Privacy Pathways Spotlight

Alice Marini, CIPP/E

Employment: Visiting Scholar at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society

Internship/Externship Experience: Intern at Promontory Financial Group

Education Level: Information Law Module, Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies, London, UK

What She Has To Say:

I do believe that this year has been crucial for my future career. Indeed, the focus was on the actual privacy concerns regarding the industry, such as employees’ data processing, international data transfer, new technologies, e.g., cloud computing, apps and Internet of Things, and information security threats and vulnerabilities … Moreover, during the lectures, my fellows and I were encouraged to share our thoughts and to give our contribution to the discussion; this approach has certainly fostered our critical thinking and developed our creativity in solving problems.

Last June, I took the CIPP/E certification, which has perfectly complemented my academic experience. Not only has it provided me with professional certification credentials but also with access to the international privacy community. In particular, as a member of this community I can take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of all the prominent IAPP professionals through access to their publications as well as attending IAPP events.

During the summer period, I was interning at Promontory Financial Group. It was a terrific experience that allowed me to match my fresh academic knowledge with practical and professional expertise. I was involved in many different tasks and projects and trained by the best of the industry. What I liked the most of this internship was the friendly and cooperative attitude of the team; I was indeed encouraged to ask questions as well as to use my personal creativity to solve problems.

Among the different tasks which I was in charge of, e.g., carrying out legal as well as empirical research; making PowerPoint presentations; drafting memos; attending conference calls and internal meetings, I was also responsible for developing the weekly internal “Privacy and Data Protection Newsletter,” which was meant to address the current hot topics in the area.

Overall, I do believe that this experience has been a unique motivational driver to pursue a career in consultancy as well as in the privacy/data protection area.

Why law school?

The reason why I had initially chosen to study law was that I was, and I still am, very keen on understanding the reality around me. Studying law was therefore the perfect chance to do so, as law affects everything we do in our daily life. 

This is also the reason why I am very passionate about privacy law and, in particular, to its application to new technologies, as it affects all of us as online consumers, social network users, employees, etc. Moreover, it also allows me to consider the reality from a larger perspective, as privacy is at the top of the international agenda as well as the European Union's one. 

What initially led you to privacy?

I had initially chosen to study privacy for two main reasons: As a media law student, I was extremely interested in understanding how press regulation strikes a balance between freedom of speech and the right to privacy, in particular, in relation to tabloid newspapers; as I said before, I was also interested in following a topic which already is and is going to be even more at the top of the international agenda in the next years. 

How did you first hear about the IAPP?

The first time that I heard about IAPP was during my Privacy and Information Law classes at Queen Mary (QM) University of London. My professors suggested consulting the IAPP website, as a complementary source to our reading list. It was indeed very useful, as the articles included helped me and my fellows to have updates as well as insights on the topics discussed in class. 

Making the transition from student to working professional, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

The biggest lesson that I have learned is that studying hard is not enough to become a successful professional. Indeed, being a working professional not only requires a deep knowledge of the area but also many other personal as well as interpersonal skills. Therefore, I do believe that I have to be always ready to listen to advice as well as to improve my skills and to take new challenges that can help me in doing so.

Was there any particular person, opportunity or position that shifted or reinforced your professional path? How did it affect you?

I believe that attending the master at QM was the best opportunity to reinforce my professional path, as not only has it increased my passion about the relationship between law and technology, but it has also provided me with invaluable experience, e.g., the Promontory internship and the IAPP certificate. 


Lindsey Partridge, CIPP/US

Employment: Associate—PwC's Cybersecurity, Privacy, IT & Risk Group

Internship/Externship Experience:

  • Privacy Intern—CVS Caremark, May 2013 to May 2014
    Policy review, HIPAA/HITECH compliance, policy creation
  • Legal Fellow—PPI, August 2012 to January 2013
    HIPAA/ HITECH, policy training, program support, data entry/management
  • Privacy Extern—IAPP Publications Team, September to December 2013
    Researched topics and composed articles to support the IAPP's publications, inventoried the materials that comprise the Westin Research Library

Education Level: JD, University of Maine School of Law

What She Has To Say:

I found my CIPP certification and my IAPP externship invaluable in not only learning and networking but also in advancing my career. Previous employers have told me that my privacy background and certification were highly considered when they made the decision to hire me. In this day and age, every organization needs a privacy professional!

When I externed for the IAPP, I worked in Publications (an amazing team!) on several articles that were ultimately published. I can honestly say that my experience in Publications, and at the IAPP as a whole, helped me to land my present position. As an IAPP extern, I was also given the privilege to attend a variety of networking engagements and conferences around the country. These events allowed me to meet many of the brightest minds in privacy and helped to pave the way for me to transition into any privacy group.

Why law school?

I loved the law—having a healthy love for arguing and talking doesn’t hurt either—and thought that getting a legal education would allow me to make the most impact on the things I valued.

What initially led you to privacy?

I always liked technology, but when IAPP President and CEO Trevor Hughes, CIPP, came for a lunchtime talk, I learned that privacy could be a career and took the leap.

How did you first hear about the IAPP?

Maine Law hosted a lunchtime event where Trevor highlighted privacy as a profession. In doing so, he introduced the IAPP as a great network for not only those already in the field, but also those looking to get into the field.

Making the transition from student to working professional, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I learned that life is essentially one giant learning curve. Expect at least a small learning curve with every new experience, and take it in stride.

Going outside your comfort zone is not easy. Is there an instance that stands out that you did just that to achieve a particular goal or goals?

I would have to say that parts of my experience working in the Msambweni District Hospital were outside of my comfort zone. I like to retain control, and there were cases that none of us could do anything for, and that is something I have a difficult time dealing with. While I still deal with this, my time there helped me learn that while I may not be able to control or fix everything, fixing what I can—and doing it to the best of my abilities—is all the more important.

Was there any particular person, opportunity or position that shifted or reinforced your professional path? How did it affect you?

There are many people that have all positively reinforced my professional path, and incidentally, they are all members of the IAPP. Ken Mortensen, CIPP/US, CIPP/G, CIPM, hired me as a privacy intern at CVS and gave me my first taste of large-scale information privacy. He took me and another intern under his wing and helped us enter the field. I was also given the opportunity to extern at the IAPP where I worked in Publications. The team let me write a couple of interest-based pieces and kindled my creative fire for privacy, always giving me the feedback I needed to improve my writing and knowledge. I have yet to meet an unkind person that is associated with the IAPP, so I think I have made the right career choice.

Do you have an ultimate professional goal? If so, what is it?

When I grow up, I want to be a CPO.