Making Connections and Pursuing a Career in Cybersecurity
B.S., Computer Science, 2023
What drew you to come work at the Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute?
Although Sal wasn’t necessarily looking for a job during his first year at Cal Poly, a friend from his computer science class that worked for the CCI had recommended him for an open role. Sal realized that this would be a fantastic opportunity to expand his skill set in computer science.
Since joining the CCI, Sal has participated in the Cyber to Schools program as an educator. He worked with underrepresented elementary, middle and high school aged students in the United States. Sal even had his own school from El Salvador join the program.
What interests you about cybersecurity or technology?
Initially, Sal did not have his mind set on a cybersecurity or technology career. Sal’s passion was music and he planned to major in music prior to applying to Cal Poly. With no interest in technology, it came as a surprise when Sal accidentally applied and was later accepted to Cal Poly as a computer science major. He decided to stick with computer science and ended up falling in love with the program.
Regarding cybersecurity, Sal found his passion for the industry through the CCI. Since his tenure at the CCI began as a freshman, Sal has taken three different cybersecurity courses at Cal Poly. Additionally, his knowledge of cybersecurity has expanded through different trainings and certifications available through both the CCI and different classes he has taken.
What have you been working on at the Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute? And what skills have you learned or applied during your tenure?
Throughout Sal’s time at the CCI, he has leveraged AWS and other member’s skills on the Unity Developer team to help ensure that the Space Grand Challenge runs smoothly year after year. As Sal began his time with the CCI at the height of COVID, he had to keep his written communication professional since in-person activities were suspended. Not only did Sal’s written communication skills improve, his technical skills did as well. Sal became exposed to AWS when he joined the Unity Developer team. Because of this experience, Sal was able to land an internship with Amazon this past year.
How does the Cal Poly California Cybersecurity Institute fit in your future career?
As previously mentioned, Sal’s introduction to AWS led to an opportunity at Amazon last year. His internship experience and job experience at the CCI led to him securing a full-time cloud infrastructure position at Netflix following his graduation in Spring 2023. If the opportunity presents itself, Sal is interested in pursuing a cybersecurity related role in the future.
Sal would like to express his gratitude to the CCI. His time here at the CCI has led to great connections and learning experiences. He built up his technical skills and enjoyed that he was able to move to different teams within the CCI if he wanted to expand his knowledge in other areas. Overall, the CCI has opened doors to Sal’s future, and he is grateful for his experience and coworkers that have helped him along the way.
This student profile was written by Gwen Danley.