What do you do?
On a daily basis I work with colleagues in our Cyber Defence Centre (CDC), in the incident response area, which involves checking for incidents and potential cybersecurity alerts, then responding to them. Our key function is to protect the Vodafone NZ network and platforms, as well as those of our customers, from global security threats.
Why did you choose this field?
I have always had a passion for technology, when I was at high school I wanted to learn more about computers. Sadly, my high school teachers didn’t give too many options and I didn’t know about computer science or engineering. Therefore, I dropped out of high school and studied Tourism and then Teaching. This is where I spent a few years teaching kids in different countries and implementing technology into my teaching. I then moved onto studying computing, one of the obstacles I had faced was being the only woman in my classes and one of the oldest. I felt there was some pressure in learning beyond what was taught in school in order to land a career in tech.
When I was at Uni, I didn't have any role models which motivated me in giving back into the community. I spent my time volunteering for a charity organisation called omgtech! Which helped me pass down what I was learning in the classroom to the next generation. I also became the president of the Unitec ISACA Student Group and hosted cybersecurity events connecting professionals with students.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I wish younger me would have known this was possible as I always limited myself to my surroundings.
Ethical Hacking Scholarship - EC-Council 2020
HPAIR Delegate by Harvard College December 2019
Bertelsmann and Udacity Data Scholarship November 2019
Grace Hopper Conference Scholar October 2019
Linux Foundation Open Source Scholarship August 2019
Association of Women in Sciences - AUT June 2019
Team Giga-Whaaat - 1st Prize NZTA ModeAltShift Hackathon (Security and Risk Analyst)- March 2019.
Team Raihana - 2nd Prize NZTA AllAccess Hackathon (Security and Risk Analyst - 2018
Google Women Techmakers Award 201
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in cybersecurity because I know I am helping the security posture of New Zealand. I also get excited working in the community and teaching the community cybersecurity.
Best advice for next generation?
It is never too late to start a career in STEM. If you are passionate in a STEM career and someone is trying to tell you that you cannot do it. Please don't ever listen to them and just find your support network that will encourage your career dreams.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
Like Gandhi said be the change you want to see in the world.