CyberSecurity Graduate Spotlight: Henry Huong
November 27, 2023
by Sydney Smith
Henry Huong graduated from the Cybersecurity Bootcamp in September 2022 and didn’t waste any time jumping into this new field. Leveraging his newfound knowledge and skills, Henry worked his way to the role of Help Desk Analyst at the Detroit Pistons, a nationally recognized sports team. Henry sat down with us to discuss his experience in the program and how it changed the trajectory of his career after graduation.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES?
Henry: I currently work as a Help Desk Analyst for the Detroit Pistons. I got this job a little after finishing the Cybersecurity Bootcamp program.
Starting out, I was doing general help desk stuff like updating software, fixing computers, and solving different tech issues–which I still do today. Now, I kind of touch on everything from IT to cybersecurity for the team. And the work that I do here is a decent reflection of what I learned throughout the program.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CYBERSECURITY BOOTCAMP PROGRAM?
Henry: I tried a few different paths in school, but none of them really clicked for me. I couldn’t see myself doing any of them in the future and enjoying it. So I took some time off from school, and then, when I came back to find a career path for myself, this opportunity popped up.
I feel like I’ve always been around technology–computers, phones, video games, building my own PC, etc., so it was a natural transition when I was looking for something to jump into. Honestly, this program helped the transition from not being in tech at all to where I’m fully in a career that I never thought I would be in.
A course like this one–which only took a year–set me on a path and outlined everything I was going to learn and what skills and certifications it was going to prepare me for. Also, just having the University of Michigan’s name on the program gives you a highly respected university on your resume.
HOW DID THIS PROGRAM HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR CAREER?
Henry: After the program finished, I started a remote IT job in Florida. I stayed in that role with the tech company for about 3 months and then I reached out to a team member at the Detroit Pistons. I ended up landing the role of Help Desk Analyst.
Looking back, I never thought I would work for the Pistons. I grew up watching and playing basketball and it never crossed my mind that I would work on the corporate side of a worldwide company. It’s honestly so fun to come to work every day. And now, I’m so excited to be able to participate in the NBA’s yearly penetration test, among its other large-scale cybersecurity initiatives.
WHAT DID YOU FIND THE MOST VALUABLE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
Henry: Aside from all the technical studying and practice, something that I found super valuable was the career skills. I was able to network and create a professional persona. It helped me think about what kind of asset I could be to an organization. The advisors and the instructors molded me into a version of myself that I could be proud to present to a company.
HOW DID THIS PROGRAM PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR FIRST JOB IN CYBERSECURITY?
Henry: It allowed me to skip about a month of training that I would have otherwise needed for my first job. I was able to jump right into the work and it allowed me to dive into projects quicker, do things more independently on my own, and freely choose what projects I wanted to take on.
And then, I put that experience on my resume, and that got me my job at the Detroit Pistons. And once again, in this position, the learning curve was eliminated by taking this course. It helped me come into this role looking the part. I skipped a lot of moments where it would have seemed like I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt more prepared than I would have been if I got this job without taking the course.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR STRATEGIES THAT HELPED YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE CYBERSECURITY BOOTCAMP?
Henry: I would just say to stay ahead of the readings. It seems like a lot at first. But if you just do it one chapter at a time, then you can do it in as little as 20-30 minutes a day. Reading everything and taking notes is really important so you don’t let it pile up and get behind. This information isn’t as easy to grasp as other fields, so it can get very overwhelming, and then you might start questioning if this field is right for you. But I would just say, stay prepared and use your resources. Also, don’t worry too much, the bootcamp course workload is well spread out and very well managed since it’s streamlined throughout the year.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE CYBERSECURITY BOOTCAMP?
Henry: This is an industry where a lot of opportunities will present themselves. If there’s someone out there who is skeptical about joining the bootcamp, I would recommend looking at your situation and evaluating why you are considering this program in the first place. If you’re someone looking for a way to change your life or career, this is a great opportunity. Even if you’re just interested in tech, I think that alone is worth trying this program. It can be worth what you pay for and what you commit to it. I think that’s a big part of why I’m where I am right now. For me, mentally and career-wise, I think it was worth it.
And also, look at it as an opportunity to learn. You’re trying to advance your career and become a better version of yourself, or create opportunities for yourself. Just really take advantage of it and go in every day with a positive attitude about what you’re learning.