From April to September 2023, Demyd Mihal from Ukraine, had the opportunity to enhance his knowledge in the field of IT security at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB). His stay was made possible thanks to a scholarship provided by the Cluster of Excellence CASA – Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries. Over the past six months, Demyd made the most of his time in Bochum, gaining insights into information security research at the Chair for Information Security under the guidance of CASA Principal Investigator Ghassan Karame. Having successfully completed his internship and acquired new skills and knowledge, he is now seeking a position as a cybersecurity analyst or consultant in the Ruhr area. His journey took him from Ukraine to Germany, enabling him to gain various valuable insights and experiences, both professionally and personally.
Starting Point: IT Security Studies in Kharkiv
Demyd's academic journey began at the esteemed V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine, where he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in cyber security. During his studies, he actively participated in conferences, contributed to research papers, and engaged in numerous activities related to cybersecurity. Looking back, Demyd says that he greatly appreciated the high quality of education throughout his academic journey, as Karazin Kharkiv National University is one of the most respected institutions in Ukraine. Demyd's passion for the subject matter led him to work on research projects and developments in his professor's company alongside his studies.
New Chapter: Exploring Blockchain Security in the Ruhr Area
However, Demyd's academic pursuits faced an unexpected turn when in February 2022 the war in Ukraine disrupted his plans and he sought opportunities abroad. Given his prior experience with the German language and the international reputation of RUB as a center for cybersecurity in the European Union, he wanted to come to the Ruhr area. Having read several articles and books by Prof. Ghassan Karame, he was particularly interested in Karame's research at the Chair for Information Security, focusing on blockchain security. An interview between the two eventually led to an invitation for Demyd to join RUB for a six-month internship, an offer which he was thrilled to accept.
Strengthening Skills and Broadening Horizons at RUB
During his time at RUB, Demyd delved into the topics of smart-contract security and systems security, which he had already been studying during his studies in Ukraine. He sharpened his skills in building systems and helped in creating a decentralized voting platform based on smart contracts. For that he needed to enhance his knowledge in Solidity and Python. His experience at RUB also encouraged him to refresh his language skills: Demyd had previously learned German during his school years but hadn't actively spoken it for several years.
CASA's Comprehensive Support: Fostering a Sense of Community
Demyd's journey to RUB was facilitated by a scholarship by CASA that offered him financial assistance and essential support in navigating bureaucratic processes and finding accommodation. However, he emphasizes that CASA's support has proven particularly valuable in other ways as well: "One of the things I genuinely appreciate about being here is the sense of community. Everyone is incredibly open to sharing, whether it's their hobbies, experiences, or knowledge. It feels like we're all one big family. Whenever I have a question, I can turn to anyone, and they're genuinely eager to assist. They make time for me. This kind of support is invaluable, especially for someone studying abroad on a scholarship. I'm immensely grateful to everyone."
As he concludes his internship at the end of September, Demyd remains in Bochum, determined to continue his career in the field of cybersecurity within this region. His journey highlights the essential significance of international collaboration in the pursuit of knowledge and innovation.
If you are interested in helping Demyd with his next step of finding a job as a cyber security analyst or consultant in the Ruhr area, please contact him via demidmgl(at)gmail.com.
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