Through out my career I’ve been involved in some aspect of Cyber Security all the way back to coding security protocols in home router devices in my first role out of University. I worked with network encryption, VPN implementation, Credit Card and money control systems and server infrastructure resilience. Its always been a core part of what I do but I didn’t have anything academically tangible to back up my experience. This Master’s programme gave me that opportunity. Additionally, I utilised the subject of my thesis to acquire a strong working knowledge of another technical area, namely Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning(ML); an area of personal interest since my undergrad days but something I have never actively used in my professional career. The course design was perfect, it was a local University, with strong industry led course content and a set of lecturers and supervisors whose professional background and academic credentials were excellent. It was all online and was graded through a final thesis and ongoing course work which meant it worked well with work, a young family and life. It was a great opportunity.
What value did you find the course/training brought to your role in McKesson?
The value of a generalised cross discipline understanding of multiple knowledge domains makes me a more useful and I believe, more valuable, asset to McKesson. Utilising my core technical experience and now my academic work in Cyber Security, ML and Computer Science in general means I am a generalist, but with depth. This feeds into my architectural work where I need to have a high-level view of technical solutions but understand the impacts on multiple technical disciplines including the vital security aspect. It also provides me with the knowledge to utilise a broad palette of capabilities when designing core solutions for McKesson.
It was particularly rewarding to get acknowledgement from the University for the work I put into the course by being awarded the President’s Prize for best overall student result in 2019 and also the best master’s student as well in Cyber Security. I consider these shared awards with McKesson.
How did McKesson help in reaching your educational goals?
They helped financially which was very significant to me at the time I was taking up the opportunity. I really would have been a barrier to taking on the course. McKesson’s policy and flexibility to work time allowed me to take additional holidays which I used to do my thesis write up. The study days provided to me made the course work more manageable and my colleagues and management were incredibly positive about the course and my split focus over the two years it took to complete. I haven’t come across an employer who values its employee’s self-improvement as much as McKesson does. It’s not just lip service, McKesson actively supports this ideal through its policies and financial support.