By: Hailey Temple

While students at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) study and practice today’s developments in technology, many of the developments for tomorrow’s technology are coming to life in Silicon Valley. This summer, iSchool junior Ross Lazerowitz is not only experiencing the fast pace of life in this technology hotspot, but also taking his education beyond the classroom.

Lazerowitz is interning as a product security team member at Splunk, a software company that manages, collects, and analyzes data from physical and virtual environments for businesses. Known as the “Google for IT data,” Splunk’s software runs on large business networks and creates big data solutions for large sites. Splunk is based in San Francisco, CA, where Lazerowitz is spending his summer working with a team performing security assessments on the software and developing applications to ensure security for Splunk’s clients.

Silicon Valley companies are well known for their casual yet professional atmospheres and Lazerowitz finds that Splunk is no exception. With a basketball court, barbecues, and office celebrations, he says he enjoys the fun atmosphere. “Despite Splunk’s size, it stull feels like a startup because of it’s casual atmosphere. There are lots of smart people in a casual environment who get things done. I definitely feel like a part of the team because of the freedom and I am really impressed by the staff.”

Lazerowitz had the opportunity to visit the Splunk’s headquarters during Spring Break in Silicon Valley this past March, a trip hosted by the iSchool that allows students to meet with companies around the San Francisco Bay Area. Lazerowitz found that the trip gave him the opportunity to make the connection that led to his internship with the company. “When we visited Splunk on SBinSV, it provided that launch pad I needed to make the connection with the company. I was persistent to reach out to them and the trip allowed me to talk to people to make this opportunity possible,” said Lazerowitz.

While he notes that his passions stray from the iSchool’s main curriculum, Lazerowitz appreciates the unique educational atmosphere the iSchool provides. Working alongside students from universities across the nation, he realized the value of the close connections he can make with professors at the iSchool. “Speaking some of the other interns, I found they don’t have the chance to walk in to their professors’ offices to hang out because of the highly competitive nature of the program. At the iSchool, I like that I can make those connections with my professors in a more casual atmosphere,” said Lazerowitz.

With his passion for entrepreneurship and technology, Lazerowitz has learned to appreciate education beyond the classroom. Through his experience with Splunk and cofounding BluArc Media, he pushes himself and others to leave their comfort zones and learn something new. “Never be afraid to leave your comfort zone. There are times I am at Splunk and feel I am outside of my comfort zone, but have to be self-motivated to learn and do more.  If you are interested in something set a goal and try to do it, don't just read but learn knowledge and apply it where you can because that's what an internship is for — part of this is learning.”