...with Stephanie Albertina
How long has it been since you left Archbishop Beck?
I left Archbishop Beck in 2007 and it honestly doesn t feel that long ago at all! I recently visited the new school during a rehearsal for Mr Hicks last night of the proms concert and couldn t quite believe how much it has changed. It is a great school and it s very deserving of the new space and excellent facilities.
What is the thing you remember about being a student at Archbishop Beck?
Above all, I remember how supportive the teachers were in helping students to achieve their potential and reach their goals they really do try their best to ensure the children do as well as possible. I also loved attending the wide range of after school sport classes and activities, and of course the Archbishop Beck music department which played a big part in my school life.
You mentioned that you were part of the music department at Archbishop Beck what was the department like when you joined and how did it develop?
When I joined, the music department and school orchestra wasn t the most popular extra-curricular group and only a small amount of pupils were involved despite excellent opportunities to learn and amazing teachers. It was Mr Hicks who really focused on growing the music department and making it reach its potential; the difference in terms of its size and capability within just a year was astonishing and just look at it now! I will always be so grateful for the music department which provided me with the wonderful chance to discover music and develop a skill for life.
What would you say to parents considering a school for their child?
Whilst school can be an enjoyable place for children due to friendships, learning opportunities and other reasons, it can also be a stressful experience in certain instances for example; exams, social pressures etc. Archbishop Beck offers a very strong support network which helps to instil a sense of confidence and reassurance which I believe is crucial for children today. Excellent academic achievements are also very important of course and the school s results demonstrate this.
What have you been doing since leaving Archbishop Beck?
After leaving Archbishop Beck, I attended University where I achieved a first class BSc (Hons) degree in a subject called Computer Forensics. The course taught many different aspects of computer science and architecture, but with a primary focus on forensic investigations of digital devices and systems. After I graduated, I worked for a leading digital forensics provider in Warwickshire for two years and I now live and work in London as a cyber security consultant investigating cyber attacks and computer security incidents. I can honestly say that I never stop learning and that s one of the reasons why it is such a fascinating area to work in!
What motivated you to do computer forensics?
Well, to be fair I wasn t entirely sure what I wanted to do until I started attending University open days! I ve always loved the idea of forensic investigations and I wanted to do something in relation to computers and networks as these intrigued me.
I went to the Liverpool John Moores University open day where they revealed they were planning on starting a computer forensics course that September I was sure then and there that this was the degree for me and it s one of the best decisions I ve ever made. My advice to any pupils who don t know what they want to do for a career is to just do the subjects that you really enjoy, it ll make your working life so much more interesting and enjoyable!
You were awarded the Headmaster s Award at Archbishop Beck in 2007. What have been your other achievements since leaving?
I was awarded the Best Student award for the Computer Forensics class of 2011 for achieving the best results on the course. Since then, I ve gained several industry standard qualifications in the digital forensics and information security fields.
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to do the same kind of work you do?
I think you just need to have a passion for technology as well as an interest in investigation and analysis. However, computing is split into an enormous amount of different areas so if you re keen to do something in the technology sector then you ll be spoilt for choice and there s bound to be a University course or job for you.
Also, don t be afraid to move away for opportunities if they come your way, even if it s just for a couple of years. And if you can it s definitely worthwhile doing some part time work or volunteering around your studies whilst at College or University. This is especially true if it s relevant to the sector you want to work in as employers will be keen to hear about any experience you have.