Grad­u­ate Stories

Meet Heather, Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Con­sul­tant at MetLife

From Crim­i­nal and Civ­il ID Spe­cial­ist to Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Consultant
Heather Mc Cormick NX Power Lite Copy

Before Momen­tum, Heather was serv­ing the pub­lic as a Crim­i­nal and Civ­il ID specialist.

Twelve-hour work­days. Stand­ing for eight hours straight. End­less peo­ple man­age­ment. Unsa­vory char­ac­ters. And con­stant phys­i­cal exhaus­tion. Gru­el­ing” sums up Heather’s past career as a Crim­i­nal ID Spe­cial­ist – a role that test­ed her on a dai­ly basis phys­i­cal­ly, men­tal­ly, and emotionally. 

With a bach­e­lor’s degree in Crim­i­nal Jus­tice, Heather’s old career start­ed when she took on an intern­ship as a Crim­i­nal ID Spe­cial­ist for a coun­ty gov­ern­ment bureau. Heather was left feel­ing unsat­is­fied, with a chal­leng­ing work envi­ron­ment and an unpre­dictable sched­ule that made fam­i­ly life dif­fi­cult. Then, Heather switched to the civ­il side, com­plet­ing monot­o­nous fin­ger­print analy­sis for back­ground checks. How­ev­er, Heather felt stuck, with no oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow or be chal­lenged in this role.

Men­tal­ly drained, and phys­i­cal­ly exhaust­ed, Heather decid­ed it was time for a change. She hoped to trans­late her fin­ger­print­ing skills into a data ana­lyt­ics career, so she looked to oppor­tu­ni­ties with cod­ing cours­es. She want­ed to find a code school that could give her a net­work, access to instruc­tors, and a class­room com­mu­ni­ty to help her suc­ceed. After months of research­ing her options and con­sid­er­ing how to make it work finan­cial­ly, Heather joined Momentum. 

Heather felt that she ben­e­fit­ted great­ly from being able to work so close­ly with class­mates and eas­i­ly ask ques­tions or explain work process­es. She also liked hav­ing the abil­i­ty to con­nect with pre­vi­ous Momen­tum grad­u­ates, as the always-on dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ty of Momen­tum pro­vid­ed support.

Heather mccormick quote
If you need help there are a lot of people to turn to. Between the alumni and instructors, you always have somebody to go to and bounce ideas off of.
Heather McCormick
Cybersecurity Consultant

After her time with Momen­tum, Heather hoped to find a job that would allow her to con­nect her col­lege degree and expe­ri­ence in crim­i­nal jus­tice with her cod­ing expe­ri­ence, so she took part in a Women in Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty meet­up. This gave her an oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak with women from a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent back­grounds and become con­nect­ed to an open posi­tion, thanks to a Momen­tum instruc­tor who encour­aged Heather to reach out to a mem­ber of a pre­vi­ous Momen­tum cohort. As Momen­tum had helped train Heather how to learn, she felt con­fi­dent that she could quick­ly become skilled in a new lan­guage that she would need to use in the open posi­tion. Because of this, she was hired.

Now, Heather is feel­ing very encour­aged in her new role as a Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Con­sul­tant at MetLife. On a day-to-day basis, she works with met­rics and inves­ti­gates insid­er threats and fraud. Heather is also encour­ag­ing her team to bring on more peo­ple to mon­i­tor insid­er threats, pro­vid­ing analy­sis that impacts busi­ness deci­sions. Accord­ing to Heather, her new job has pos­i­tive­ly changed her lifestyle.

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She feels sup­port­ed by upper man­age­ment and receives reg­u­lar feed­back, which has been a major change from her pre­vi­ous career. And, start­ing out dur­ing the Coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, Heather likes the flex­i­bil­i­ty of her new job. As long as I have Wi-Fi, I could go anywhere.” 

For peo­ple who are seek­ing out a career that chal­lenges them, tak­ing cod­ing cours­es can be a great step­ping stone toward a new path. Heather feels that the most impor­tant thing to seek out in a pro­gram is com­mu­ni­ty, since net­work­ing and hav­ing con­tacts in the indus­try is vital in suc­cess­ful­ly mak­ing a career switch. Where you start is often not where you end in this type of career, so it is up to you to find your own path. Because of her time with Momen­tum, Heather’s new career is help­ing her bring her goals and inter­ests togeth­er for a more ful­fill­ing life.