“What is something you would tell your younger self when you were 18-21 years old?"
is a popular question that many mentees ask mentors.
Ideally, this is so the mentees don’t waste time learning those same lessons that the mentors learned. It’s a phenomenal approach that I use for each mentor, upper-level professional, and elder.
So, what's the goal?
My goal of this blog is to help assist readers in their cybersecurity career journey.
This is something I researched a lot when I was a student in 2014. But, unlike today, there weren’t countless blogs, articles, and resources available.
How this blog will help you
This blog will help readers like you by providing advice, tips, and insight from an experienced professional. There'll be a new entry each week. These will be things I’ve found along the way or leveraged to my advantage.
Some of these resources may have been free back in 2015 and are no longer free. Using an alternative is advised, especially if you’re a college student and on a “budget”. I can personally say I wasn’t on a budget. I was broke, so free was what I needed. Shit, it’s still what I prefer. But I'm willing to spend money now on certain things.
Before I go into my journey in this field, I'd like to inform you that having an elevator pitch is crucial. It'll make you or break you. Many people don’t have one established and ramble when they're asked “tell me a little about yourself”.
This question is another way of asking for an elevator pitch. I’ve taken the direct route of saying, “Okay, here’s my elevator pitch.....” because
1) I’m blunt.
2) I’m competent.
Knowing what they're seeking allows you to better position yourself. Game recognize Game.
Hi, my name is Bennett Hendrix III. I am currently a SOC analyst at CVS. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity back in December of 2018. As I walked the staged, I had an offer from a Fortune 57 company, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Before graduating, I was an Information Security Intern at a Fortune 200 company, Reinsurance Group of America. Where I also obtained my Security + certification.
After graduating, I moved to San Antonio to launch my career as a Cyber Security Analyst with PwC. In 2019, I created CyberBennett and began speaking to students about cybersecurity with the goal of showing representation to students. In 2020, I created a Texas chapter for a non-profit for cybersecurity professionals with the mission of increasing minorities and women in the field. Since then, I’ve released a cybersecurity introduction book called Saleen, the CyberTeen, and an autopsy Course with LinkedIn. In 2021, I became a SOC analyst (Security Operations Center analyst) with an MSSP.
Now, if you’re like me, you may have trouble struggling with your elevator pitch while in college. Fortunately, that will be temporary. Once you get experience, you’ll be able to replace certain statements with work.
I know what you’re thinking, “Okay Bennett, that’s cool and all. But, I don’t know what to say." or “I’m not at that point and never had a relevant job”.
I hear you. But, that’s not as bad as you think. It’s the principle. You can incorporate what you’re looking for in a position.
A Quick Way to Create Your Elevator Pitch
Use this formula for creating your elevator pitch:
o Your name.
o Classes you’ve taken
o Labs you’ve enjoyed doing
o Your ideal position.
Remember, an elevator pitch is only supposed to be 60 seconds or less.
Using the above formula, here’s an example:
Hi, my name is Bennett Hendrix III, and I'm a cyber security student at Southeast Missouri State University. Here I’ve taken numerous courses, but my favorite courses were Network Security, Computer Forensics, and Mobile Application Development. I have some academic experience working with Python from my mobile app class, Wireshark, and network traffic analysis, and analyzing the registry.
I aspire to be a digital forensic analyst as I enjoy investigating devices and putting together a timeline. My ambition has allowed me to thrive in my studies and I'm confident I'll be an asset to any team I'm onboarded to. I also have two recommendations, one from my previous employer and another from my professor. Overall, I'm beyond excited to start my journey.
This example is roughly 41 seconds timed. Which is okay as some people even prefer 30 seconds or less and cutting out the last three sentences could achieve that.
I wanted to include the elevator pitch in my first blog as I prefer leaving my audiences with action steps they can use. (Another big issue I had with previous resources).
Anyway, welcome to my blog. I hope you’re looking forward to my content! I’m looking forward to giving y’all free game.