We interview Mivy James, Head of Consulting for National Security and Defence, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence about her journey into the industry, her top tips for making it in cyber security and her inspiration to women across the world considering this field.
Tell us a bit about your journey into the industry – did you have a previous career? Did you have formal training or education in the field? Any work experience?
I did a degree in Computer Science & Maths having previously discovered the joy of writing code when I was 9. Throughout my degree I worked as a coder during the summer holidays and joined a graduate scheme once I’d finished. I started my career as an analyst / programmer then move into technical leadership and system design. It’s been a long time since I wrote code professional – these days I do strategic advisory work for big technology and cyber programmes.
What are your top tips for those looking to get into the industry?
There are lots of different careers available so first be open minded about the type of role you start with. There is also a huge shortage of skills in the industry. So take a chance regardless of what you think your core strengths are – there will be a role for you.
Do take the opportunity to go to events aimed at encouraging people into the industry such as the Cyber Challenge UK – and make the most of connecting with potential employers. Many companies offer entry level training schemes for cyber skills.
What are three of the top traits you should have to work in cyber security?
- Good communication skills as there will be lots of interaction with others, especially clients.
- Be curious to keep learning things and to ask the right questions
- Enough self awareness to understand what you do and don’t know, cyber is really about managing risk and it’s very risky to believe you know everything when you don’t.
Any specific advice for women looking to join the sector?
I’ve worked in the tech industry for well over 20 years and thoroughly enjoy it. I find it fascinating the way the field continuously grows and changes so there’s always something new to learn. I love solving problems so it appeals to my natural curiosity. I do also value being able to share ideas with colleagues and together come up with a better solution.
You can read more about Mivy in We Are The City here.
Interested in a career with BAE Systems? Click here for more info.