Learning and Evolving in Cyber With Booz Allen’s Jackie Mady
“Over the past four years, I’ve discovered that cybersecurity isn’t just a buzzword or Hollywood field. There is so much potential in this industry to make an impact on a daily basis.”
Jackie Mady started out her career as a communications coordinator in the energy industry. Today, she’s an associate in Booz Allen’s Strategic Innovation Group supporting a range of cybersecurity functions: training, requirements analysis and design, help desk, software testing, project scheduling, and technical documentation.
She shared highlights from her career journey and offered tips for women looking to enter the cybersecurity field.
Hard work pays off
Mady said she felt overwhelmed by cyber’s steep learning curve at times. But her team at Booz Allen took the time to invest in her abilities. And she invested similarly in herself, “Googling, sitting night after night reading through processes and policies.”
“If you’re willing to put in the time to grow and learn, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in the field,” she said.
These opportunities, in turn, can extend to professionals across a range of educational and work experiences.
“I’ve seen so many women at Booz Allen with non-cyber backgrounds grow within the cyber field, and they provide a level of unmatched expertise to our clients and company,” she said.
Cyber is an evolving—and rewarding—journey
In the ever-changing industry, cyber practitioners must work with clients struggling to define their approach to cybersecurity and risk management. “You’ll need to learn and evolve alongside the client,” Mady said.
She noted the invaluable insights that come from answering questions, developing implementation plans, writing technical documentation, training end users, and more.
For women interested in a cyber career, Mady encouraged them to look into certification programs, training programs, and policy case studies as introductions to the field.
“The industry needs people who are willing to put forth the effort and initiative and be willing to sit and figure things out,” she said.