Leah recently joined Featurespace as a Security Operations Centre Manager, using her IT knowledge and skills to drive us forward in all things security…and brings the fun with her!
Why did you choose STEM?
IT – there are so many fields you can be in, avenues to follow and heights to reach. It’s a field that, will never fade, it will continue to grow and develop. True to this day, we are now looking at AI as a ‘new’ feature to the workplace, software and technology which would never have been a concept at the start. I find there’s an exciting rush within IT, you never know what challenges the next day will bring or the next steps that will be taken to reach new heights. You don’t find this in every workplace!
Talk us through your journey in STEM and what you have achieved?
STEM really wasn’t around when I was looking for a career, but it was being taught when I was at school – only in college though! I am lucky to be part of the generation which was starting secondary school when the internet was founded, and PCs were more common at home. I loved the idea of how it worked, how we were connected – even if it was when we had to wait for our parents to be off the phone to use it. I choose IT (Technology) when I was in College – IT was one of my A-levels and I loved it. My teacher was so relatable and easy to learn from that it became a love of mine too.
When I left College, I went to University to study Computer Science only to find it wasn’t for me. I’m hands on, programming meant too much screen and reading. My journey to IT is a little unconventional – each job I found myself in post University wasn’t IT focused. Whether it was admin, sales or purchasing – I was lucky to have my hand in IT too. I used to be that go-to-person for all IT issues which meant I built my skills and knowledge on the job from company to company.
When IT became more dominating in one of my roles, that’s when I moved to IT full time and progressed though the roles that way. I fell on my feet and fell in love with the path I then followed.
Today, I work in Cyber Security, running a team in Security Operations. Another great opportunity I was given from a fantastic female leader in IT. She has become someone I admire and aspire to within my career and hope I can reach similar heights she has.
My journey in IT:
Security Operations Manager
Security Operations Team Lead
Infrastructure Team Lead
How does Featurespace support your goals and ambitions?
I moved to Featurespace to help my goals and progress my career and I have not looked back. The opportunities are endless. It’s a growing business within a STEM field which is as important to me as my own career. I have a great mentor in my manager, who has provided me with the freedom of speech, idea forums and the control over my own team and their success. Featurespace offers training, career progression, opportunities to learn about the industry in which Featurespace have achieved huge success. The culture allows you to thrive, be inquisitive but develop professionally and personally too alongside your private life.
What advice would you give to women looking to succeed in STEM?
Don’t let anyone stop you from reaching your goals and achieving your dreams. You will find along your way that your drive to succeed and aspirations will intimidate those around you and curve balls may be thrown your way to hinder and slow you down but don’t let that phase you. Females in IT are reaching new heights each day – it’s a beautiful progression. When I started it was a male dominated field – don’t get me wrong, there is still domination however this is changing with the generations. All females I have had the pleasure to work with, collaborate with and network with all have the same dreams – to be recognised in STEM fields for their achievements and drive. This is a future I’m excited to be part of.
Leah Hunt, Security Operations Centre Manager