#CybersecurityRoadtrip Day 18

Wednesday 12/14: Day 18


unspecifiedToday was our last day in Sunny So-Cal.

Our 8am interview at Cylance with its CEO/Founder Stuart McClure was not at all what I expected. By 7:40am, few of the staff members were already at their desks, engrossed in their work. That kind of work environment where people are excited to come to work, and don’t need an excuse/drag their feet along with tall stacks of coffee is my kind place. McClure had the natural talent of explaining the most complicated concepts in such a way that made it interesting and easy to digest. Before the interview we had a chance to connect over coming from the same town in San Diego, to both being passionate about AI. Over the course of this roadtrip, I have successfully been able to identify that I aim to be in the intersection of Cybersecurity, AI, and Entrepreneurship. Cylance is exactly in the middle of that intersection. So I was especially excited when Mcclure mentioned that they use Neural networks as their algorithm. He weaved in his childhood in Guam, to coming to the Olympic center in Colorado, to his wisdom of learning when to give up and when to let go during the conversation. McClure identified that the two pillars of success were 1) to know your material 2)being persistent.

This same sentiment was echoed with our 2nd leader of the day – Lisa Jiggetts. Founder and CEO of Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, Jiggetts brought in an “alive” vibe. Her laugh was contagious and all three of us instantly relaxed and continued to have an insightful conversation. She, too, emphasized to not give up. “What’s the worse that can happen? You will get a No. But you learn and get ready for the next one.” Sharing her own journey and curiosity for figuring out how things work, she told us that we must have home labs (done!) and need to start tinkering around with it. I’m a huge fan of how approachable WSC is because as a newbie I didn’t really have much a comfortable and safe space where I could ask the “stupid” questions. She shared success stories of women in their mid-50s coming from a background of accounting and gaining a job within a year to two years of training! This is huge! I’m looking forward to working with her to expand WSC to the West Coast.

After the interviews, we sat down and reflected on our journey so far. With only a week left, each of us shared on what was life going to be like post-#CybersecurityRoadtrip. The common sentiment was being afraid. This month long trip was our bubble. We could ask the questions, gain the wisdom, and travel with cameras in our faces. Emily, however, grounded us by asking what is the point of learning something if we are not going to implement it? The time to put the wisdom and knowledge gained on this trip to use is coming up. This trip would not have been the same if Antwan and Emily were not there. Not saying that it would not have been as fun, but the flavor of it would surely have been different. The journey from being strangers to friends to….family has been a bittersweet & memorable one. Tears, and choked voiced were a commonality between all three of us before Craig pointed that we still had a week to get sick of each other. Well that’s the goal – turn this bonding into “I cannot handle one more second with you” so that the goodbyes become easier. Just kidding.

11 interviews down, 4 more to go. Next stop: Fog City.

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