4 Things you should know before you graduate from college

College is the best place to hone your talents, skills, and discover yourself. On the other hand, that is not what most college students do.

I do not mean to say that college should be all about your books, no. College is about learning from all aspects of life. From emotional well being, financial perspective, intellectual, among others. However, most people use the time to live a reckless life.

We all know that that is not what your parents expect from you. Their number one expectation is for you to get all the discipline you require for the next phase of your life. Here are positive tips that would be of great assistance and impact for any graduate.

1. Use your time in school well

One benefit of going to campus is that there is a lot of time in your hands. You have a responsibility to use it well or let it go down the drain.

According to various studies, scientists found out that students use 36 percent of their time sleeping and 14 percent of their time pursuing educational activities. Choose to be different. Use your free time to study, do extra research, meet with your professors and ask if you can be of help to them.

Campuses also organize frequent seminars. These seminars help students improve their skills or teach them new ones. On that note, please avoid skipping class at all costs. It may bring in detrimental effects to your studies.

2. Learn a new skill or language

The job world is not a bed of roses. Many people think that once they finish school, they will get a job directly. Your certificate may not be the only thing you require to get a job.

Your curriculum vitae should be top notch to attract potential employers. Therefore, use the extra time to learn a new skill or language. For instance, if you are taking a course from abroad, learn the local language.

Statistics say that people who can speak more than one language have a high potential of earning a job. Additionally, your skill could enhance the ability you learn in your course.

3. Get a part-time job

Instead of spending time lying around, or partying, use your extra time to earn some money. People who do this have more benefits than those who waste their time in the institution.

One benefit of a part-time job is the fact that it helps you gather experience, though the compensation may not be enough. Use it to gain skills and learn about the job environment. By the way, you could also use some of the amounts to offset your college fund.

Additionally, look for internship opportunities. It will be a great way to get some exposure and an excellent opportunity to get your first job once you graduate.

4. Make the right decisions

By now, you should be confident with the course that you selected. Always make the right choices. You will need your friends from time to time, but you have to make decisions for yourselves.

Think about the lifestyle that you would want to live, the people in your inner circle, and the type of job that you want to do. Early decision-making will make it easier when you have tons of responsibilities on your hand.

You will not have to adjust your paths. Do not wait until your graduate for you to do what you want. Start to go for it early when you are still a student.

Conclusion

Do not be frustrated because you could not get a job one you graduate. As long as you present yourself in the right way, you will be happy that you made the right decisions in college.

Career Foundry is there to help anyone who wants to be the best at his or her workplace. Contact us to them some of the best career courses in the job market.

This is Why Science is Awesome!

Science is pretty cool, in fact, there are some current development in this field that has the potential to change our lives forever and for the better. Get the low down on the most important ones below.

It’s saving lives

It’s no exaggeration to say that scientific projects that are currently being worked on have the potential to save millions of lives. In particular, developments such as gene therapy and nanotech are at the forefront of this.

Developments in nanotech have the potential to save lives because of things like carbon nanofiber can be used to fashion safety gear that is not only thin and light it is also comfortable to wear as well.  Garments that can be fashioned from this include items like cycling helmet and gloves, as well as bulletproof vests that easily fit under regular clothing. Something that has the potential to save many lives, and improve the safety of some of the most dangerous jobs, including those in the emergency services and the armed forces.

Gene therapy science is another area that those interested in how scientific developments have the potential to save lives. Of course, the most obvious application of this is to seek out and replace faulty genes that lead to disease, with healthy ones.

However, immunotherapy is another application of this method that is demonstrating promising results. Although, to understand precisely how the technique works it is useful to learn about gene therapy in more detail first. Something you can do by searching the topic and specific studies online.

It’s helping to make the world cleaner

Another reason that you could say the field of science is awesome at the moment is the surprising developments that are helping to make our world a cleaner place.

Of course, at the forefront of this movement are the clean, sustainable energies. These are energy sources that don’t rely on the consumption of fossil fuels, and so neither use up the earth’s limited resources or pollute the atmosphere in the same way.

Then there is the move towards electric vehicles which is only being made possible due to the development of high capacity lithium batteries that will allow journeys of a significant distance.

Lastly, there is the use of nanoparticles that are being developed to solidify toxic nuclear waste. Something that makes it much easier to collect and so dispose of safely, and so has the potential to make the world a cleaner place.

It’s making communication easier

Lastly, science is also pushing the boundaries concerning the ways that we communicate and experience things. After all, it may soon be commonplace to be able to speak face to face with a person that is across the other side the world and have that experience as if they are actually standing there in the room with you via VR.

Don’t worry the translation tech that is coming out, doesn’t actually require you to put a fish in your ear!

Lastly, a scientific breakthrough that has massive ramifications for everyone is the development of a real-life Babelfish technology. Yes, that right with Pixel bud headphones you can now speak into Google translate and get it to process and repeat what you have just said in another language and vice versa. Pretty awesome, indeed!

Supporting A Friend After An Accident

One of the most difficult things that anyone can go through, is seeing a friend – a close friend – at a loss. After an accident, the shock can make it hard for your friend to tell you what they need. It’s okay, though, because you should already know your friend enough to step up and take control where they can’t. An accident is shocking. It’s hard to know what move to make first, but don’t panic. Below, we’ve got some of the best ways that you can confidently be there for a friend after they go through the horror of an accident.

Keep Them Mobile.

Depending on the severity of their injuries, you need to keep them mobile. This doesn’t necessarily need to get them on their feet, but it does mean getting them to and from appointments. This means taking them to the doctor for their follow-up appointments after their injuries, to the supermarket to get their essentials, and even to The Law Offices of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP so that they can discuss any injury claims after their accident. Your friend needs the extra ear to listen to their trauma, talk them through things that aren’t even related to their accident and to provide humour and support post-accident.

Important Documentation

As well as travelling to appointments and being a listening ear, your friend may be too injured, too shocked or just too traumatised to cope with the paperwork and keep on track of their documents. Insurance needs to be dealt with, healthcare documents need to be dealt with and helping them to put together a document folder could be a huge weight off their shoulders. Organisation at a time where they are not able to be organised for themselves can make a huge difference in their recovery.

Logical Steps.

When your friend has gone through such a trauma, it’s hard for them to think straight about what should be next in life. Remind them about their appointments and their insurance. Remind them to talk to their employer about going to work – or not, as the case may be. Provide them with steps to take to get life back to as normal as possible.

Bring Food!

No one wants to cope with the basics of cooking and taking care of themselves when they have had an accident. Life doesn’t stop, but their life has, even for a while. Batch cook some meals or pay for takeout for a few days; you need to help them to eliminate the simple stuff so that they can focus on the harder things. A meal doesn’t just keep them happy and fed, it means that you really do care about their recovery.

Caring for a friend after an accident isn’t easy, but you need to be there for them to lean on as much as possible. They’ve gone through the trauma, and they need you now more than ever. Let them lean and let them use your listening ear. The kindness you show now will matter more than ever before.

Family Fall

There are four seasons but three of them have better PR agents. Winter has snow and Christmas, spring has blooms and flowers, and summer has the weather. Autumn isn’t as well loved as the others, which is a shame considering it’s October. What are we supposed to do – chill for the next couple of months?

Of course we shouldn’t because that would be boring, not to mention pointless. As it happens, fall time isn’t as vanilla as it seems. In fact, it’s a perfect time to be with family and bond.

With that in mind, these are family fall tips you should try this autumn.

Lock Up The Motorcycle

Summer is an amazing time to break out the chopper and go on long rides. There is nothing like a breeze ruffling through the hair and you explore what Mother Nature has to offer. The thing is riding a hog in the hot, dry conditions is much easier than doing it in the wet. Plus, there is the wind to factor in. An accident claim is only around the corner when you don’t take precautions. Remember that you can’t enjoy family time this fall if you’re using crutches, which is why you should swap the bike for a car.

Gear Up For Halloween

As it stands, the scariest holiday of the year is only 21 days away. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun. Halloween is an incredible day because it’s fun for everyone. Parents and “old” people alike can dress up and let out their inner child just like the kids and teenagers. Granted, you might embarrass your children but they have a mask so no one will know it’s them anyway! Make a month of it by decorating the house, visiting a pumpkin farm and creating the ultimate outfit. As always, the most creative costumes win the best prizes.

Channel Your Inner Briton

We’re only separated by an ocean yet our customs couldn’t be different. Every 5th of November, the Brits build ‘bonfires’ and set off fireworks to remember Guy Fawkes. He was the guy behind the gunpowder plot by the way. Okay, it might be their tradition and it has nothing to do with the US, but who wants to turn down s’mores? Plus, the Thanksgiving is just around the corner so you can always top-up on your nationalism if you feel like a bit of a culture vulture. By the way, be sure to cook a turkey and eat as a family on the fourth Thursday of November.

Watch TV

There’s no better way to bond than to sit in front of the box and watch TV. During the summer, this is tricky because all of the best shows go on a summer hiatus. Well, they’re back now it’s October, and they’re back with a bang. So, call the kids down from their rooms and tell them the fall television season is here. Then, throw the popcorn in the microwave and sit back and relax.

Doesn’t that sound like an unbelievable way to spend the next few months?

The Unofficial OSCP FAQ

It has been close to a year since I took the Penetration Testing with Kali (PWK) course and subsequently obtained the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification. Since then, I have been hanging out in a lot of Slack, Discord, and MatterMost chat rooms for security professionals and enthusiasts (not to mention various subreddits). When discussing the topic of obtaining the OSCP certfication, I have noticed *a lot* of prospective PWK/OSCP students asking the same questions, over and over.

The OffSec website itself covers some of the answers to some of these questions, but whether its because people don’t read it, or that it wasn’t made very clear, these questions keep coming back. Here, I will attempt to answer them as best I can.

Disclaimer: I am not an OffSec employee, nor do I make the claim that anything that follows is OffSec’s official opinion about the matter. These are my opinions; use them at your own risk.

  1. Do I have enough experience to attempt this?
  2. How much lab time should I buy?
  3. Can I use tool X on the exam?
  4. What note keeping app should I use?
  5. How do I format my reports?
  6. Is the HackTheBox.eu lab similar to the OSCP/PWK lab?
  7. Are VulnHub VM’s similar to the OSCP/PWK lab?
  8. What other resources can I use to help me prepare for the PWK course?

According to the official OffSec FAQ you do need some foundational skills before you attempt this course. You should certainly know your way around the Linux command line before diving in, and having a little bash or python scripting under your belt is recommended. That said, it’s more important that you can read code and understand what it is doing than being able to sit down and write something from scratch.

I see many people asking about work experience, which isn’t really covered by OffSec. For example, people wondering if 3 years of networking and/or 1 year being a SOC analyst is “enough.” These questions are impossible to quantify and just as impossible to answer. What you should focus on is your skills as they relate to what is needed for the course.

To do that, head over to the PWK Syllabus page and go through each section. Take notes about things that you are not sure about, or know that you lack skills and expertise in.

Once you have a list made, start your research and find ways to learn about what you need to get up to speed on. For example, when I was preparing for PWK, I knew very little about buffer overflows. I spent a while watching various YouTube videos, reading up on the methods by which you can use a buffer overflow exploit, and taking notes for future reference. Once I started the course, I was able to dive into the exercises and understand what was going on, at least a little bit beyond the very basics, which helped me save time.

In the same boat? Check out this excellent blog post about buffer overflows for something similar to what you will see in the PWK course. Also, while I haven’t tried it yet, I hear that this is a good buffer overflow challenge you can practice on.

Buy the 90 day course in order to get the most out of the experience and not feel crunched for time — especially if you work full time and/or have a family.

With 90 days, you can complete the exercises in the PWK courseware first, and still have plenty of time left for compromising lab machines.

I see this question a lot, perhaps more than any other. People want to know if it is safe to use a specific tool on the exam, such as Sn1per. The official exam guide from OffSec enumerates the types of tools that are restricted on the exam. It is pretty clear that you cannot use commercial tools or automated exploit tools. Keep this statement in mind when wondering if you can use a certain tool:

The primary objective of the OSCP exam is to evaluate your skills in identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities, not in automating the process.

If a tools helps you enumerate a system (nmap, nikto, dirbuster, e.g.), then it is OK to use.

If a tool automates the attacking and exploiting (sqlmap, Sn1per, *autopwn tools), then stay away from it.

Don’t forget the restrictions on Metasploit, too.

From what I have heard, even though OffSec states that they will not discuss anything about it further, people have successfully messaged the admins to ask about a certain tool and gotten replies. Try that if you are still unsure.

I wrote a lot about this already, so be sure to check out that write-up. In short, these are the main takeaways:

  • Do not use KeepNote (which is actually recommended in the PWK course), because it is no longer updated or maintained. People have lost their work because it has crashed on them.
  • CherryTree is an excellent replacement for KeepNote and is easily installed on the OffSec PWK Kali VM (it is bundled by default on the latest/greatest version of Kali).
  • OneNote covers all the bases you might need, is available via the web on your Kali box, and has clients for Mac and Windows.
  • Other options boil down to personal choice: Evernote, markdown, etc.

Check out the example reports that OffSec provides. From those, you can document your PWK exercises, your 10 lab machines (both of which contribute towards the 5 bonus points on the exam), and your exam notes.

I do not recommend skipping the exercise and 10 lab machine documentation, thus forfeiting your 5 extra exam points. I am a living example of someone who would not have passed the exam had I not provided that documentation. Yes, it is time consuming, but it prepares you for the exam documentation and helps you solidify what you have learned in the course.

There are definitely some worthy machine on Hack The Box (HTB) that can help you prepare for OSCP. The enumeration skills alone will help you work on the OSCP labs as you develop a methodology.

There are definitely some more “puzzle-ish” machines in HTB, similar to what you might find in a Capture The Flag event, but there are also plenty of OSCP-like boxes to be found. It is a good way to practice and prepare.

See the above answer about Hack The Box, as much of it applies to the VulnHub machines too. I used VulnHub to help me pre-study for OSCP, and it was a big help. The famous post by Abatchy about OSCP-like VulnHub VM’s is a great resource. My favorites were:

  • All the Kioptrix machines
  • SickOS
  • FrisitLeaks
  • Stapler

There are a lot of resources that can help you pre-study before you dive into the course. I will post some here.

Books

Online Guides