What did you study before becoming a senior cybersecurity architect at Leonardo?
I was not able to take a traditional academic route, so I chose to undertake a two-year advanced apprenticeship in Information & Communications Technology as a Communications System Maintainer and Operator in the Armed Forces. A few years afterwards, I completed a five-year Honours degree programme on the same subject.
Why did you decide to join Leonardo?
I was really interested in the projects and technologies that Leonardo delivers. Despite leaving the Armed Forces, I still very much wanted to contribute to defence through the experience I had gained during my service. I also wanted to have the opportunity to contribute and support other industries from a cybersecurity perspective. In that regard, Leonardo was ideal.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
At the time, I was uncertain about what specifically I would study at college. However, I knew I had passion for technology and its impact on society and as a primarily tactile and visual learner, the ‘hands-on’ nature of an apprenticeship appealed to me.
Tell us what you do in a typical day
The work can be quite different dependent on the project I am contributing too, and fortunately, my days are quite varied. Recently, a typical day has been performing in-depth analysis and research into a technology from a cybersecurity perspective, and creating summary documentation so a customer can understand their key risks. However, I could also be engaged in problem solving and discussions with fellow colleagues to see how cyber resilience can be built-in to systems. The variety keeps things interesting.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I especially like helping people, whether that’s assisting the customer or supporting the career development of my junior colleagues. I also enjoy getting the opportunity to research technologies and analyse how cybersecurity applies to it. New technologies are constantly coming into existence and being able to break it down to its component parts and figure out how it works, and where it requires cybersecurity, is a very rewarding experience.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I casually game on my PC; I’m mainly into Real-Time Strategy and city builders at the moment. I’m pretty passionate about music and I play guitar, bass and keys. With a danger of mixing business and pleasure, I run a home lab for my personal IT/cyber/code projects. I also enjoy learning about culture and history.
What have been your biggest achievements at Leonardo so far?
Providing technical leadership for Project Brick. I thought it was a unique, creative project, which demonstrated the real effects of cybersecurity to with. Working with a team of talented and enthusiastic individuals and watching their creative ideas and solutions become a physical, functioning demonstrator has been my biggest and favourite achievement so far.
What are your career aspirations?
I can’t say I have a fixed target regarding career aspirations, I just want to do my best, see how much I can develop my knowledge and skills to support consultancy projects, and see how far I can progress. For me, it’s all about taking on those day-to-day challenges and enjoying those smaller daily wins that make up a career ‘journey’ rather than an explicit target. But my career aspirations aren’t purely about myself; If I can support others in achieving their career goals then that’s also brilliant.