Trainee Testimonials

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Kate Meaun

CyberQuest Trainee

Hello, my name is Kate and I’ve been a CyberQuest student since February 2021. I have completed the Foundation Path, and I’m starting the Intermediate Path, on the Cyber Security Role.

Cybersecurity opens to me as a fascinating, exciting, and challenging world that can help me to understand potential dangers on the Internet and how I can protect myself, my family, my organization from the black hats of the world. I come from the Republic of Moldova and moved to Ireland with my daughter two years ago. Moving to Ireland was my desire for professional development, to get to know the Irish culture, Irish people, the breath-taking Irish nature; to upskill my English level.

I have never considered a cybersecurity career before. I have been working in public procurement for sixteen years. I was lucky to be referred to CyberQuest Program by Social Welfare Protection to study cybersecurity. That was the moment when my career turned on in a new direction. I’d say a new direction, but not from scratch, because of my professional procurement background, strong problem-solving skills and being able to identify creative solutions to difficult problems. Those two very different fields may be a great combination that will give my career a significant boost. The CyberQuest Program is a perfect place for development, where we get cyber knowledge and support from the programme staff Colm, Gerry, Matt, Chris, Linda & Domhnall. This is the perfect place to unleash me in initiatives, creativity, project development, networking, while taking advantage of the training and seminars offered. I’m volunteering to facilitate the learning groups on both foundation and intermediate. My strategy as a group facilitator is developing group projects that help apply the learned knowledge and get the team together. I have developed a project for internet safety for kids, “Kids & Teens - Online Red Flags.”

 

I’m proud of such an outcome after completing the Foundation Path. Currently, I am working on a new group project, “Cybersecurity Red Flags,” addressed to natural people who are not familiar with cybersecurity.  

Inga Snetkova

CyberQuest Trainee & Learning Facilitator

My name in Inga and I am from Latvia. Almost 3 years ago my family moved to Cork where I began to actively learn the language, attend various courses, in order to find a job when my 6-month-old daughter grows up a little. My plan to find a job was hit by a pandemic. But when some doors close, others must open.

Last year I entered a competition to join the IT@Cork Skillnet CyberTalent Activation Programme. Despite the fact that I did not have IT skills, I began to study with passion, and I finished the course with the best result in the group, bypassing the Masters in Cybersecurity.

This year I was invited to take part in the CyberQuest upskilling program. Because I already had a cyber security learning experience, I was offered to become a volunteer facilitator of the learning groups. I was glad I agreed as this was a unique and enjoyable experience for me.

Cybersecurity turned out to be not as difficult as I thought and the CyberQuest programme not only gives knowledge, but also helps you to overcome fears, insecurity, and language barriers. Right now the cybersecurity field is expanding rapidly however employers' demands are often overstated. They need to pay more attention to beginners who are quick learning with a keen eye on things.

Some months after joining the programme I have successfully landed a job in marketing.  Even if I don’t become eventually become a cybersecurity worker, I’m sure any employer will appreciate my knowledge. After all, I know not only how to protect myself from black hackers, but also my potential employer.

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Tommy Roe

CyberQuest Foundation Graduate

My name is Tommy Roe. I have Autism and have been working in the media area for over 20 years. I guess there were times when I wanted a job and to be able to work alongside other people and not shy away from me because of who I am. I am very lucky that I made contact with Specialisterne Ireland who interviewed me and let me check in from time to time. I got a phone call from them in January to say ask would I like to try an online course in Cyber Security.

What can I say, CyberQuest is a great place! You have your own group that you can check-in with and share ideas. They have many contacts in the Cyber job world. If there are any new jobs or courses coming on board, they will let you know. I know that the Cyber world is a very big place, there are so many areas you can train In. I am doing the CompTIA Security+ course and I hope to get a job that will give me some freedom and new career choices. Maybe I will get to work with more people who are unsure of the road that they want to go down and I could give them a hand and tell them about my experiences.

The videos in the Foundation training path were useful and the group check-ins for Intermediate also helped. There are regular seminars which were good to hear from people who have industry experience in cyber security. I am lucky the course is online as you can do it in your own time. I was also thankful the course assessments weren’t stressful.

CyberQuest is new initiative and it is like a family. They make sure to get back to you and help you as much as you need and are there to have a laugh with you. I am a person that goes by the book and tries to make sure that everything is done by the letter. I just want to let others know that you are able for this course, and that CyberQuest will be able to help you out.

Mark Donelly

CyberQuest Intermediate Trainee

Hi. My name is Mark Donnelly, I'm 25, and I currently taking part in the CyberQuest programme as part of the Intermediate Path.

When I left secondary school, I knew I wanted a career in IT but was unsure as to what role I wanted to focus on. Over the years while working a number of different jobs and acquiring an Advance Certificate in Software Development from Rathmines College, I eventually settled on the position of a Cyber Security professional as I was quite intrigued by the role but was taking aback by how big it was and the number of different roles in this area. This led me to apply for a Cyber Security apprenticeship as an entry level path in the world. While I was unsuccessful in my application the staff who ran the apprenticeship advised me to look at this program to help me in finding way into the world of Cyber Security.

That was the best advice I could have received. As part of the CyberQuest programme I was amazed at how helpful and friendly the staff are, they really care about teaching and helping people of all walks of life. They organised many meetings with industry professionals to give talks on what the world of Cyber Security is like and to give helpful advice when preparing for interviews. If any news in the Cyber Security world drops such as new jobs or further courses you can apply for these as they will let you know.

Based on which of the 3 paths of the programme you choose you will be divided into groups, this was very helpful as it meant we could share thoughts and ideas with others doing the same path and assist if any of us had trouble. The entire course being run online was very convenient, as it allowed me to progress at a pace at my own time that suited me and was flexible to allow me to pause where I was to go about my day and pick up where I left off later.

I would recommend this programme to anyone looking to begin a career in Cyber Security, looking for a career change or just to help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and your devices in this increasingly and ever expanding digital world.

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