I was born/grew up in: Edmonton, Alberta
I now live in: Calgary, Alberta
I completed my training/education at: Computer Systems Information Technology, SAIT, Calgary, Alberta
What I do at work
At Finning, I protect our computer systems and networks from people who might want to steal our data or disrupt our work. I respond to malicious/non-malicious alerts from computers in our network. I look at suspicious emails, check network logs, and do scans to identify any weaknesses in our network. I update any domains (groups of computers) that need updating. I keep up to date on cyber trends. I also review and respond to any security needs within our organization. In addition to my knowledge of threats to networks, I use many different skills. For example, I use problem solving, critical thinking, inquiry, collaboration and math skills daily. Creativity is a necessary skill when solving problems.
Cyber Security is a new part of information and communications technology. Because it is a new area, new problems come up everyday. These problems need solutions that may not have been used before. It takes good problem solving skills and creativity to find effective solutions in as short a period as possible.
My workday can involve me working remotely, or in the office. In cyber security, to do my work, all I need is to be connected to the internet. However, I still interact with my colleagues all the time. We do this over the phone, using online applications, in person, or through email. Sometimes using multiple different languages!
My career path is
I was one of those weird kids that knew exactly what they wanted to do since they where a young child. In high school, I expected to be in an IT job. I just wasn’t 100% sure of what I would be doing.
All through my life, I had different influences that led me to a career in IT. When I was seven years old, my family got our first computer. When I entered Junior high school, I took every available computer-based option class. In high school, I took self-directed learning. My teacher advisor was the information technology teacher. He was a huge influence in my life. When I was in post-secondary, I took classes on cyber security and fell in love with the topics. I knew then that I wanted to focus in this area. I have held different roles in the IT sector. In each role, I learned new things and got better at my job.
I have found that working in a male dominated field has brought unique challenges that I did not realize would happen. I was able to overcome and learn from each experience, knowing I can tackle the situation with the knowledge I had at that moment, and knowing the next day was a new day.
I am motivated by
Everyday I am excited to see what has changed in the threat landscape. Each day a new incident may happen at any time, any place, or with any employee. I have no information before hand when this will happen – all I can do is respond. The unknown is exciting!
I also enjoy teaching employees about cyber security and actions they can take to help the business and keep our system secure. I enjoy looking into the data and trying to solve the issues that are in front of me. I love to find the root cause of why something occurred so I can keep it from happening in the future.
How I affect peoples’ lives
My career affects people’s lives because computer technology is used in everyday work. Emails flow through networks and are a point of weakness because they can carry programs that could damage the network. As a result, they need to be analyzed and responded to. Employees need support to help make sure they don’t do something that could let hackers access our systems. My career matters because we stop hackers from getting in, and respond to the ones that do make it inside our network.
Outside of work I
I have been involved with the Arial arts. I enjoy travelling and cruising with my husband. Throughout our travelling, we have been to 25 different countries.
My advice to others
Take all available free training you can! Get involved in the community. Enjoy working with computers! If you can, shadow someone in the role you are interested in. If you do not enjoy your day, find another industry to work in. You need to enjoy each day, otherwise you will resent being in your role.
- Computer Science
- Always wanted to be outside
- Wanted to be in charge
- Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
- Never wanted to be in the classroom
- Always knew what I wanted to do
- Engaged in activities such as fishing
- Learned best “by doing"