Intern Spotlight: Q&A with Bailey Yamshak – Auburn University 21’, University of Denver 24’

Bailey Yamshak portrait

Gates Defense Systems is a proponent of the strong working relationships between the Defense Industrial Base, and academia. Over the past few years GDS has invested in an internship program with Auburn University where students interested in the National Security sector find paths to actively participate in projects which give them exposure to some unique working environments. Ms. Bailey Yamshak, (Auburn University 21’), joined the GDS internship program, working within the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) training team – learning some valuable skillsets while mixing it up with some very unique clients.

Prior to the internship, Bailey had the experience to participate in the Gates Defense Systems certified OSINT training program, where following completion of the course took her newly acquired skill sets to the US Army’s Military Advisor Training Academy, who train and educate the Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABS). That interaction led to an invitation for Gates Defense Systems to provide an open source research training session for the MATA program in mid-2019.

Earlier this year, Bailey was accepted to the University of Denver and is pursuing an additional internship within the US Intelligence Community in conjunction with her masters. “We are really proud to watch Bailey excel after graduation and further her career ambitions in our sector. Bailey represents exactly what we are looking for in this program, and Auburn has proven to be an excellent source of qualified students looking to pursue a mission in National Security.” – Michael Gates, CEO of Gates Defense Systems.

Tell us a bit about your internship with Gates Defense Systems and the opportunity to participate in the Open Source Intelligence training program?

My internship with Gates Defense Systems actually began after I was invited to attend an Advanced Open Source Intelligence training program the company was holding. I believe I was the only one my age in attendance at the time, and definitely the only one still in undergrad. I fell in love with the material and was thrilled to be offered the internship afterwards to work with the company and help make sure the trainings were able to continue in other cities around the country.

Congrats on your acceptance to University of Denver! Tell us about your decision to continue your education and how did Auburn as well as your internship with GDS help guide your decision making?

Thank you very much! I have always had a strong desire to learn, especially in subjects that I truly love and am excited about. In order to be as effective as possible when I begin my career, I felt it necessary to continue my education and further advance that knowledge. Auburn University and Gates Defense Systems were both instrumental in pushing me to take that leap, as well as my success with applications. This was not only due to the skillsets they helped me acquire, but also the amazing mentorships I gained from both places.

What advice do you have for fellow students looking to pursue internships while in their undergrad?

I would say to absolutely take advantage of every opportunity you are given. All of the hard work and time spent will pay off exponentially once you are applying to graduate school or your dream job. I would not have made it to where I am now without the experiences, skills, and mentors I gained throughout my internships. That one extra experience could be the thing that sets you apart from the other applicants, or even changes your entire career path.

So, tell us about what is next for your career?

Well for the time being, I am preparing for the long move out to Denver and getting ready to finalize class selections for the first quarter of my master’s program. I am also currently in the application process for Summer 2022 internships which could have a significant impact on my career once I graduate.

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