Isabel Hoekstein

Isabel is a a Cybersecurity Automation Engineer for the CME Group and wants to become a technical specialist in her field.

"I mostly enjoyed the technical things I learned at Abertay. I especially enjoyed digital forensics and cracking small programs by changing a few assembly instructions."
Isabel Hoekstein | CME Group | Cybersecurity Automation Engineer

Why did you choose to study at Abertay?
I did my Bachelor in Computer Science and after working for 2 years as a Java developer I wanted to learn something more as I felt a bit stuck. I wasn't really sure what to go for but and a relative of mine came across the Cyber Security & Ethical Hacking course at Abertay and told me about it. At the time I knew a lot about programming but nearly nothing about cyber security and after reading the curriculum and more about the course I wanted to learn more about it. I did look at a few other Universities offering a similar course, but none of them seem to cover all the different areas in such detail as Abertay.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Abertay?
I most enjoyed the technical things I learned at Abertay. I especially enjoyed digital forensics and cracking small programs by changing a few Assembly instructions. That was absolutely amazing and taught me a lot for my job later.

Favourite memory from your time at Abertay?
My favourite memories are the times I spend with my classmates in class and afterwards. We had a small class of around 10 students and during class we normally had a great time and a lot to laugh also with our professors and after class me and some of my classmates often met up at Blend for a coffee.

How did you find the transition between University and the real world of work?
I worked before I did my bachelor in computer science, during my bachelor, and also worked in between bachelor and master degree. So going back to work wasn't really a big transition for me. The biggest change I find is going from a schedule that you can mostly decide on your own (when to study) to a fixed working schedule.

Tell us a wee bit about your journey to this point in your career since leaving Abertay.
After I graduated from Abertay I started looking for jobs in Cyber Security. I was interested in DFIR (Digital Forensics and Incident Responds) from the courses I took and I found a job in Belfast as an Incident Responds Analyst. While I enjoyed working in incident responds I also enjoyed scripting and automating some of the daily tasks which then allowed me to later swap internally to become a cyber security automation engineer.

What are your future aspirations?
I do enjoy very technical work and would like to stay in my current role and become a tech specialist. My work gives me the opportunity to learn new things, get certifications and do what I enjoy.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about getting into your profession?
I have help with quite a few interviews for open cyber security positions and I did notice that Abertay teaches a lot more practical things than a lot of other universities, which is in the end what a lot of interviewers want to see in my experience. I would advise anyone who wants to go for a career in cyber security to be curious, don't stop learning, play CTFs (HackTheBox, TryHackMe, ImmersiveLabs, ...), and read books (HumbleBundle often has some great deals for Cyber Security Books).

View the MSc Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity course

Share this page

Pause carousel

Play carousel