Challenged, Supported, and Believed In: Angela Gentile on AnaVation
Angela Gentile’s internship prospects were uncertain for the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged, many opportunities for entry level experiences disappeared. However, there was some good news for her amidst the panic. “While peers lost their internships at giant tech companies, AnaVation was able to adapt quickly and plan a new virtual internship program in a short amount of time. Little did I know I was about to step into the beginning of a wonderful and fulfilling career,” she said, reflecting on her first experience with AnaVation.
“After watching AnaVation adapt to all the challenges that came with 2020, I knew this company valued each employee and considered interns an investment for the future,” she said.
After completing her BS in Computer Science at George Mason, Gentile accepted her first full-time job at AnaVation. While new and exciting, the shift from school to full-time work is a big change that brings its own set of anxieties for new graduates. “As my first job post-grad, I was worried I wouldn’t succeed. Up until my employment with AnaVation, I had always been a student and was slightly intimidated by change and work ‘in the real world’. Over time, those worries have completely disappeared. With the mentorship, guidance, and encouragement of my supervisors, I am confident in my abilities and feel empowered to keep learning and growing,” said Gentile.
Gentile has held software developer and cyber engineer roles and currently holds the role of cyber security architect/engineer. Through these different roles, she appreciated contributing to meaningful work. Gentile explained, “Typically, in the industry, someone at an entry level software developer position might expect to be working on legacy projects doing bug fixes. At AnaVation, I have always been given the opportunity to contribute real work that makes an impact.”
Gentile feels fulfilled when challenged, so her supervisors at AnaVation challenge her and open doors for new opportunities to grow. “In the first few years of my career, I have been put on the frontlines: working directly with our customer, creating useful software projects from scratch, performing demos for customers, and more. I will always be thankful for the opportunities I am constantly presented and the faith my supervisors and fellow AnaVators put in me,” said Gentile.
One new skill that Gentile built upon at AnaVation was database design. “While designing a software system with my team, we realized we had created a flow of important data that needed to be accessed in the future. I used the skills I learned from school to design a database from scratch along with my team to successfully complete our system.”
Gentile had the opportunity to attend the Blackhat USA 2022 Security Conference through AnaVation. “Until then, Blackhat was a dream of mine that I’ve only ever heard my computer science professors tell stories about. Little did I know I would be attending myself just a year after graduating. I love AnaVation’s encouragement for education and I will hopefully be attending the conference again soon,” she said.
Another memorable AnaVation moment for Gentile was attending Washington Business Journal’s best places to work awards ceremony in 2021. She said, “It was awesome to celebrate this achievement with fellow AnaVators. I’ll always remember walking across the stage and accepting the award on behalf of AnaVation.”
When asked what is keeping her at AnaVation, Gentile replied, “Along with all the other wonderful perks AnaVation has to offer, being challenged, supported, and believed in is what has kept me at AnaVation.”