosphere this association brings to the community – that of people who enjoy learning and being associated with the prevention of high-tech crimes.”

Also a a full-time student attending Cal Poly Pomona, Michael is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. He plans to work as a network analyst or in a network security position. “Being part of the first group to graduate from my high school’s technology program allowed me to realize that this particular field is what I want to do as my career,” he says. “Technology is always growing and that fascinates me.”

Josh Chin‘s volunteer role was similar: to work with guest speakers on coordinating logistics as well as ensuring their needs were met. Pre-conference, he was part of the team that collaborated with potential speakers on compiling their proposals and requests. During the conference, Josh worked with Edmund and Michael to assisted both speakers and attendees.

“For our attendees, we guided them to different workshops and lectures as well as addressed any concerns they may have regarding the conference,” says Josh. “For our speakers, we made sure they were settled in well, answered any questions and addressed any concerns they may have had. We also looked in from time to time on our speakers or made necessary adjustments to the conference schedule to balance speakers’ flight delays or cancellations”

Josh appreciated the opportunities his volunteer work gave him “to work with each of the speakers as well as network with different attendees. It was wonderful meeting everyone. Joining HTCIA is a brilliant opportunity to make friends in law enforcement, as well as gain an infinite amount of wealth and knowledge on computer forensics, and a glimpse at the challenges we’re facing on fighting cyber crime.”

Josh, likewise a Cal Poly Pomona student earning a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems and an emphasis on Information Assurance, plans “to make a positive difference and impact on cyber space, and to take a bite out of cyber crime. This field is an opportunity to make a difference in the world, ensuring that our next generation will be prepared to face the next set of cyber challenges.”

Ryan Jafarkhani did not attend the conference, but volunteered alongside Josh and Edmund as the point of contact between speakers and HTCIA. “I ensured that the speaker’ needs and questions were answered, [and I] helped solve any issues that arose. I also coordinated with the speakers to retrieve information and documentation required by the HTCIA,” he says.

Already a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (emphasis on Computer Information Systems), Ryan is an IT/Finance Auditor Associate with Beckman Coulter Inc., a manufacturer of medical lab instruments.

“I do plan on going into the computer forensics and security field in the near future,” he says. “Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to be a detective of sorts. Computer forensics provides me the opportunity to solve complex problems, work in a dynamic industry and provides the challenging career I am looking for.

“Joining the HTCIA gives me the opportunity to network with very bright and talented individuals who provide information and insight in areas of computer forensics that I may have never been exposed to before. Joining the HTCIA also exposes me to talent in both private and public (government) industries.”

Are you a student interested in joining HTCIA?

The GPA requirement we used to have has been waived completely, and school charters are active in Washington state, New England and Ohio. Those who are studying computer science, forensics, criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, accounting, auditing, or similar program of study are eligible; 10 or more Student Members from one college or university may form an HTCIA School Charter.

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