My name is Antoinette Stevens and I'm a security engineer for a company based in San Francisco while working full time from home in Iowa. I'm originally from Georgia and up to this point, I consider where I am now to be a complete and total coincidence. I'd love to tell you I had some grand plan, but I didn't. So here's some answers, the truth, to questions I get all of the time.
I applied for a handful of internships on my university's job board and went with the company that offered me an internship first out of inexperience and sheer joy that a real company would want me to intern. That company just so happened to be located in Des Moines, IA and I, shamefully, admit that I would not have been able to point to Iowa on a map before going. I, by chance, ended up meeting the company's CIO who began a chain reaction of networking that later built what I consider to be my support system. I can never repay him for that. I came back to Iowa after graduation, mostly because I didn't have to apply again and I liked not having to stress out about interviews and the real world like my classmate, but also because there was something about Des Moines that made me like I could bloom. To be honest, I took a leap of faith. So... why Iowa? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Why not?
What made you choose cybersecurity?
Serendipity. My first internship in Iowa wasn't in a role I was particularly passionate about, so I spent the summer meeting people from all parts of the company. One of those people was someone from security. Their descrption of the job caught my attention immediately and for good reason. It was fast pace and exciting. It was going to be like all of those hackers you saw on network television who worked on their computers in the dark and broke into the government. Right? (no. But I didn't know better at the time so bear with me.) So my next internship, I was placed on that team in security. I decided that summer to jump down that rabbit hole and I'm still falling. I've learned a lot along and the way and I didn't know I'd like it this much when I chose it. It's funny to think about what came from one conversation with someone who, I've come to understand, had had that same conversation with many other interns. A fairly insignificant encounter changed the course of my career.
What's it like working from home?
I love it. I might never be able to work in an office again.