What’s your job about?
I work for Chevron, one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies and am based in Perth, Western Australia where we have the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG domestic gas projects. I’m currently into my second year at Chevron on the Horizon Program on the Information Security Depth Track, this program runs for a period of five years where you get exposure to the different areas of the business based on your discipline. During this period, you get on the job work experience, access to a mentor for two years and undergo extensive training to fast track your learning and development. I’m currently working as a Risk Analyst in the Cybersecurity Chapter and support the HR, Finance and Enterprise Portfolio Solutions Platforms. As a risk analyst our job is protect the company’s assets from digital attacks and accidental losses. Assets can be anything from software, hardware, databases & network devices to our reputation, we look at what bad things can happen and how bad can they be, and we ensure measures are put in place to mitigate these risks. Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field which is constantly evolving and it’s extremely exciting. My daily tasks can be anything from performing asset cyber security ratings using Microsoft Teams with people from the USA or Argentina or performing third party cybersecurity risk assessments for new software applications that are based in Pakistan. My team works across three different countries, the Philippines, Australia and the USA so I converse with a diverse range of people with varying accents across multiple time zones!
What’s your background?
I was born in Darwin in Northern Australia; my mother is from Christchurch NZ and my father is from Broome in WA. I get my Aboriginal heritage through my grandparents, Bardi through my grandad from One Arm Point in the Kimberly and Yindjibarndi from my grandmother in the Pilbara. I’ve always been fascinated by math and science growing up and moved to Perth to study Electrical Engineering at UWA. Post studies I needed a break so decided to go travelling around the world which is one of the most amazing experiences that has helped shaped the person who I’ve become today. I visited 34 countries and immersed myself in different cultures, languages, foods, architecture, religions and stunning scenery. I highly recommend travelling before you settle down to work full time post COVID. Having a gap year or two overseas will develop your growth and resilience as an individual in ways you cannot imagine.
After working as project engineer for 12 years I decided it was time for a change and went back to post graduate studies fulltime in 2018 to study a master of cybersecurity at Edith Cowan University. In my final semester of 2019, I did a three month Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement with Chevron in the Information Systems Group, Assurance Team, which is like Chevron’s 12 week’ summer vacation work program. This was a fantastic opportunity to put what I had studied at Uni in the field of cybersecurity into practice. Ultimately this led to Chevron offering me employment when I finished exams in November and was fortunate to start work full time in Dec 2019 before COVID hit.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, absolutely! There was such a diverse range of people doing the course when I was at ECU and the prerequisite to do the masters was a degree, however you can enter via the graduate certificate and then diploma. If you like technology, problem solving and enjoy talking to people than this could be for you, an exciting field that has a massive skill shortage globally. Cyber crime is not going away and every year it is getting worse so there is plenty of opportunity for work. I am the perfect example of someone changing careers without a background in IT that is working in this field.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I really love working with the latest technology in a constantly evolving field with people from other countries every day and hearing lots of different accents. Chevron are big on self-development, so I am constantly learning and devote 20% of my time each week on upskilling. Chevron’s flexible working arrangements allow me to work from home on Fridays which saves me an hour of commute time each week and I also work a nine-day fortnight which is awesome as it means I have every second Monday off, giving me a long weekend twice a month!
What are the limitations of your job?
Different time zones present the biggest challenge. Chevron is a global company and many of my stakeholders are in different countries so sometimes I start work at 5am which means getting up at 4am, other times I might have a meeting at 1030pm at night to catch people at the start of their day. My Monday can be a Sunday for people overseas, and my Saturday can be their Friday which means you can only connect three days a week. We are currently undergoing a risk management transformation which is extremely complex with a lot of unknowns so getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is the norm.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student.