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Recently, I had a conversation with Rashad Wilkins – a Project Ares enthusiast and former student at NexGenT. I wanted to learn how he became interested in cybersecurity and what he’s been doing since finishing his Cybersecurity Specialist program.

I hope that you’ll enjoy learning about his experiences as much as I did!

Rashad Wilkins chats with Giuseppe Scalamogna

Rashad, it seems like you’re excited about all things cyber, so I’m curious about what inspired you to get involved in cybersecurity?

As far back as high school, I was always looking things up on the internet that I thought were interesting. One of my instructors recognized that I had already knew a lot about cybersecurity and thought maybe I should become one of the security guys!

How did you hear about NexGenT Cybersecurity Specialist program?

I saw an ad on Instagram and started doing some research on the NexGenT program. At the time, I was already in a college program but it wasn’t really working for me. It felt like I was trying to learn for a grade instead of really learning the material.

Eventually, I started the Cybersecurity Specialist program at NexGenT. It helped me build real world skills, improve my abilities, and learn more about how to navigate the business world. When I wrapped up the program, I got a certification and it felt like I’d won a gold medal too.

What’s next for you?

My dream job is to be a cybersecurity researcher. Currently, I’m working as a website design consultant. I’m learning Lua which is a scripting language and working on a passion project of Roblox game development. Both of these things are helping me stay sharp and concentrate on improving my IT skills.

What do you want other people to know about Project Ares?

I used Project Ares exercises to focus on subjects like Threat Intelligence, Defending and Attacking Computer Networks, PowerShell, and many other skills that are needed in cybersecurity today. For example, it had a mission that was about hacking an Industrial Control System which reminded me of the water treatment plant hack that happened in Florida.

That level of realism is unique to Project Ares. It is simply something I never saw in some of the other platforms that I tried. Project Ares lets you interact with a virtualized network environment and it covers both red and blue team situations that you would be likely to see in a real world working situation.

The Project Ares team appreciates all we learn from our students.

We’re excited by their passion, drive, and desire to be successful! 

Thank you Rashad, and best of success in your cybersecurity career journey.

Check out other success stories where we continue to explore what inspires and motivates Project Ares students and why cybersecurity is important to them.