For the last three years I have had the honor to lead the work of CyberUp. Far too often as “leader of the band” I am asked to talk and to present about our mission. To be honest, I really hate the sound of my voice and there are so many others who work hard to do what we do. This doesn’t mean I am going away, but I have recently been asked to contribute insights and thoughts on a myriad of topics like cybersecurity, regionalism, and workforce development with EQ. I am excited about the opportunity to share my opinions and hope you will join the conversation.
Our mission of training the workforce of today and inspiring the work for tomorrow has connected us to an amazing group of individuals. Some of them have served as staff, board members, volunteers, interns, apprentices, partners, and youth. Going forward our goal is to have a 5-question session with a lot of them. This should provide some insight into what has connected them to CyberUp and a little bit of their “why.” My goal is through their voice we can better connect everyone to the work we are doing and make our mission more human centered.
Our first victim, I mean volunteer, is Mike Bryan. Mike has been with the team for about two months now and has done an incredible job jumping into the mix. He is building critical relationships with our corporate partners and advocating the importance of hiring non-traditional talent.
Let’s hear from Mike:
- Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in the Carolina’s and have a BA in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina. After living in Austin, TX for 15 years, I decided to make a change and moved to St. Louis to be closer to family. I have been pursuing my cybersecurity certificate at UMSL ever since. In my spare time, I like to play disc golf, read, and write music reviews.
- What attracted you to the mission of CyberUp?
I have always wanted to have a job where I helped people but have never had the opportunity to do so. I am a firm believer in equity, diversity, and inclusion, and since that is core to the mission of CyberUp, it was a natural fit. I also believe that cybersecurity jobs are the way of the future and see the shortage in qualified candidates as a scary thing that we need to fix immediately.
- What most excites you about your new role?
I am excited to get to know the city of St. Louis better, and learn more about the various companies and organizations that make up our region. I also live for challenges, and Tony has given me a mighty one in attempting to place 50 candidates this year.
- What do you hope to achieve here?
I hope to grow my sales, relationship-building, and customer success skills, and help to make CyberUp a huge success!
- What is one piece of advice you would give to someone?
Don’t ever give up. Always keep trying. When one door closes, another one opens.