Cybersecurity Graduate Spotlight: Tracy Mohaidheen
September 30, 2021
by Cj Pettus
Recent Cybersecurity Professional Bootcamp graduate Tracy Mohaidheen shares her experience.
Recent Cybersecurity Professional Bootcamp graduate Tracy Mohaidheen isn’t afraid of asking questions and diving into a new field. Previously a social media manager, Tracy became curious about cybersecurity and decided to expand her knowledge by joining the cybersecurity program presented by HackerU. Tracy had a positive experience in the program, and she shared her thoughts and goals with us.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU BEGAN THE CYBERSECURITY PROGRAM?
Tracy: Before the Nexus program, I was a social media manager at Sky Foundation, Inc. in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Sky is a non-profit charity that funds medical research for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. They have even made significant donations to the University of Michigan Health System. I have a Master’s in Library & Information Science, so I used that background and knowledge to power their social media campaigns. This cause is very close to my heart because I lost my own father to pancreatic cancer. And before that, I was a public librarian which, believe it or not, was a pretty exciting job!
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BEGIN THE CYBERSECURITY PROGRAM?
Tracy: I wanted to know how cybersecurity worked. How do I know if I am really secure? What type of traffic is moving across my network? How is this traffic impacting my router? What type of data is being collected from my network? What kind of weakness would each endpoint introduce into my network? Basically, I had a lot of questions! I am kind of famous for that. And I was also encouraged by an informal mentor, Cliff Neve. He made me feel like I really could find all those answers.
HOW DID THE COURSE STRUCTURE AND ONLINE LEARNING EXPERIENCE WORK FOR YOU?
Tracy: During the dark days of the pandemic these classes were the highlight of my day. The instructors and my classmates were totally awesome. Most of the teachers are currently working in cyber, and they shared lots of real-world stories and examples. It made the material feel relevant and exciting. And the intensive hypervisor environment we use for labs really gives you ample opportunity to develop your trouble shooting and team building skills. 5 stars!
WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT CYBERSECURITY?
Tracy: I love that there is always something new, and that the tech is always evolving. When I applied to graduate school online in 1995 by telnetting the FTP Gopher using my AOL dial up, I thought I was on the cutting edge of technology. I could never have imagined that one day I would create an entire enterprise network of virtual machines inside my laptop and then use them to attack each other. It makes me excited to see what will come next.
WHAT ARE YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS MOVING FORWARD?
Tracy: Gain some experience, get some certifications, and eventually open my own tech company with my husband. We hope to grow our own little family tech business.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS COURSE TO OTHERS?
Tracy: Definitely. The way we think of computer science education needs to change. The shortage in the cyber workforce feels like it grows by the day. And the current pace of innovation outstrips the traditional higher education model and seems like it is accelerating. When the tactics you use your freshman year are completely obsolete by your senior year, something needs to change. And Nexus is on the cutting edge of addressing that change by producing the knowledge workers that are so desperately needed to fill the gap. Thank you Nexus!