News / After Apprenticeship Week, a cybersec apprentice speaks out
In early March 2019, the UK Government officially celebrated the benefits of apprenticeships to individuals, employers and the economy, in National Apprenticeship Week.
Reliance acsn is proud to support this important route into professional education, training and employment for young people, and our apprentices are proud to be here, too.
We interviewed one of our rising stars, 21 year old Armand Tusha, to explain why.
Armand, why did you follow the apprentice route, rather than university?
I followed the apprenticeship route because I strongly believed this was the best approach to develop my skills within the IT industry. Learning skills on the job but studying for IT certifications at the same time really appealed to me – it’s a ‘foot in the door’ that is more immediately beneficial than, say, going to university.
Why did Reliance acsn particularly attract you?
I became very passionate about IT at an early age and it struck me that Reliance acsn really place a lot of value on their people loving what they do, rather than just being a job title. They don’t advertise specific roles on their website, for example, preferring to encourage speculative applications instead – I got a good feeling about that!
I think the apprenticeship at Reliance acsn enables me to become my own success and earn a good name for myself. And I am learning new skills rapidly, on a day-to-day basis!
What made you choose cyber security?
I knew that getting into the cyber industry at such a young age would benefit me massively in my career, because it’s the fastest-moving and most in-demand skill set in the industry. This steered me in the direction of the advanced level 4 cyber security apprenticeship – which I learnt about through Firebrand apprenticeships – once I’d completed my Level 3 IT Systems & Networking apprenticeship.
But I didn’t just want to be the guy who installs anti-virus software! I really wanted to be part of a ‘virtual security team’ that constantly protects customers all around the globe from evolving cyber threats, not just using sophisticated technologies but genuine human expertise too.
The human element means you have to trust and help each other, take ownership, and be honest – but it also means your opinions and contributions are respected – even if you’re only an apprentice!
Is it what you expected?
I had an outline idea of what doing this apprenticeship would be like – however, once I started the apprenticeship I then started to realise that this is what I had always dreamt of doing, and even more!
The working environment was cool, too. I’d expected some MI5-style bunker, but it’s more Google than James Bond! The offices are airy and really funkily designed, it’s a stone’s throw from Waterloo, and the best bars and restaurants in London are right on the doorstep. There are also regular social sessions to take advantage of them!
Is there anything you’d change about your apprenticeship?
Nothing whatsoever! I have learned so many valuable skills in the workplace and am becoming a reputable security engineer with recognised industry certifications. What’s not to like?
I have really enjoyed my experience doing this level 4 cyber security apprenticeship and am looking forward to learning even more advanced skills in the cyber industry.
If you could give someone one piece of advice in taking up an apprenticeship what would it be?
In an organisation where you’re working with hugely respected experts and massive clients, you need to apply yourself at every given moment and push yourself to be the best you can be.
The key is to always ask questions, do a lot of research, shadow the experts and move yourself outside of your comfort zone. You will learn at such a fast pace if you do all these things!