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Graduation stories - life as a professional Ethical Hacker

25 August 2014

Ethical Hacking graduate Daniel Mosca secured a job with Lockheed Martin - the international defence and security company - before he had even finished studying for his degree.

Here, he tells us about his exciting new role and how his experiences at Abertay helped him get to where he is today.

Ethical Hacking

“I applied for the degree in Ethical Hacking because the opportunity to study computer security really appealed to me. It is the next big thing in terms of national security and we are at a time where cybercrime is a growing threat and we need to be able to stay at least one step ahead of the criminals in order to be able to combat it.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would definitely recommend it to anyone who asked about it. Partly for the diversity of the people that were on it but also for the speciality of the course itself - you don’t get many courses with the words 'ethical' or 'hacking' in them.

“The academic staff are very friendly and very supportive too, and the course itself is absolutely fantastic, as are the career prospects, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Lockheed Martin

“It was very exciting to have been able to walk straight out of my degree and straight into work.

“In early March I signed my contract with Lockheed Martin which gave me the peace of mind and focus I needed to carry on with my remaining studies without the worry of having to look for a job after university.

“The team I have joined provides a comprehensive assessment of security - covering people, policies, procedures and technology for the global energy market which protects clients and big player corporations from the persistent threat to their infrastructure and to national security.

“The job involves visiting both off and onshore installations - such as oil rigs and oil assets - worldwide to carry out inventory gathering, vulnerability assessments, risk analysis, network security analysis and security breach analysis.

“At the end of each project, detailed reports are presented to the client which include findings and remediation tasks to comply with industry security standards.”

The Principal’s Award

“One of the things I took part in whilst at Abertay was the Principal’s Award. I just came across a few flyers for it in my School Office and, to be honest, really only applied for it because I wanted to make the most of my third year and to cram as many extra-curricular activities into it as possible.

“As cheesy as it sounds I have always gone by the saying ‘If you don't invest in yourself then who will want to in the future?’.

“The most rewarding thing the Principal’s Award gave me was the chance to take part in an Insights Discovery evaluation. This provided me with a detailed breakdown of my personal character and skill set, helping me to properly identify my keys strengths and weaknesses which proved advantageous when it came to writing my CV and covering letters.

“It provided me with the understanding of where I was then and where I needed to be, taught me how to properly reflect on the things I had learnt and done, and helped me to identify ways to utilise these skills in my work and to develop myself as a person.”

Support Services

“As well as the Principal’s Award, Learner Development Service and the Career Development Centre played a huge role in my university life, providing me with support in times of hardship and enabling me to re-focus my attention on my academic career and studies.

“This re-focus helped me to obtain a summer scholarship with the Saltire Foundation during the summer of my third year where I went on a nine-week placement with GlaxoSmithKline.

“The chance to work in a global company over the summer combined with the achievements of my third year propelled me towards, and helped me successfully navigate, my fourth and final year.

“In addition to this I also participated in two extracurricular business competitions with the Dundee Business School: the IBM Universities Business Challenge and the European Business Masters Cup, gaining valuable experience in working with people from other disciplines in a challenging and time critical business environment.

“From these I learnt how to effectively manage my time properly, which came of great benefit when juggling the demands of my dissertation and a healthy social life.”

The future

“The services provided to me were excellent and have stood by me throughout university and even into my graduate job, and I would highly recommend that other students take advantage of everything that they offer.

“I will remember my whole time at Abertay including the important lessons I have learnt from my mistakes, the fantastic friends I have made and the graduate attributes I have learnt that have transferred over into my role at work.

“Although it is hard to say what I will be doing in five years’ time - as I have only just begun my career - in the foreseeable future I would like to be well embedded and established within the computer security and energy sector, executing multiple projects at a time globally and seeing the world while I am at it. Abertay was a great place to start what I hope will be a very interesting and rewarding career.”

Abertay was the first university in the UK to launch a degree in Ethical Hacking in 2006, and now offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

If you would like to find out more about our Ethical Hacking degree, please visit our Ethical Hacking course pages.

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