cybersecurity graduate spotlight: alejandra hornak
July 18, 2023
by Britney Rivers
Alejandra Hornak graduated from the Nexus Cybersecurity Bootcamp in December 2021 and immediately started her career in the cybersecurity industry. Alejandra is a tech support engineer at Barracuda Networks, a global data security and storage company.
Born and raised in Mexico, Alejandra immigrated to the United States in 2014. She worked diligently to learn English and built a career for herself in a new country. Alejandra shares her inspiring cybersecurity journey with us.
DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
Alejandra: I currently work on the backup team as a tech support engineer for Barracuda Networks. I help individual customers and companies troubleshoot any issues related to backup data recovery. I provide technical assistance to customers who need help accessing and restoring data from their cloud backup.
Recently, I started helping more with escalation issues that require extra attention. I interact with customers directly to troubleshoot their problems and ensure the issue is resolved promptly.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CYBERSECURITY BOOTCAMP PROGRAM?
Alejandra: I studied criminal justice in college. I took a course in cybercrime and I immediately became interested in the topic. I discovered how dangerous cybercrime is to our society and I wanted to use my legal expertise to help this issue. I am passionate about investigation, and I like to think critically and solve problems. However, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career after graduating with my degree.
A few months later, I came across the Cybersecurity Bootcamp program. Without any computer background, I took a leap of faith and I enrolled in the introductory course. Now I work in a worldwide company providing data protection solutions to thousands of customers globally.
WHAT WAS THE MOST VALUABLE THING YOU LEARNED IN THE PROGRAM?
Alejandra: The most valuable thing I learned is to trust myself and build a strong support system. You don’t need prior computer skills to succeed in this program. You just need dedication and trust in your abilities, which are important to my personal and professional success.
When it was time to start my career in the cybersecurity field, I had no idea how to build a resume in America. However, I had an amazing career coach provided by the program who helped me create a strong resume. I was able to confidently apply to jobs in the cybersecurity field and establish myself as a competitive candidate in interviews. I also had instructors, peers, and mentors who provided feedback on my assignments and helped me stay focused.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU LEARNED FROM THE PROGRAM? HOW DID IT PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CURRENT CAREER?
Alejandra: The most important skill I learned was the various types of cyber attacks and how to prevent them. The program provided a comprehensive understanding of cyber threats including, malware, phishing, and social engineering attacks, and how to safeguard against them. I also learned the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest security trends and best practices, which is crucial in this evolving field. These are skills that are essential for cyber professionals. I use them at work daily.
HOW HAVE YOU IMPLEMENTED WHAT YOU LEARNED FROM THE COURSE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?
Alejandra: In my current role, I advise our customers to secure their organizations’ networks to prevent cyberattacks. In the cybersecurity program, I studied techniques such as network security, access control, and risk management, which can be used to mitigate potential threats. I took a course on cloud security, which is the department I work in. During the program, I familiarized myself with the CIA triad—Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. I use this model to develop and manage security systems.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE CYBERSECURITY BOOTCAMP TO OTHERS?
Alejandra: Yes, I definitely recommend the Cybersecurity Bootcamp to anyone interested in the cyber field. This program is an excellent opportunity for beginners who want to change career paths. Professionals who are interested in expanding their knowledge can also find value in this program.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE CYBERSECURITY BOOTCAMP?
Alejandra: Go for it! The Bootcamp provides you with comprehensive knowledge to mitigate cyberattacks in organizational systems. Now, I am more aware of how to protect my personal information like bank accounts and wifi networks. This program gives you cybersecurity knowledge for life.