Not all politicians are lifers, said no politician ever. Until now. It was a mere 12 months ago that I left the political realm after losing a run for the Ohio General Assembly, after serving three years as Mayor of my community. I had spent most of the preceding 15 years as a public servant. From joining the Army and spending years on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, to bouncing around in the back of an ambulance and working for various nonprofits, it’s almost all I’ve known. (To be fair, I also owned a small whisky distillery for a while, and was the only Mayor in the country who could run a whiskey still). When I lost the election, however, I knew that it was time to do something for me. I had had enough of politics, giving my life and attention to others, while completely dismissing my own.
After taking a couple months off to catch my breath, I starting to take a tally on what I new, and what I thought I could excel at. Something always took me back to my early childhood of popping a floppy disk into my Commodore 64 and playing Lemonade Stand and Commando. I had helped maintain websites for folks, to include my own business, and started exploring IT possibilities. I loved tinkering, have Raspberry Pis and taught myself Linux (which explains why I’m not great at it). I started searching for where the IT field was going in the next 10-15 years, and it had security written all over it. Naturally, being an all in type of person, I jumped at Cybersecurity, despite it being plagued by a gatekeeper mentality of managers and analysts who languished for years at a help desk, and believe everyone else should as well.
Never one to turn away from a challenge, I started building a knowledge base, and quickly obtained an A+ to be able to enroll in college. I chose to attend WGU, transferred in a non-related Associate’s Degree from my Paramedic days. Overall, in the course of a few months I finished the program, as well as earned Network+ and Security+ certifications, Associate of SSCP, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. The next day I started eLearnSecurity’s Penetration Test Student course, and just recently passed the eJPT exam, and am already working on eCPPT.
I’ve learned so much on my adventure “From Politics to Penetration Testing” so far, and I look forward to continuing my education and quest to learn. I’m a tinkerer and a lifelong learner. And if I ever caught my breath I wouldn’t know what to do.Tags: career certification community degree pentesting