My Summer 2022 Internship

By Aiden Bullis

Welcome to end of the summer 2022.  As many college-age people do, I had an internship for the summer of 2022.  I chose to spend the summer doing work in the field of homeland security. The Gate 15 Company offered me an internship back in June of 2022 and I accepted. As I head back to classes, I took a moment to reflect on my internship.

The Gate 15 Company is a company that “strives to be a contributing partner to the community of homeland security and intelligence professionals supporting organizational and individual security, resilience and freedom.” (About Us). The mission encompasses many, many different areas, and I was welcomed to be part of the team that provides operational support to the Faith-Based Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (FB-ISAO). The FB-ISAO provides members with informationanalysis, and capabilities to help reduce risk while enhancing preparedness, security, and resilience. FB-ISAO is an all-faiths and all-hazards information sharing organization.

As an intern, I focused on producing the Faith-Based Daily Journal (FBJ) as well as the Faith-based Daily Journal Highlights. Respectively, the two publications provide a daily round-up of events (all-hazards – physical and cyber) from around the world that may impact faith-based organizations and a daily report of open-source information that is directly applicable to faith-based organization. The Faith-Based Daily Journal Highlights organizes the report into categories based on FB-ISAO’s Priority Intelligence Requirements for easy reference by the reader.

The first day of my assignment involved observing the manner in which the open-source information that feeds into the publications mentioned above is collected, racked and stacked. During the observation phase, the team was extremely good at slowing down to explain why certain things go into the Journal and others do not, the order of items, and how to compile the final product. On my third day, I was handed the entire project and was told to get it back for review. Needless to say, I was nervous and unsure as to whether I could put the product together independently, but I gave it my best go. Over the course of the next days and weeks, I continued to refine the process of building the products as independently as possible. I received daily feedback on ways to improve my process for collecting the needed information. I did not expect to be given that much autonomy but found that I was able to rise to the challenge. With each passing day, I was told that I came closer and closer to what the final products should look like. On my final day of production, I hit the nail on the head! This was only made possible by the Gate 15 approach of empowering team members to make mistakes while teaching them and allowing them to give their own ideas towards the projects.

I also worked on an open-source data collection to gather information on incidents of hostile events at Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. That decision has contributed to an environment where FBOs are the targets of abortion-position-related arson, vandalism and other hostile events, on top of the various types of threats they routinely experience. The data will inform a report that will be made available to the faith-based community for their situational awareness. Though I was given general direction for capturing the data, I was also given a great deal of leeway in determining how to present the data.

Overall, my internship with Gate 15 was professionally challenging at times, however, I learned that challenges could help one grow professionally.  Though my time with Gate 15 was short I hope that I provided the team with enough support because I know they provided me with a great experience.

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