Erin Eskew is a Master’s student in the TCP program and began her degree in Fall 2019. She is taking her courses all online. Before joining the TCP program, Erin graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oklahoma with a Masters in International Studies focusing on global security. She is also a Product Security Engineering Analyst at Boeing. Recently, TCP got to sit down with Erin and discuss her career experience and what led her to the TCP program.
What made you choose the TCP program?
The TCP program appealed to me because of how multidisciplinary it is. I currently do product security in the aerospace industry, but I have a background in policy and really wanted to dive into the policy side of cybersecurity. The TCP program boasts some really great options for combining technical classes with policy and management classes. I appreciate being able to tailor the curriculum to my personal and professional interests.
What has your career experience been like?
I did an accelerated BA/MA program in international studies and, during that time, I did two foreign service internships for the U.S. Department of State in Berlin and Vienna. These were both incredible experiences and contributed to my interest in domestic and international policy. It wasn't until after graduation that I got into the tech world and worked for an HR software company doing software quality assurance. Using some of the knowledge I gained at that job, I moved to cybersecurity and currently work doing product security for an aerospace company.
If you could talk to a woman considering a career in cybersecurity, what would you tell her?
It is pretty typical in cybersecurity that there will be fewer women in the room than men. It's really encouraging to see that, even though it's a predominantly male field, there are increasing numbers of women pioneering the way to change that. I would advise women considering cybersecurity careers to go for it and not to let the gender breakdown be a roadblock.
How has your experience in the TCP program affected you and your career path?
It has been pretty cool to see some of the practical applications of the material I'm learning in the program through the seminar speakers who are professionals in the field. I've only spent one and a half semesters in the program so far and I look forward to adding to my skill set and developing as a cybersecurity professional.
Taking all of your courses online is definitely a less typical approach to a Master’s degree. How has your experience with a less traditional medium of college courses been?
Online courses have certainly been an adjustment. You have to be a lot more disciplined and consistent than in traditional campus courses. There could always be improvement but I feel as though TCP has been really responsive to student concerns about online courses and has a good setup for students to be successful completing their coursework entirely online.
Erin Eskew is an incredible member of the cybersecurity industry and a great addition to the TCP program. You can learn more about Erin on her LinkedIn page.