In the next instalment of our MySwitch2Cyber blog series, the talent attraction team sat down with John Graf from North America to hear about his journey from a career as a Maintenance Technician to becoming an Associate Security Consultant as he enters the world of cyber security at NCC Group.
Hey, I‘m John and I’m an Associate Security Consultant based out of the Seattle office. Here I share my story about how I switched careers and made the move into cyber security at NCC Group.
So where to begin? I was previously a maintenance technician and working mostly manual, hands-on jobs. I have always been willing to do anything for my clients and my “I can do that” attitude has carried me throughout my career. No matter what the task; fixing electrical equipment, wiring, building, taking trees down, etc., my attitude always allowed me to complete even the toughest projects.
I started hacking and building operating systems about two years ago but my interest in computers and technology sparked in the 80’s so I have always been drawn to this industry and what it has to offer. Over the past few years, I noticed cyber security being mentioned continuously in the news and how here in the US we wanted to invest more time, effort and people into this space.
This is what made me consider...could a career in cyber security be something that I am interested in?
Although I had already attended school, I decided at this point that I wanted to return to education as a non-traditional student and register for part-time cyber security courses alongside my full-time job. This was challenging but I knew in the long term it would be the right decision for me. I’ve also always loved puzzles so while studying I discovered an online pen-testing challenge called TryHackMe, I ended up in the top 1% on the platform and it helped me develop my skills in a much more practical way.
While on my course, Tylir Russ from the Talent Acquisition Team at NCC Group, reached out to me via LinkedIn and introduced me to the security internship program. I was not expecting the call from Tylir and was so surprised so I thought to myself ‘I will work my hardest’ I took a risk and left my previous job to focus all my efforts on passing NCC Group’s technical challenge and making myself competitive for the internship interview.
After going through the interview process, I received the NCC Group internship offer letter and I was so happy and shocked to be accepted! My first day at the Seattle office was great everyone has been so welcoming. The internship program has been so interesting and I’m proud to say that I’ve been promoted to become an Associate Security Consultant.
To anyone interested in making the switch, do it! My age, background, and lack of experience did not stop me, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m a listener and I like to observe people, that’s how I learn, and the NCC Group internship program gave me the chance to do just that.
This blog is the third of our series of career blogs ‘MySwitch2Cyber’, in which we share the inspiring stories of our colleagues who joined NCC Group at the start of their cyber security journey from diverse and non-traditional career backgrounds.