May 24, 2024

Jamila is not the new kid on the block nor a fresh grad out of cybersecurity college program. Jamila has lived a few chapters already and she’s about to write her next chapter about breaking into cybersecurity. That’s right, her journey isn’t a conventional one, nor an easy one. But Jamila has an unrivaled drive and the kind of grit and willingness to learn and work hard most people lack. It’s a matter of opportunity and someone recognizing Jamila’s potential waiting to be unleashed. I know that she will do amazing things as I’ve already seen her grow as a STEM educator, PTA volunteer, cyber student and working mom. She’s simply unstoppable. Just watch!

Recommendations from Jamila

  • WiCyS has a scholarship sponsored by (ISC)2 to gain the Cybersecurity Certification, an entry-level cybersecurity educational program.
  • Find your tribe: ISSA, WiCyS etc. When people know you, they may find you opportunities for you.
  • Leverage multiple mentors to learn from their journey and perspectives.
  • There’s no right or wrong way into cybersecurity. Whatever you learn on your journey are transferrable skills.
  • Don’t get intimidated by the job descriptions, recognize that nobody is a unicorn and anyone should apply for an opportunity where they meet some of the skills needed.
  • Be honest and human in your interviews.
  • You can’t know everything, but you should know how to be resourceful and the right questions to ask so you learn and grow.
  • In cybersecurity, you have to be learning.
  • If you love problem solving, you may like pen testing. Try CTF, Capture The Flag, programs.
  • Understanding regulations across various geographies can be an edge that can set you apart.
  • Understand you why, the purpose you pursue to join the cybersecurity workforce.
  • We are all responsible in teaching the next generation how to be safe in this digital age.
  • Don’t quit!


Cathy Olieslaeger

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