An ARIN Fellow’s Experience: Opening Doors to a Future in the Internet Industry
When I learned of the ARIN Fellowship Program via the NANOG mailing list, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. For several years I have actively followed Internet governance and operational communities as I prepare myself for a career in the Internet infrastructure field. As a student with little practical experience, I had, however, only observed these groups from the sidelines. During the ARIN Fellowship Program, I hoped to gain a unique perspective on Internet numbering policy, learn more about ARIN operations, clarify my career plans, and prepare for future endeavors.
Joining the Community
Applying to the Fellowship Program required just a few straightforward forms. Soon, Amanda Gauldin, ARIN Community Programs Manager, reached out to congratulate me on my acceptance and welcome me into the community. I was thrilled to join a great mix of people from a broad blend of backgrounds and locations. My cohort in the ARIN 49 Virtual Fellowship Program contained a mix of students, networking professionals, and regulators — all bringing their own insights and questions.
ARIN staff and community members quickly embraced us, making themselves available to facilitate our learning via a compelling agenda of presentations and discussions. Mentors and guests led sessions on engaging with ARIN and understanding Internet governance. At every stage, clear and timely communications let me know what to expect.
Participating in Public Policy
From my prior studies, I had a budding interest in several aspects of routing security. Fortuitously, one of these topics was the subject of a Draft Policy up for discussion at ARIN 49 (Draft Policy ARIN-2021-8). The ARIN Fellowship Program enabled me to get involved in the community and share my input.
I worked with my mentor, ARIN Advisory Council Member Joe Provo, to research and analyze the issue. He advised me how to participate effectively and constructively. Thanks to this coaching, I confidently started a discussion on the ARIN Public Policy Mailing List (PPML) and via the virtual Q&A during the ARIN 49 policy block. My comments elicited an active and enlightening dialogue, helping shape future approaches to policy development.
Shaping a Career
Overall, being a part of this program was a fantastic experience, and I believe it will open many doors for me. I am now quite knowledgeable about ARIN services and operations, and I know how to engage with the community as a future Internet infrastructure professional. My career pathway is crystallized, with a new professional network to collaborate with along the way. In the future I expect to continue commenting on policy issues and hope to attend an ARIN meeting in person.
I highly recommend the ARIN Fellowship Program to anyone interested in Internet governance, whether you’re new to the industry or a current professional. I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience the program, and I send my sincere thanks to everyone involved.
Any views, positions, statements, or opinions of a guest blog post are those of the author alone and do not represent those of ARIN. ARIN does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or validity of any claims or statements, nor shall ARIN be liable for any representations, omissions, or errors contained in a guest blog post.
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