Carnegie Mellon University

Students standing with alumni with copies of a book in their hands

April 26, 2024

INI Alumni Karan Dwivedi and Raaghav Srinivasan Publish "Kickstart Your Engineering Career"

By Evan Lybrand

INI Communications

Starting on the path to a new career can be a challenge for anyone. To help, Information Networking Institute (INI) alumni, Karan Dwivedi (’16) and Raaghav Srinivasan (’16), gathered their experience in their new book, “Kickstart Your Security Engineer Career” and shared that wisdom at their first book signing event at the Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley (CMU-SV) campus. 

Dwivedi and Srinivasan noticed the students they were mentoring raised the same questions about how to enter the security field. The pair debated the best way to help, settling on a resource that would provide a comprehensive walkthrough on how to get started. This resource became their new book, “Kickstart Your Security Engineer Career.” Sections focus on the knowledge, skills and experience key to entering the field, all pulled from the combined experience of Dwivedi and Srinivasan. 

Dwivedi began his Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) degree in 2014, and in 2015 he joined Yahoo as a security intern. During his internship, Dwivedi worked to demonstrate his passion and interest in learning about the role and the company. In two months, he received a formal offer for a position and returned to Yahoo after graduation. Dwivedi entered his new role just as Yahoo suffered its largest data breach and, although it was a stressful time, he turned it into a unique opportunity to develop his skills and understanding. He went on to join Google’s detection response team in 2018.  

Srinivasan, a Master of Science in Information Technology-Information Security (MSIT-IS) graduate, also started at the INI in 2014. Like Dwivedi, he began looking for an internship as soon as possible, securing one with Visa. After graduating, Srinivasan was ready to enter the workforce; while Dwivedi continued working for Yahoo, Srinivasan chose to explore the realm of startups. He connected with an employee of the tech startup Hellosign while attending the RSA conference, and that meeting stuck. Srinivasan joined Hellosign as its first security engineer, remaining at the company through its acquisition by Dropbox.  

Both Dwivedi and Srinivasan have now entered management roles, and with these new positions, they saw the value their experience could have for the next generation of technical leaders. In 2020, the pair took the first steps to write their book. They pulled from their combined experience, the questions they were getting from their mentees and their knowledge of the skills required to succeed as a security engineer. The result is a  holistic guide for those interested in pursuing and thriving in a  security engineer role. 

"Kickstart Your Engineering Career” is filled with practical resources including suggestions for the types of courses to pursue and exercises to practice. It also includes helpful insights to keep in mind while beginning the journey toward a security engineer career: 

 Embrace your individual journey.  
“Everyone has a unique journey.” Srinivasan said. “Your journey is going to be different than ours. Don’t get discouraged. keep focused on what you want, and things will fall into place.”  

Network authentically.  
Being able to authentically network with others can make all the difference in the job search.  

Land before you expand.  
Focus first on securing a job and then explore where you can go from there. 

 “Kickstart Your Engineering Career” is now available on the book’s website, along with several resources to guide an aspiring security engineer.