I got into cyber by – being in the right place at the right time with the right sponsorship.
With a system engineering degree from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) and a governance, risk, and compliance background, I had no intentions of pursuing a cyber career path until one day I was asked to lead a cyber team that ultimately led to my first Deputy CISO role in 2012.
Saying ‘yes’ when I wanted to say ‘no’ coupled with strong sponsor advocacy truly opened the doors to my cyber wonder warrior journey.
The experience that set me up for success – is the INROADS program. As a first-generation college graduate on both sides of my family INROADS provided me with C.L.E.A.R. – Communication, Leadership, Empathy, Analytical, and Relationship building skills that I have leveraged in every role thus far in my career, including my current role.
INROADS is a leader in advancing diverse youth in Corporate America by offering talented, underrepresented youth a pathway from high school to college to internships closing the opportunity and wealth gaps.
I would tell my younger self – be brave, be bold, be intentional in taking more calculated risks and give yourself grace even when others do not grant the same in return.
I played it ‘safe’ when selecting roles earlier in my career, staying in my comfort zone instead of pushing myself into new uncomfortable spaces where true learning, development, and growth happen. Once I got comfortable being uncomfortable, I was off to the races exploring and navigating the art of the possible roles which has been the most fulfilling part of my zig-zag career journey.
My true calling – Connecting people with purpose to drive positive experiences. This holds true for me personally and professionally. My superpowers include cultivating and building high-performing team cultures that drive actionable outcomes for individuals, teams, customers, and partners, alike.
My CliftonStrengths assessment results revealed my top 5 strengths as Relator, Connectedness, Belief, Learner, and Arranger which all intersect with my true calling and DNA fabric that woven together makes me, ME!