AN INTERVIEW WITH
AN INTERVIEW WITH
I think I've always just been a really curious person. Anytime I've gotten an opportunity, I've taken it, which is why my resume and career background is very broad. I was definitely not the computer science kid who’s hacking things in 6th grade, knowing I'd always end up at a tech company. That’s definitely not my story at all. I'm a “try anything once” kind of girl when it comes to working. So, I started working in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is where I grew up in a large family with eight brothers. I think my first job was at Dairy Queen, where I did food service for a while until moving on to some construction things on the side.
Before NCR, I was a jack-of-all-trades. I’ve done everything from physical security to line cooking to drywalling. Really, any opportunity that came my way — I was taking it. It was this mindset that eventually led me to NCR. When I was working in physical security, I overheard a client speaking to another guard about the Year Up Program. That conversation wasn't directed toward me, but when I heard about the program’s mission to help young adults meet their career potential, I was intrigued. I decided to try it. Though it was on a whim, I took that leap of faith and participated in the Year Up program, which included six months of cybersecurity training and then a 6-month internship at NCR, a partnering Atlanta organization. I started in engineering operations. After my internship, I was hired on full-time and have since transitioned to cybersecurity. Outside of work, I have an amazing partner and between us, we have three children: a boy and two girls.
I am the Incident Response Team Lead and Threat Hunting Lead. What I love most about my role is mentoring others and empowering them to become an asset to the company. Second to that is learning new malware techniques and ensuring that NCR is protected.
I considered joining this team because of the fantastic culture we have. The Cyber Defense Center views itself as one big team: we all succeed or we all fail, together. I loved the idea of having access to expertise that would help me grow, while also having room to find my own niche that I could contribute to the team.
I would describe the culture of NCR as a really tight-knit family that doesn't necessarily see each other all the time. For example, my role is not really close to the sales sector, but because of NCR's amazing company values, we are all united in one mission. And more so, the reason I joined NCR was the Cyber Defense Center itself and the culture we have, specifically. There are no individual contributors. It's a team win or it's a team loss. And I think that's a great environment to work in.
Customer service means enabling the business to do what it can at its highest capacity. As a security professional, you're not interfacing directly with Waffle House or Walmart, but you are interfacing with somebody who supports their system, and that's our pipeline to customer service. Thus, getting things done as efficiently and securely as possible is certainly what good customer service means from our perspective.
Outside of work, I am most often playing video games, reading a book or enjoying time with my family. Given that I grew up in a big family, there is hardly a dull moment in the house.
With books, I'm definitely big into self-help books and then some sci-fi fantasy — I'm a proud geek.
One of my favorites is by Celeste Headlee and it's about listening. The book is called We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter. As a precursor for it, it goes deeper than just professional life — it relates to personal life and just having good conversations. Sometimes, good conversation means taking a step back and not thinking about your opinion or your response while someone is speaking to you. When we engage in conversation that way, we can have a really productive conversation because you're actually taking in the other person’s side and truly listening.
If you’re considering applying for NCR, my best advice would be to know and understand the company values so you can ensure that, in some fashion, they align with your own personal values. From the top level down at NCR, we are a driven company centered around those values, so it’s easier to understand the company’s objectives if you identify with NCR’s Shared Values.