August 5, 2021
JOURNEY INTO CYBERSECURITY

Nia was the first person who reached out to me via the website’s contact page after seeing Gina’s podcast post on her LinkedIn Feed. She wrote: “I fell in love with the company’s mission and goals. I would love to share my story if you would consider me!”. And boy am I glad she reached out and we got to capture her Journey into Cybersecurity!

We talked once before our interview and I was blown away by Nia’s dedication to the various causes she supports, the investments she makes in her community, her family and herself. I also reviewed other videos she is featured in and was amazed by her eloquence and depth of knowledge on so my cybersecurity and compliance topics.

I am so inspired by Nia and her story as I can relate to her as a woman, a working mother, an eternal learner and aspiring mentor. I absolutely love her “Dream Big” motto and how that is helping her achieve big goals and making a big impact, while challenging society’s stereotypes and the limits of her comfort zone.

I hope you will enjoy my chat with Nia and that she will move you to pursue your dream on your terms and use the valuable lessons and resources she shares with us. And don’t forget to pay it forward like Nia does.

Nia’s Recommendations

  • Dream big! No dream is too big.
  • It’s possible to pivot from a military career to a professional
  • Cybrary and Udemy for online cybersecurity learning
  • Defense Acquisition University: free courses for as long as you’re a service member. They are transferable ACE credits.
  • Be bold. If you want a mentor, ask for someone’s mentorship. Keep it short and sweet.
  • Dr Crystal Williams
  • Cyber Girls Academy – quarterly cyber in tech sessions.
  • Every journey has obstacles. Find lessons in the experience of obstacles. Find the silver lining.
  • It’s ok to be vulnerable and ask for help.
  • Face fear by taking action. Get out of your comfort zone and recognize the growth you benefit from.
  • Embrace and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Take that weakness and turn it into a strength. That’s where the magic happens.
  • Visual CV, CV Maker, ResumeUp are great resources to build your resume with.
  • Veterans built skills during their service that can be used in cybersecurity. They can be administrative or leadership skills.
  • Vision boards can help you visualize your success.
  • Smart Goal Building (1-3 year) and Hard Goal Building (stretch long-term goals) are important in developing a roadmap to success.
  • Measure your success and look back at your accomplishments.
  • Management program – breaking down critical barriers.
  • Anything worth it, takes hard work.
  • Lead by example.
  • Don’t lose sight how you can make a positive impact on your children.
  • There is no growth without failure. Embrace the failures or missteps and learn from them.  Put the lessons in your toolbox and carry them with you and serve you.
  • You’re not successful because it was handed to you.
  • Be fearless. Fear is natural and use it as a shield.
  • Don’t let others dictate your path. Do whatever you want.
  • Be honest. Integrity it critical.
  • Be humble.
  • Relationships matter. Words matter.
  • High school students should look into college programs accessible to them as well.

Resources & References

Biography

Nia Luckey is a true innovator. She doesn’t see obstacles but rather opportunities for growth, improvement, and alignment. As an industry leader, she has established two 501c3 affiliate chapters in her local area of North Carolina. The Information Systems Security Association of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg and the Women’s Society of CyberJutsu Eastern Carolina. She also sits on the Extended Board of Advisors for Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Cybersecurity Program. Nia’s focus is on having difficult and unique conversations that lead to success and career transformation. She uses the same approach to her daily job. She is a firm believer that if the strategy works you should be able to apply it to all facets of life and expect good repeatable results. She loves sharing her success to help others grow and most recently partnered with Onward to Opportunity teaching about the changes in the IT Industry to transitioning veterans, sharing her story with ITSP Magazine, and EC-Council’s “Ethical Hacking Career Path” webinar series.

Credits

Created with the support of T&T Creative Group.

Music by Wolves: “Life Stories”, “Kenya”, “We Make It” 

Cathy Olieslaeger

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