Claudia Ventresca is a second year student in the Master of Information and Cybersecurity program. Previously she worked as the VP of Engineering at Rebloc.io, a New York-based startup, building a data-enriching platform utilizing smart contracts and blockchain technology. Prior to the I School, Claudia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information systems from New York University. She is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in the future.
Where did you receive your undergraduate degree?
I earned my undergrad degree from New York University, with a concentration in information systems and a focus on leadership and management. I was already working in the field as a systems engineer and at the time I thought it prudent to pursue my MBA. I interviewed with Stern and Wharton’s MBA programs and was surprised to find out it wasn’t the direction I wanted to steer in. I decided to wait a little longer before further pursuing my formal education.
Why did you choose the I School?
I chose the I School not just because of its excellent reputation and a stellar array of faculty who both practice and teach, but also because of the school’s broad scope and vision. The I School not only focuses on advanced technology and policy frameworks but also on the social implications of both those areas. These are areas that I think are extremely important to both learn about, train in, and affect change in a positive way as we collectively navigate our way into the new century.
What’s been your favorite class so far and why?
It’s really hard to pick a favorite class because they have all been challenging and rewarding. Marie-Helen (Maria) Maras is an exceptional thinker and instructor; her class, W242: Government, National Security, and the Fifth Domain was wonderful because of her teaching style, the subject matter, and the passion, knowledge, and drive that she brought to the classroom.
I also thought Cybersecurity W211: Operating System Security with Matthew Garrett was an incredible class because of the wealth of knowledge and clarity that Matthew was able to share.
What aspect of the cybersecurity world intrigues you the most and why?
The aspect of cybersecurity that is most intriguing is the problem domain itself as it relates to the human component. An interesting area for me is how game theory can play into cybersecurity and privacy. I am of the opinion that game theory’s defense angle is not what can aid privacy and security, but rather the intelligence of the system itself and how it can leverage predictive analytics to understand weak areas of the system — where breaches can happen, before they happen. We’ll see how my further studies will change my mind.
What has been the most surprising thing about your experience at the I School so far?
How approachable everyone is, and how passionate and engaged everyone is as well. The I School is very much a ‘living’ school where theory and practice go hand-in-hand.