Check out the member spotlight! To see Volunteer of the Quarter, click here.
Quarter 1 2018 - Lana Wilson, Washington, DC
Name: Lana Wilson
Current location: Washington DC
Education/Certifications: BS Computer Information Systems. Comptia A+, Security +, Network +, MCP, CEH, CISSP.
What brought you to WSC? Desire to connect with other women in the field of IT, learn, help junior professionals to excel in their careers and connect them with other women in the industry, share knowledge with others.
What has been your best experience with WSC? Workshops and classes are my favorite activities to attend as I learned a lot and had the opportunity to meet others in the WSC community.
What industry are you currently in? And what are your plans for getting into cybersecurity (if not in the IT/cybersecurity industry) I am currently in cyber security field.
What do you do at your current job? Blue team engineer providing the technical assessment of the client’s network security gaps.
What are some of your hobbies? I ride horses as a hobby.
What is one of your guilty pleasures? Facebook
What book are you currently reading? Essentialism by Greg McKeown
What is one piece of career advice you’ve gained over the years that you’d like to share with others? I have to say that taking calculated risk in my career was one of the best strategies to get to where I wanted to go. Also staying one step ahead and constantly improving and developing myself as a professional with classes, workshops, certifications and conferences. Having a very good resume is a huge game changer. Staying curios and connected with the hiring needs and trends in the field.
Quarter 1 2016 Jan - Mar - Jahma Vetter from Lexington Park, MD
Name: Jahma Vetter
Current location: Lexington Park, MD
Education/Certifications: BS Computer Engineer, MS Project Management, Security+, Network+, CEH
What brought you to WSC? I wanted to get with like-minded individuals to study for my certification as well as gain exposure to the field of cybersecurity.
What has been your best experience with WSC? The workshops. I love the interactions, the people and the chance for hands on practice.
What industry are you currently in? And what are your plans for getting into cybersecurity (if not in the IT/cybersecurity industry) My current job is doing cybersecurity testing for a private company
What do you do at your current job? I write and implement test plans for accessing unmanned air vehicles.
What are some of your hobbies? Building computers, reading, sewing
What is one of your guilty pleasures? I don’t feel guilty about it, but I love Disney and family kid movies.
What book are you currently reading? Currently reading various kids books to my baby girl. Before she showed up, I had just completed reading French Kids Eat Everything.
What is one piece of career advice you’ve gained over the years that you’d like to share with others? Networking. I don’t mean just getting a bunch of names of people, but making connections that will help with your learning and upward mobility in your career. Networking should not only be reserved for meeting those in higher position, but you should also be a mentor to those coming up after up. Men are notorious for reaching back and pulling with them the younger males in their fields. As women, we need to do the same and not feel threatened to bring up another female.
September 2015 Member Spotlight - Sophia Fadli from Sterling, VA by way of Morocco
Name: Sophia Fadli
Current location: Sterling, VA
Education/Certifications: B.S. in Computer Information systems; Working towards a M.S. in Information Security with a focus on digital forensics
What brought you to WSC? I joined WSC for all the great hands on projects and workshops it offers to its members. I was also drawn by the structure of their CTA program and the different paths it offers.
What has been your best experience with WSC? It’s been a pleasure meeting the directors of the board, the members and all the great women that contribute everyday to the cybersecurity field in so many ways. The awards ceremony has to be by far my best experience with WSC.
What industry are you currently in? And what are your plans for getting into cybersecurity (if not in the IT/cybersecurity industry) I am transitioning from contract management to cybersecurity and hoping to sharpen my technical skills.
What are some of your hobbies? I love hiking, playing volleyball, reading business magazines, and watching Netflix documentaries. I also love to cook and aspired to be a pastry chef at one point in my life.
What is one of your guilty pleasures? Some of my guilty pleasures are dark chocolate with a hint of sea salt and frozen yogurt of course!
What book are you currently reading? I just finished reading "Data and Goliath" by Bruce Schneier and Think and Grow Rich for Women by Sharon Lechter.
What is one piece of career advice you’ve gained over the years that you’d like to share with others?Never stop trying, never stop growing. Focus on your goals, but do enjoy the Journey. And remember to get involved and pay it forward!
April 2015 Member Spotlight - Victoria Ho from Woodbridge, VA
Name: Victoria Ho
Current location: Woodbridge, VA
Education/Certifications: B.S. Electrical Engineering, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker, GIAC Certified Incident Handler, GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst, Security +, Network +, McAfee Certified Product Specialist - HIPS
What brought you to WSC? The desire to have technical hands-on experience. I’m a technical person and just reading about hacking did not make me comfortable with the subject. It wasn’t until I was in one of the workshops—running the scans, delivering the exploits—did I truly feel like I was understanding what was going on.
What has been your best experience with WSC? Making friends at the Happy Hour events. Learning and laughing with amazingly friendly woman in CISSP study groups. I recently met up with my CISSP study buddy who lives Chicago. Prior to that, we had only met and studied over Skype!
What industry are you currently in? And what are your plans for getting into cybersecurity (if not in the IT/cybersecurity industry) Computer Network Defense (CND)
What do you do at your current job? Developer for a CND product
What are some of your hobbies? Traveling, Zumba, eating out, learning, sleeping (yes, sleeping is a real hobby ;])
What is one of your guilty pleasures? Netflix binging
What book are you currently reading? Ghost in the Wire by Kevin Mitnick and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
What is one piece of career advice you’ve gained over the years that you’d like to share with others? Never be afraid to ask a “dumb” question! The longer you wait, the more embarrassing it will be to ask. I’ve found that even the smartest, technical IT person has a gap of a knowledge somewhere.
February/March 2015 Member Spotlight - Ashley Myers from Fairfax, VA
Name: Ashley Myers
Current location: Fairfax, VA
Education/Certifications: In-Progress: B.S. Cyber Security- Homeland Security, A.S. Computer Networking- Security, CISSP (Endorsement in progress), Security+, A+, MCP
What brought you to WSC? I had just moved to the NOVA area in 2013 and I saw an advertisement on UMUC’s website about WSC. I looked into WSC and was excited to learn about all opportunities offered from their website. I immediately joined and I have been a member since April 2013. I went to my first workshop, which was C&A. After going to my first workshop, I couldn’t wait for the next one. I was so impressed with all the knowledge that was brought to the table and meeting so many amazing and smart ladies. Unlike other learning atmospheres, I felt WSC offered a safe environment to really gain as much knowledge as possible.
I was relieved to find a group that offers mentoring and job searching. I will be getting out of the Navy in 9 months and this really opened my eyes and helped me prioritize what is needed to be successful in the civilian sector and ease my nerves of transitioning to a new career.
What industry are you currently in? And what are your plans for getting into cybersecurity (if not in the IT/cybersecurity industry) I am currently Active Duty Navy working in the IT field. I am hoping to transition more into the Cyber side, particularly cyber threat analysis once out of the Navy.
What do you do at your current job? I oversee our Server Team and manage day-to-day operations, disaster recovery, and Tier III support.
What are some of your hobbies? I love traveling and experiencing new adventures and places. I like to be outdoors as much as possible- hiking, fishing and hunting. I love antiquing- I think I have been to every antique store between Fairfax, VA and New Market, VA!
What is one of your guilty pleasures? Frozen yogurt anytime of the year! And reeses!
What book are you currently reading? Now that I am done with the Shon Harris book! I am excited to pick up and continue reading The Game of Thrones.
What is one piece of career advice you’ve gained over the years that you’d like to share with others? Lead by Example- Each and every one of us is a leader in some way. We will have people ask us for guidance, mentorship and we will have those that look up to us and learn from our actions. I found that integrity, approachability and respect will get you far and it becomes easy to lead by example when you have those three things as your foundation.
January 2015 Member Spotlight - Michelle Stalling from Chicago, Il
Name: Michelle Stalling
Current location: Chicago, Illinois
Education/Certifications: MBA, CISSP, PMP, ITIL, SSGB, Network +
What industry are you currently in? And what are your plans for getting into cybersecurity (if not in the IT/cybersecurity industry) I work with a global Law Firm on their Information Security team.
What do you do at your current job? At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day. I am an Information Security Analyst for Resiliency and Analysis which falls under Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC). I manage the IT Project Intake process to help manage the risks associated with new technologies. Security requirements are included in all new projects to ensure that the appropriate controls are in place whether they are SAAS/Cloud/Internal Projects. I also provide security consultation to projects throughout the lifecycle of the project.
What brought you to WSC? After I completed my MBA with a Concentration in Information Security I wanted to give back and help develop the next generation of female security professionals. I was also seeking opportunities with a group of like minded professionals with a focus on cyber security and a group I could be comfortable with for information sharing. A classmate recommended Women's Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) and said they were a small group of women but doing great things. I joined in January 2013 and attended my first workshop remotely; there was so much laughter in the workshop that I was pleasantly surprised at the camaraderie. I said this can't be serious! It was serious. I was witnessing my Cyberjutsu women of all levels of experience setting up for the class—they were very excited to be there and for the opportunity to support other professionals. Since this was for all levels, including noobies, nobody was left behind. There were always two or three people asking "what do you need help with" or "where are you."
WSC offers training through their workshops, study groups, and classes, opportunities to network with people in the same field, resource sharing (I love my chit chat), job placement, and I'm sure there are many other benefits not mentioned here.
What has been your best experience with WSC? Studying for my CISSP with the WSC online study group and the person (Victoria Ho) who led the study group was my best experience. We both wanted to get to the top of the CISSP hill had that same level of commitment to get there – i.e., that fire in the belly or passion. It is very important if you are considering a certification to join a study group and participate in as many of the workshops, as well as other study groups, and Toastmasters all offered by WSC in order to totally immerse yourself in the process; this will get you to the top of the hill faster. My study partner had a different style from me; she was vocal and reasoned out the answers. I looked at the question and applied some knowledge and experience - usually getting it correct. I sat for and passed the CISSP. However, in the third or fourth hour of the exam (where your breath leaves you and your brain turns to mush) I could hear my study partner in my head reasoning out the answers. Wow! Thank you WSC for introducing me to such awesome women. After I passed the CISSP and put it on Chit Chat, the community response was great. It certainly takes a village.
What are some of your hobbies? I enjoy traveling, gardening, home fix-it projects, painting, listening to reggae and soca music, and being a beach bum. (I think the security workshops and conferences are fun to attend)
What is one of your guilty pleasures? If I'm offered a sweet treat, I never refuse. My weakness is Snickers.
What is one piece of career advice you’ve gained over the years that you’d like to share with others? Don’t stop learning – Ever. It’s a journey. Seek out volunteer opportunities to give back or enhance your skills outside of your current responsibilities.
If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest whether it's forensics, penetration testing, risk assessments, vulnerability assessments, administering security, etc. Volunteering not only allows you to met other people in the field it also gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. These are all good skills to add to your cyber bag of tricks and build your width of knowledge.
I am currently a volunteer with Safe and Secure Online - Internet Safety for Kids with ISC². This is an exciting way to help children ages 7-14 learn how to protect themselves online and become responsible digital citizens. I also volunteer as VP of Membership for Toastmasters to help build leadership skills.